Home Publications RUMUEKPE: A STUDY IN DISEMPOWERMENT, CONFLICT, AND PEACEBUILDING

RUMUEKPE: A STUDY IN DISEMPOWERMENT, CONFLICT, AND PEACEBUILDING

As a region, the Niger Delta suffers from extreme deprivation and inequality, which is fuelled by the nature of the oil economy and corrupt local politics, creating a cycle of violent conflict.

Rumuekpe is a microcosm of social, political, and economic issues that affect the Niger Delta at large, and therefore represent the extreme case of what can happen when conflict erupts in these conditions.

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The 2005- 2008 Rumuekpe crisis was born out of a multi-layer struggle over power, resources, and access to hand-outs from oil companies. Leadership struggles between local community leaders and the youth were rife, and the short-term handouts given by oil companies exacerbated the wealth differences within communities, particularly between local leaders and a largely unemployed youth.

Ultimately the powerlessness felt in the community, prompted the youth to take up arms within the community. The work in the community finds that for peacebuilding to be effective it must address the root political, social, economic and educational rights of the communities, focusing on long-term sustainable solutions.

Woman were identified as key participants in the peace building process, because of their centrality to the household and ability to facilitate relations within the community. Advocacy, dialogue and reconciliation have been the main tools employed to facilitate the recovery of Rumuekpe, and this serves as an example to other conflict affected areas in the Niger Delta region.