The United Nations (UN) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), last week, called for peace on the lingering feud between farmers and herdsmen in the country. The call was made in Abuja at a meeting where both representatives called for decisive solutions to end the many differences tearing the warring groups.
UN special representative of the secretary-general for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohamed Chambas, who spoke at the meeting, said that the clashes had cast blight on the integrity of the region, occasioned maximum security challenges and undermined its economic growth.
He called on member states to institute mechanisms that will effectively address the bone of contention tapering off the peace in the region and encourage “good practices” amongst the herdsmen and farmers. “These conflicts are often politicised and further fuelled by rural banditry and cattle rustling.
“Some ECOWAS countries have developed strong pastoral codes and local dispute-resolution mechanisms. There, previous tensions in the past have been resolved through dialogue and mutual arrangements. There is therefore good practice to draw from”, he said.
Chambas urged the media and civil society “to ensure honest reporting and communication to avoid misunderstandings and false information.
On the other hand, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Brou called on member states to adopt lasting solutions that will guarantee the safety and security of people, modernisation of animal production systems and respect for existing cultural diversity.
In his remarks, “Notwithstanding the efforts and achievements made in interregional agriculture, we are witnessing deterioration in Pastoralism and Transhumance both within countries and between member states and neighbouring countries.
“This meeting has been convened in conjunction with ECOWAS in an effort to identify appropriate responses to address the on-going challenges and work towards a positive transformation of the sector” h said. Brou further nudged development partners to invest in the transformation and modernisation of livestock production systems in the region.
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