Acta Universitatis Danubius. Communicatio, Vol 12, No 1 (2018)

Managing Communal Conflicts in Africa through Electronic Media: A Case Study of Radio Nigeria in Share-Tsaragi Crisis

Shittu Raji, Niyi Ameen Abdulkadir-Imam

Abstract


Communal conflicts have ravaged many countries in Africa, leading to destruction of lives and property. Previous studies have confirmed that the electronic media  sometimes instigate these conflicts because of its capacity rating as a powerful tool for mass mobilization for escalating or deescalating violence due to its wider audience. However, the electronic media  also mediates conflict through peace advocacy, peace parley and conciliation programs. This paper examined the emerging paradigm of using radio as manager of conflict in Africa by specifically   assessing the extent to which the mediating roles of Radio   Nigeria, Idofian have impacted on the communal conflict between Share and Tsaragi in Kwara state of Nigeria. The paper, which relied on secondary data, found that the mediating programmes of Radio Nigeria have de-escalated conflict between the   two affected communities. Some of the programs identified for de-escalating the Share-Tsaragi communal crisis include but not limited to; facilitated round-table mediation programs for the representatives of Share-Tsaragi warring communities to discuss their Conflict Position on radio, and running   frequent jingles on the danger of violence confrontation between the two communities and beyond. Radio Nigeria also collaborated with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) of Nigeria, to discuss   Peace Advocacy program for the two communities in its Station, free of charge and also covered the proceedings of the Administrative Tribunal set up by the Kwara State Government of Nigeria to suggest the appropriate solutions to the crisis. The station also organized sporting events for the youth in Share and Tsaragi to foster unity between the two communities, amongst others. The challenges confronting the station in its task of mediating communal conflict generally and in the Share-Tsaragi communal crisis in particular include logistic problems, vulnerability of its reporters to danger of physical injury or death in the battlefront, and accusation of bias reportage against the media by few members of the warring factions. Concerned authorities should address the above challenges to facilitate the optimal use of Radio as a credible avenue for managing communal conflict in Africa.

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