The Nigerian Army through a military exercise code named Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) has facilitated peace between the warring Tiv and Jukun people of Taraba and Benue States as part of its non-kinetic intervention programme.
TheNigerian gathered that the peace meeting held in Rufinkada village, Wukari Local Government area of Taraba State on Monday.
The event had stakeholders drawn from the two ethnic groups such as political leaders, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and youths among others in attendance.
Force Commander of the OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini said the peace meeting was to address the incessant crisis between the Tiv and Jukun in the two states.
“The purpose of the meeting was to work out a peace deal between the two warring parties as our non-kinetic action. There are two dimensions to the crisis which is between Jukun and Tiv in Benue and then between Jukun and Tiv in Taraba.”
Yekini also buttressed the need for both ethnic groups to embrace peace.
He said opportunities were given to leaders of both tribes to air their grievances with a view to finding a lasting solution to the lingering crisis.
At the end of the deliberations, both ethnic groups agreed to embrace peace and also agreed on the immediate reopening of the Gbeji-Kente-Wukari road which had remained closed since the beginning of the crisis in April.
Also, it was resolved that all illegal roadblocks within the axis should be dismantled while all Tiv and Jukun who had fled their homes during the crises were asked to return home immediately.
Stakeholders at the meeting also agreed that from now henceforth, both Benue and Taraba state governments must begin giving commensurate political appointments to Tiv or Jukun minorities in the respective states.
It was also agreed at the meeting that OPWS would deploy troops along that route so that road users are not attacked along even as a 12-man peace and reconciliation committee made up of six members from each ethnic group was set up to work in collaboration with security agencies.