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Indigenous knowledge and communal conflict resolution: Evidence from Nigeria

Chimaraoke Otutubikey Izugbara
Godwin A. Ugal
J. Kinuabeye Ukwayi


This paper discusses an experience of relying on indigenous knowledge to resolve a communal conflict between two Nigerian local communities. The authors were working in one of the communities when conflict erupted, and had to initiate moves to restore peace and normality. They relied largely on information on the cultural organisation and knowledge system of the conflicting communities gathered through rapid group and individual interviews with members of the communities. Indigenous knowledge and values proved to be the golden key which unlocked the door to peace between the warring communities. The paper contends that peace facilitators in a communal conflict situation need to be responsive and sensitive to the indigenous cultural and knowledge systems and values of the communities they work with, if they are to make any sustainable impact.

(Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems: 2003 2(2): 1-14)