On the 30th of June- 1st July 2021 at the Palm Hotel, Abuja, The Centre for Democracy and Development in collaboration with Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) held a 2-day annual strategic retreat. The retreat brought together various key stakeholders which included members of National Orientation Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of the National Security Adviser, Federal Ministry of Justice, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, International Organization on Migration (IOM)and the Armed Forces, (including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
The conflict in Northeast Nigeria has been raging on for over 12 years with devastating effects on its people in the hands of Boko Haram. The Boko Haram insurgency has also trickled into neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. The presence of Boko Haram has led to grave human rights violations, sexual and gender-based violence, killings, abduction, kidnapping and destruction of property to name a few with over 2.4 million people displaced in the Lake Chad Basin.
To address these challenges, The Nigerian version of the Deradicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Initiatives was designed as the state’s non-kinetic approach towards counterterrorism and peacebuilding efforts in the region. The Operation Safe Corridor DRR program was launched in 2015 to encourage willing and repentant Boko Haram insurgents to surrender and embrace peace. By April 2021, the OPSC program has successfully deradicalized and rehabilitated over 900 repented ex-combatants and successfully reintegrated back to their host communities, states, and countries of origin.
About The Retreat
Since its inception, the Centre for Democracy and Development has been engaging with OPSC to facilitate annual strategic retreats with DRR program management and staff aimed at continuous review and strengthening of the program in the form of yearly annual retreats.
The 2021 Annual retreat facilitated by the Centre provided an opportunity for the managers of the OPSC DRR Program including the Advisory Committees and DRR Camp managers to share experiences, review the entire DRR programs processes/mechanism, existing policies/operational guidelines, the Deradicalization and Clients Treatment Programs, identified gaps and planned towards scaling and speeding up the DRR Initiative.
The Centre for Democracy and Development remain committed to continuing to provide technical and financial support to OPSC in its counterterrorism efforts and supporting best practices while using transitional justice processes.