• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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FG partners group to halt farmers/herders conflicts

FG partners group to halt farmers/herders conflicts

The Federal Government has signed a partnership agreement with Search for Common Ground (SFCG), a community-based conflict resolution initiative, as part of moves to tackle lingering farmers/herders conflict, as well as other forms of insecurity, especially in the northern region.

The agreement is part of the government’s commitment to achieving sustainable peace in the northern region of the country through intensified peace-building and conflict resolution

Nigeria’s food inflation now at about 34 percent, has been linked to food shortages, caused by farmers/herders conflicts in Nigeria, as the conflicts fuel an increase in food prices heightening food inflation, according to a recent report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

These conflicts are also fueled by the rising incidence of small arms proliferation which has led to over 676 deaths, out of a total of 130 cases, between 2019 and the first half of 2024, according to a report released by SB Morgan.

Between 2019 and 2024, the country witnessed a total of 130 cases that resulted in 676 deaths.

Some of the violent conflicts occur between nomadic pastoralists and sedentary farmers, causing economic losses and deaths

The conflict has escalated in recent years, following a breakdown of the old traditional negotiation mechanisms between the groups

The increase in small arms and ammunition is also seen fueling the conflicts, as the conflicting parties now have easier access to arms and communication devices.

Other factors include scarcity of resources, as well as the inefficient state mechanisms for conflict resolution, climate change, and increasing armament by non-state actors

The Federal Government, through the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project, signed the contract with the Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in Abuja on Thursday.

Abdulhamid Umar, the national project coordinator of ACReSAL, while speaking at the ceremony, emphasised the need for lasting peace in the region, noting that climate change, desertification, and population growth have led to increased competition for natural resources, resulting in conflicts, insurgencies, and violence.

He disclosed that effective peace-building efforts must be grounded in sound land and natural resource management, leveraging existing institutions to prevent escalation and support conflict prevention and mitigation.

Umar pointed out that ACReSAL is a unique, multi-sectoral, and complex project, and that most of the challenges faced by farmer-herders are in local communities, which requires collaboration and concrete steps to mitigate them.

The partnership with SFCG aims to enhance peace-building, conflict resolution, and monitoring across communities in the project implementation area, with expertise playing a crucial role in ensuring lasting peace for the project’s sustainability.

Fatima Abubakar, country director for SFCG, said her organisation has a proven track record of engaging with communities and establishing structures for conflict management.

“We are eager to work closely with your team to ensure a shared understanding of the initiative, receive feedback, and meet the stipulated deliverables. Knowledge exchange, shared understanding, and desired outcomes are key to achieving the goals of this intervention,” she said.