Insurgency: Forum on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration for the Northeast opens in Abuja

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The need for proper coordination by agencies of government and other critical stake holders in rebuilding the Northeast devastated by activities of the Boko Haram insurgency has been emphasised.

Former Chief of Defence Staff, General Martin Luther Agwai gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening of a High Level Forum on Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration (DDR), Peace Building and Reconciliation in Nigeria held at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja.

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General Agwai noted that the rebuilding process of ravaged communities is a collective effort which everyone must be carried along.

“From all indication, government is doing well but most of the time, not everyone is aware of what government is doing.

“There should be proper coordination whereby everyone who is working for Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration (DDR) as well as peace building and reconciliation in Nigeria knows who is doing what and where they are engaged”

He maintained that over 2 million Nigerians have died as a result of the proliferation of small arms and called for the total disarmament of those not authorised to carry arms in the country.

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In his remarks, Swizz Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Georg Steiner said an effective DDRR process that successfully rehabilitates ex-combatants if properly implemented can promote reconciliation and recovery in conflict affected communities.

“We are all united by the common interests of peace, unity and stability in the north east region and in Nigeria as a whole. Making the process more effective will require uniting our efforts and we working together”

He commended the organisers of the forum for their foresight and pledge the support of Switzerland.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Northeast Development Commission, Maj Gen PC Tarfa retired noted that the time has come for the civil authority to take charge in the rebuilding process in the north east by providing legislations that will bring succour to the people.

He commended institutions and organisations working for the peace in the northeast of Nigeria.

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The conference, co-sponsored by the NEEM Foundation and the Army Resource Centre, Abuja, is aimed at discussing the need for a coordinated effort in rebuilding the Northeast as well as highlighting more effective ways that take into consideration contextual narratives and community led-approaches.

Present at the event were Lieutenant General Yusuf Burutai, Chief of Army Staff, Major General PC Tarfa (RTD), Chairman of the Northeast Development Commission, NEDC, His Excellency, Mr. Georg Steiner, Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Fatima Akilu, Founder NEEM Foundation, Lieutenant General Martin Agwai (RTD), the Guest Speaker

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