Helping Communities Affected by Transhumance Build Peace

Published Date: 
Mon, 03/18/2019 - 08:00

N’Djamena - On February 27th, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chad and the Food and Agriculture Organization launched the project “Restoration of Peace and Dialogue between Communities Affected by Cross-Border Transhumance”.

The 18-month project, jointly implemented by IOM Chad and FAO, targets communities in Sarh, Maro and Sido, in the Moyen Chari region, in Southern Chad. These breeders and farmers communities are greatly affected by a mismanagement of pastures and transhumant cross-border movements. It is causing significant disputes, with regular casualties, mainly due to a mutual misunderstanding. The intervention will focus on strengthening dialogue and peace at the community level to prevent and manage conflicts between agro-pastoral communities through data collection of pastoral mobility, communication mechanisms on transhumance and border management, awareness raising and capacity building through the organization of workshops to explain the agropastoral rules and put together the two communities, aiming to improve a mutual understanding and alleviate the long-standing tensions.

The ceremony, held at the Don Bosco Center in the town of Sarh was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Livestock, local NGOs, breeders, farmers and authorities of the province. The governor of Moyen-Chari encouraged local authorities to be involved in ensuring the project is a success. “The intervention will contribute to sustainable peacebuilding efforts between CAR and Chad, thanks to significant behavioral and cross-border institutional change responding to major identified challenges.’’   Said the Governor.

IOM Chad Project Officer Thomas Sélégny, Head of Programmes, Yohei Komura and FAO Resilence Program Coordinator, Mario Tedo presented the main missions of each agency, the objective of the project, and the target zone. “IOM Chad intends to focus on three main objectives in the area: identification and mapping of the transhumant corridors, reinforcement of the authorities in terms of border management through the IOM modern system MIDAS, and the organization of workshops and forums gathering breeders and farmers in order to alleviate the tensions and give good habits in terms of conflict resolution.” said Thomas Sélégny.  

Subsequently, the guests were invited to get involved in a Q&A session, mainly to know the most important concerns about the project and provide reassuring answers. Participants were intrigued to understand various aspect of the intervention, posing multiple questions including how it will improve the lives of breeders and farmers as one representative of the local community expressed “The pastoral rules are not respected and some fields are devastated”. The Q&A was also a great opportunity to gather updated information from local leaders and administrative authorities, e.g. préfets and sub-préfets of the area.

This project is funded by The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund. IOM in Chad and FAO will partner with the Ministries of Livestock and Agriculture in Chad, the National Confederation of Livestock, the National Association of Nomadic Pastoralists of Chad and the border authorities for the implementation.

For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer, Chief of Mission, IOM Chad