Established in the fall of 2018, the Nigeria Middle Belt Brain Trust (MBBT) brings together leading local specialists in areas such as inter-religious dialogue, mediation, community development, and justice reform. Using a customised conflict prevention framework, the group focuses on key medium-term structural and institutional challenges that have an outsized impact on the region’s violence and future prospects of peace and prosperity.

The MBBT brings together experts from the Middle Belt’s eastern half (the group’s initial focus area) including Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Taraba, and southern Kaduna states. Leveraging its deep understanding of the local context and access to international best practices, the MBBT aims to combine top-down and bottom-up approaches that simultaneously address the region’s challenges from multiple directions, including attention to strengthening inter-community grievance management systems, reducing polarization and boosting youth entrepreneurship. 

The MBBT’s early focus has been on Nasarawa State. Using documentary evidence and on-the-ground interviews with community members affected by the state’s most important conflicts, the group has mapped the intricate forces affecting its stability and developed concrete proposals to address them.

MBBT Strategic Report

Ending Violence in Nigeria's Middle Belt: A Strategic Report on Nasarawa State (June 2022)

This report analyses the drivers of violence in Nigeria’s Nasarawa State in order to understand the broader dynamics of conflict across the country’s Middle Belt region. Based on an exploration of documentary evidence and interviews with community members affected by conflict, it highlights the complexity of reducing violence and the importance of action in multiple areas simultaneously, while recognising the geographic variations in conflict drivers, actors, and dynamics. The report concludes with practical recommendations for Nasarawa’s leaders to act upon.


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