Nigeria's Pernicious Drivers of Ethno-Religious Conflict (Africa Security Brief, Number 14, July 2011)
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
Sociology and Law
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractNigeria's statutory framework grants local officials the authority to extend or deny basic rights to citizens in their jurisdictions, thereby creating incentives for the politicization of ethnicity and escalating intercommunal violence. Ineffective state responses to repeated ethnic clashes have highlighted a lack of political will to address this violence. While currently concentrated in central Nigeria, the systemic drivers to identity conflict have the potential to spread elsewhere in the country and will require fundamental institutional reforms to resolve. The ethnic or religious dimensions of the conflict have been misconstrued as the primary driver of violence when, in fact, disenfranchisement, inequality, and other practical fears are the real root causes. Capitalizing on such conditions, many political rivals have instrumentalized the ethnic and religious diversity of Jos to manipulate and mobilize support. Each outbreak of violence worsens suspicions and renders communal reconciliation more difficult, deepening the cycle and further incentivizing polarization. The heads of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs issued a joint statement in 2010 denouncing local politicians in Jos for exploiting communal tensions for personal gain. Entrenched institutional factors are at the heart of the accelerating distrust and violence in Plateau State. Left unchecked, this pattern is likely to expand to a growing number of Nigeria's 36 states. Fundamental changes will be required to reverse the incentives feeding this violence: Eliminate indigene/settler classifications in government decisionmaking; Strengthen, coordinate, and deconflict security institutions; Make protection of minority rights a priority; and Establish community-based, state-supported peacebuilding committees.
Copyright/LicenseApproved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Right to InformationTrapnell, Stephanie E.; Trapnell, Stephanie E. (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-08-20)This first round of eight case studies was completed in 2012. The case studies were prepared examining the experience of a number of countries that have passed Right to Information (RTI) legislation within the last 15 years: Albania, India, Mexico, Moldova, Peru, Romania, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. Each country case study assesses four dimensions critical to the effective implementation of RTI legislation as follows: 1. The scope of the information that the law covers, which determines whether an RTI law can serve as the instrument of more transparent and accountable governance as envisaged by its advocates. For example, a law that leaves too many categories of information out of its purview, that does not adequately apply to all agencies impacting public welfare or using public resources, or that potentially contradicts with other regulations, like secrecy laws, will not be effective. 2. Issues related to public sector capacity and incentives, additional key functions and demands within the public sector created by RTI, entities responsible for these functions, and various organizational models for fulfilling these functions. 3. Mechanisms for appeals and effective enforcement against the denial of information(whether it be an independent commission or the judiciary); the relative independence, capacity, and scope of powers of the appeals agency, and the ease of the appeals process; and the application of sanctions in the face of unwarranted or mute refusals, providing a credible environment. 4. The capacity of civil society and media groups to apply the law to promote transparency and to monitor the application of the law, and a regulatory and political environment that enables these groups to operate effectively. The in-depth research presented in these case studies was conducted to examine factors that promote the relative effectiveness of these four key dimensions when implementing RTI reforms, including institutional norms, political realities, and economic concerns. An analysis was conducted to determine which models have the potential to work in different contexts and what lessons can be drawn from these experiences to help countries currently in the process of setting up RTI regimes.
Yemen Civil Society Organizations in Transition : A Mapping and Capacity Assessment of Development-Oriented Civil Society Organizations in Five GovernoratesWorld Bank (Washington, DC, 2013-06)Civil society in Yemen is vibrant and diverse but highly fragmented. It includes independent registered and organized civic groups, less organized local self-help organizations, and charity oriented groups. The first period, from 1950 to 1963, saw a growth in associational activity in the modern enclave of late colonial Aden and within the protectorates of the northern imamate amidst heavy immigration and modernization. A second stage of development took place in the late 1970s and 1980s with very little central control but exceptional affluence thanks to remittances from citizens employed in the Gulf. As the political transition in Yemen continues, there is renewed interest in engaging local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the process of service delivery, decentralization, institution building and in encouraging inclusion and greater citizen participation. The Government has requested that the World Bank update its earlier work on CSOs in Yemen to map and to assess the capacities of present-day, development-oriented CSOs in five governorates. Nearly all of the CSOs that participated in this study were formally registered, non-governmental organizations that were generally independent of tribal or religious affiliation. There is an important opening in Yemen at present to encourage greater social accountability among CSOs and through CSO-Government partnerships. Social accountability includes a growing emphasis on beneficiary engagement in monitoring and assessing government performance as well as service providers, particularly in providing feedback on, and voicing demand for, improved service delivery. Based on this study's findings, it is recommended that the Government reform CSOs-related procedures, including registration, re-licensing, and decentralize avenues for CSO-ministry collaboration on service delivery and standards development to the governorate-level branches of the respective Ministries. Finally, it is recommended that training be made available for Yemeni journalists that cover the work of the country's civic sector or development issues in general.