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United States Institute of Peace

Despite their religious differences, Imam Muhammed Ashafa (left) and Pastor James Wuye (right) are united by their devotion to peace. Religion has been exploited to drive violent extremism in northern Nigeria, their home, where clashes between Muslims and Christians have claimed thousands of lives and torn communities apart. In 1992, the two men fought on opposing sides during religious violence in Kaduna that killed thousands. Both lost friends and loved ones in the conflict. They came out of that experience determined not to let it happen again. Introduced several years later, they eventually began working together to bridge differences and cool tensions between Nigeria’s Muslims and Christians. They established the Interfaith Mediation Center, and, among many other initiatives, worked with USIP in 2004 and 2005 to mediate a lasting peace agreement in the area of Yelwa-Shendam in Plateau state. Their institution has trained others in strategies to resolve conflict without violence in Nigeria as well as Kenya, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere. Today, their efforts continue. “We need to replicate ourselves,” says Pastor Wuye about his work with Imam Ashafa. “More imams, more pastors, more young women and community leaders to carry this banner.” Watch our new short video about the inspiring pair: http://bit.ly/2xQDCQd
#Nigeria #Kaduna #Peace #USIP

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