The Fulani and Mahamid Arab communities from the municipalities of Foulatari, N’guelbeli, Goudoumaria and Mainé Soroa in the Diffa region of Niger signed a peace agreement on Sunday 23 December 2018 thereby putting an end to more than a year of armed confrontations between the two sides.
The Agreement, which is the result of a three-month mediation process facilitated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), was signed in the city of Diffa by representatives designated by the two communities.
Through this accord, the communities have committed to:
Respecting, and ensuring compliance with, access rules to pastoral resources;
Jointly conducting awareness missions with community members on the rules around accessing water and the roles and responsibilities of the official Water Points Management Committees;
Systematically resorting to traditional and administrative authorities to resolve potential disputes;
Opposing the theft of livestock regardless of which community the owner is a member of;
Encouraging young people and opinion leaders to commit to conflict prevention and the search of negotiated solutions to disputes;
Jointly organising collective prayer sessions for peace and social cohesion.
Confrontations between the two communities originate in the struggle for access to natural resources in the region of Diffa. The conflict has caused hundreds of people to be injured over the last few months. Tensions over access to natural resources are increasing in the region due to population displacements caused by the conflict between Boko Haram and the States of the sub-region (Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon).
The mediation process, which was initiated at the request of the communities themselves, brought together all parties with influence over the conflict, including traditional, religious and community leaders, as well as youth representatives from the communities and representatives from breeders’ associations. The Agreement was signed in the presence of the Governor of the Diffa region as well as Prefects and Mayors from the concerned municipalities.
“Through this Agreement, the communities are demonstrating that mediation and dialogue can enable them to better manage the consequences of the crisis which currently affects the region,” said Abdel Kader Sidibé, HD’s Head of Mission for the Sahel.
The mediation process which resulted in the 23 December 2018 Agreement is part of HD’s ongoing support – as mandated by Niger’s High Authority for Peacebuilding (HACP) – to the conflict prevention and management efforts of the Communal Peace Committees in the region of Diffa.
HD would like to express its gratitude to the European Union for its continued support to its activities in Diffa.