Unamid Civil Affairs Supports Peaceful Coexistence Between Farmers and Herders in North Darfur

On 4 July 2015, UNAMID’s Civil Affairs Section, in collaboration with local peace building mechanism Good Will Committee composed of influential displaced farmer leaders and Arab herders, organized a peace forum in Shagra village, near El Fasher, North Darfur, as part of its efforts to restore peace, stability and development in rural areas, particularly during the rainy season when conflicts increase between farmers and herders.

The event, attended by more than 500 displaced farmers and Arab herders, as well as representatives from the state government, UNAMID officials, native administration leaders and members of the Good Will Committee, was aimed at building trust between farmers and pastoralists; promoting peaceful coexistence; and encouraging the voluntary return of the internally displaced farmers to their original villages for farming. Additionally, participants also discussed the protection of farms against forcible grazing as well as security of farmers.

Community leaders who attended the forum committed themselves to maintaining peaceful interaction for both farmers and nomadic herders and have put in place an early warning mechanism to contain any sudden tensions between the parties.

Mr. Suleiman Adam, an Umda (community leader) from Shagra affirmed the participants’ full compliance with the outcomes of the forum. “Peaceful coexistence remains is our highest objectives and we will expend all our efforts to maintain this regardless of our tribal affiliations,” he said.

Similarly, the representatives of farmers who were forced to flee their original villages due to the ongoing conflict across Darfur expressed their willingness to return to their homes and resume their normal life. “We look forward to returning to our villages as soon as possible; however we need peace and security,” said Mr. Ahmed Bashir, an internally displaced persons (IDPs) representative.

“Coexistence is a very crucial element to bring about sustainable peace and stability in Darfur,” averred Mr. Rommel Dela Rosa, Civil Affairs Officer, UNAMID. The Mission’s Civil Affairs Section is mandated to support the ongoing peace process across this troubled region and mitigate inter-communal conflicts. Therefore, the Section provides its support to mechanisms like the Good Will Committee, which is designed to facilitate peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders living in the rural areas around El Fasher, North Darfur

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Source: United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur

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