The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has set up a working group tasked to specifically address farmers and herders’ conflicts in the region.
This was made known by the ECOWAS President, Mr. Marcel de Souza, who was represented by the Vice President, Edward Singhatey at the ongoing 2nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament.
Speaking at the commission’s presentation of country reports, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Singhatey said that ECOWAS had embarked on a huge collaboration with military colleges in Jaji, Kaduna State, Nigeria, and Bamakko, Mali. He further noted that ECOWAS will work closely with GIZ, and several other funding agencies to take into consideration issues of all parties involved.
“We are looking at coming up with holistic solutions to transhumance by October,” says Singhatey.
Singhatey said that clashes between herdsmen and farmers currently widespread in Nigeria, constitutes a threat in Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana.
He blamed increased conflicts between farmers and herdsmen in West Africa on non-consideration of population explosion and urbanization which has led to higher rates of rural to urban migration.
He further refuted suggestions from parliamentarians that transhumance in the region should be addressed via allocation of ranches to cattle herders saying, some countries, like Nigeria do not have available land to settle thousands of herders in the country.
“Unlike in the US, where people acquire land for the purpose of ranching, cattle herding in Africa, is a way of life.
By Chinelo Chikelu, Abuja