The Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED) with support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is conducting a major research on “Amnesties for peace in the Niger Delta”. The project which is under the “Conflict and Development in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region” theme in the current strategic plan (2010-2014) of the Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED) is part of the efforts to contribute to sustainable peace, security and development in the Niger Delta region.
The objectives of the research projects are the critical interrogations of the Amnesty and political settlement leading to it, in terms of perceptions, discourses and conversations; the nature of bargains, understanding and consensus constructed around it; the content and methods of the Amnesty and the nature of inclusiveness, equity, justice and gender sensitivity; the challenges of implementation, legitimacy and accountability, and the impacts on violence mitigation, conflict resolution, peace building and development.ore specifically, the project seeks to:

  • To conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of the nature, drivers and expressions of violent conflicts in the Niger Delta region and assess the impacts that the Amnesty Programme has had on conflict mitigation, peace building, national stability, and the potential for conflict reoccurrence.
  • To map out the experiences and challenges of the Amnesty Programme as a form of political settlement in the Niger Delta and the implications for sustainable peace and nation building in Nigeria and more broadly in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The research project covers four major areas of investigation which are:

  • Critical Interrogation of the Amnesty programme- This entails the examination of the components parts of the Amnesty Programme; Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). Most specifically, the project is studying the Amnesty programme formulation, implementation, management, accountability, legitimacy, impact and the support it elicits from the critical segments of the society, including the ex-militia formulation, youth, opinion leaders and others.
  • Political Settlement- The study interrogates the conversations and discourses around militancy and its solution, the consultations within and outside the region and diverse agreements and understandings reached that culminated in the Amnesty proclamation.
  • Justice- The study examines the issues of justice and security, stability, equity and peace in the management of Amnesty and Post Amnesty periods. There are questions about the appropriateness of amnesty in the Niger Delta situations, how it serves the ends of justice and the range of those who need forgiveness, and by whom or seek justice, reparation or compensation for abuses, sufferings, displacement, injuries and death during the violent confrontations in the region.
  • The Impact of the Amnesty Programme- The Impact of the Amnesty Programme on sustainable peace and security in the Niger Delta is central to the study. How has the Amnesty Programme engendered peace and security in the Niger Delta? Is the current peace and security in the Niger Delta sustainable?

The research projects involve the following:
Case Studies– A detailed case study of selected communities in terms of their encounters with violent conflicts, the experiences with security agencies and ex-militants, the impacts of violent conflicts on the community, physical, social, economic and demographic patterns, and changes experienced after the Amnesty will be carried out.
Conflict Monitoring- In order to collect data on the occurrence of violence or otherwise in key conflict and violent prone localities within the Niger Delta region, a violent occurrence information system will be established to collect data in these localities. Such data will be collected with the participation of the members of the target localities involved in the project and will be used to monitor the effectiveness of the Amnesty Programme.