Nigeria's State Peacebuilding Institutions: Early Success and Continuing Challenges




Kew, Darren

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


United States Institute of Peace


This report examines the progress of peace agencies or commissions in three Nigerian states since 2016. It finds that their convening powers and civil society networks offer important opportunities for fostering peace, as does their ability to support the peace architecture of local governments. Over the past five years, three states in Nigeria’s Middle Belt— Plateau, Kaduna, and Adamawa— have created peace agencies or commissions that are tasked with addressing long-standing ethno-religious and other divisions in their host states through direct mediation and other peace interventions; building early warning and early response systems for local conflicts; and, in conjunction with local governments and traditional institutions, developing grassroots conflict resolution infrastructure such as mediation and restorative justice units and processes. All three institutions possess important convening powers to initiate dialogue and larger peace processes. Although the young institutions have faced difficult challenges, they have nonetheless exhibited early promise for stemming violence and insecurity across Nigeria, and their experiences provide important lessons for other states considering similar institutions. Based on more than fifty interviews conducted between 2018 and 2021, the report was supported by the Africa Center at the United States Institute of Peace and the Bureau for Conflict Stabilization Operations at the US Department of State.



Nigeria, Local peace initiatives, Land tenure, Mediation, Dialogue, Early warning