The traditional leaders living along the river of Komadougou and in the Lake Chad Basin area in the region of Diffa signed a Declaration of Commitment on Thursday 12 Septembre 2019, which seeks to prevent any conflict between their respective communities.
The Declaration is the result of a three-month mediation process initiated by the Nigerien authorities and supported by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD). It was signed in Diffa by 18 traditional leaders as well as by the Governor of the region of Diffa. It puts an end to intercommunal tensions which have caused the death of many people, the deterioration of the relations between farmers and herders, as well as the arrest and the detention of several persons involved in the events.
Originating from a struggle for access to natural resources, these tensions currently affect eleven municipalities of the region of Diffa. The exacerbation of these tensions since December 2018 has raised concerns these may escalate to communal conflicts.
Through this Declaration of Commitment, the parties have committed to:
- Promoting peaceful cohabitation and national unity within their respective communities;
- Ensuring that the existing legislation regulating the access to shared natural resources is respected;
- Condemning all acts which may lead to the weakening of the area’s social cohesion;
- Encouraging community leaders to commit themselves to peace through the dissemination of messages of cohesion and appeasement.
“It is important that communities continue the dialogue among themselves to ensure the implementation and the sustainability of this Declaration. Its signing will not put an immediate end to intercommunal violence, but it will provide a sound basis the communities can rely on to settle their disputes in a negotiated manner,” said Abdelkader Sidibé, HD’s Head of Mission for the Sahel.
The mediation process, provided an opportunity to involve prefects, mayors, traditional leaders and technical services, as well as the private institutions which operate in the real estate and rural property field.
HD will continue supporting the efforts of the follow-up committee set up during the Declaration’s signing ceremony.
The Diffa Declaration of Commitment is part of the intercommunal conflict prevention and resolution efforts which the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue has deployed since 2017 in support of the national crisis recovery strategy in the region of Diffa.
HD would like to express its gratitude to the European Union for its support to its activities in the region.
A copy of the Diffa Declaration of Committment is available here: https://www.hdcentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Accord-de-Diffa-septembre-2019.pdf.
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