Early Warning Mechanism for Mitigating Herders and Farmers Conflict in Benue States, Nigeria

Efe Ijoyah


Early warning has emerged as a contemporary instrument relevant for conflict management, resolution and peace building. In Nigeria, violent conflict related to the herders-farmers conflicts has resulted in massive loss of lives, destruction of property, internal displacement of person, among others. The conflict has progressively become prevalent and protracted. Extant literature has investigated the dynamics, conflict management strategies deployed, as well as the challenges of managing the herders and farmers conflict in Nigeria. However, this study examined the prospects and potentials of early warning mechanisms as instrument for mitigating the herders-farmers conflicts in Nigeria, using Benue and Nasarawa states as case studies. Homer Dixon’s Eco-violence Theory served as the study’s theoretical framework. The study adopts primary and secondary methods of data collection. Findings revealed that the contemporary causes of the conflict included climate change, demographic increase, influx of foreign herders. The effects of the conflict are: emergence of militias/vigilante groups, upsurge in internal displacement of persons, breakdown of inter-group relations and distortion in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, the study revealed that establishment of Early Warning Centers at the grass root, deployment of early response mechanism among others are strategies through which early warning mechanism can be used to mitigate the herders and farmers conflict. The study recommends enactment of grazing laws that will incorporate and protect the interest of herders and farmers.

Keywords: Early Warning Mechanism, Conflict Management, Resolution, Benue, Nasarawa, plateau Herders & Farmers

DOI: 10.7176/JAAS/69-03

Publication date:October 31st 2020

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ISSN 2409-6938

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