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UNAMID conducts dialogue forums to prevent tension between farmers and herders in North Darfur

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Zalingei-11 November; UNAMID’s Governance and Community Stabilization (GCSS) in collaboration with the Native Administration (NA), Peaceful Coexistence Committee (PCC) and local authorities conducted a two separate dialogue forums in Khartoum Jadid and Korgul return villages to prevent tension between farmers and herders during the current harvest season and to promote dialogue between the two communities in the targeted areas.

About ninety-five participants, including 35 women attended the two forums, which were addressed by community leaders of the two occupational groups; peaceful coexistence committees and agricultural protection committees and chief sheikhs of the Fur and Nazir of the Northern Rezeigat, who all sensitized the participants on the importance of peaceful coexistence and encouraged them to resolve their disputes through established local peace mechanisms in the area.

In both forums, participants commended UNAMID for the unique approach of bringing together local communities and local authorities in one dialogue forum to discuss root causes of the local conflict; raise awareness on peaceful coexistence and importance of peaceful resolution of intercommunal violence.

They outlined that the approach of joint local peacebuilding activities through dialogue forums, initiated by GCSS in collaboration with local authorities since 2019, had contributed to the restoration of relationships between pastorals and farming communities in the two areas. Further, they added that the involvement of local authorities in the dialogue process have impacted positively on the improvement of security situation and public services deliveries including deployment of more joint forces, establishment of communication networks, and establishment of water points away from farming areas to prevent inter-communal conflict over crop destruction.

During the forums, the participants discussed durable ways to address the root causes of inter-communal conflicts and proposed several recommendations which include restoration of state authority and rule of law; establishment of local peace mechanisms to provide mediation between farmers and herders; installation of water pumps at nomadic settlements; reopening blocked seasonal migratory routes; promotion of dialogue between the two occupational groups.

It is worth mentioning that, Khartoum Jadid and Korgul return villages were among the most conflict affected areas in Saraf Umra locality due to its isolation from Saraf Umra locality, therefore, UNAMID GCSS in collaboration with local authorities and Native Administration since 2018, have initiated dialogue forums to bring together conflict parties to discuss their stabilization priorities and to mitigate the recurring tension between farmers and herders. During these dialogue forums the conflicting communities have identified the root cause of local conflicts and recommended several actions points to mitigate inter-communal conflicts including security gaps and lack of necessary public service delivery. These outcomes were shared with the North Darfur government and Saraf Umra locality authorities who managed to deploy so far joint forces in the two areas and establish mobile networks in the two areas.