By Ochiaka Ugwu
The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) is ever ready to collaborate with willing stakeholders from other parts of Africa and from diverse disciplines in a bid to mainstream peace in the continent, the IPCR Director-General, Prof. Bakut Tswah Bakut has said.
Bakut who made this known Tuesday while delivering a welcome address at the inaugural of MIT International Conference on Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in Africa hosted by the institute in Abuja said that in recent times, the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa have been strained by incidences of violence perpetrated by people of both countries against people of the other.
He said it has been particularly disturbing given the role that each country plays in its respective region and Africa as a whole and given also, the economic and other implications of strained relations for both countries.
“Here at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, we are constantly looking for way to achieve and sustain peace in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We track and analyze conflict trends and dynamics; analyze conflict related policy; and build capacity for conflict management amongst other things. We are also always disposed to engaging with other stakeholders from other parts of Africa and from diverse disciplines in a bid to achieve our mandate”.
Also speaking, the leader of the delegation from University of South Africa’s Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa (UNISA IDRA) Prof. John Cole noted that the conference will make them understand Africa from the point of knowledge and advance it for better, saying they are tracking conflict trend, dynamics and related policy.
Cole informed that (UNISA IDRA) and IPCR as a willing partner has the capacity to achieve their mandate.
A former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and President, Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy (PAIGAS) Amb. (Dr) Martins Uhomoibhi said the conference was timely, historic and monumental and hoped that a lot will be done after to put the outcome of the event into practice.
Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who was represented by Dr. Sule Bassi noted that xenophobic attack of any kind was senseless given our African brotherhood and solidarity.
The Conference is aimed at strengthening the socio-cultural and academic relations as well as exploring ways of managing disputes without resorting to violence or bloodshed in Africa.