Sudan: UNAMID Conducts Community Dialogue and Consultation Forum in West Darfur

On 11 May, UNAMID`s Civil Affairs Section, Sector West conducted a one day Community Dialogue and Consultation Forum in Sisi IDP camp, Mournei, West Darfur to discuss efforts to mitigate conflicts between farmers and pastoralists during farming season. The program which was attended by 70 participants will be implemented in 17 villages in West Darfur to reach over 800 participants including local authorities, farmers, pastoralists, crop protection and peaceful co-existence committees, native administration leaders, women, youth and students leaders. The initiative is part of the Mission’s mandate to provide support to the mediation of inter-communal conflicts and protection of civilians through early warning and prevention of conflicts.

The collective outcome of the dialogue and consultation will be implemented in hot spots villages across west Darfur that are prone to clashes during the upcoming cultivation season. The initiative is aimed at creating a conducive platform for farmers and pastoralists to identify and map out feasible actions that they can employ in their respective communities to address seasonal conflicts and find ways of preventing such conflicts from escalating.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, the Humanitarian Aid Commissioner in Mournei Locality, Mr. Omer Abdulkarim, stressed the importance of such dialogue between pastoralists and farmers on contentious issues that may affect the local community during the farming season. “We commend the pivotal role played by the Mission in initiating this forum. This dialogue is an opportunity for all parties to address their disputes in a peaceful manner” Mr. Abdulkarim said.

The Focal Point for Civil Affairs Section at Mournei team site, Mr. Ibrahim Welda, emphasized the importance of addressing the issues of land and road tracks utilized by nomads and farmers as these tend to some of the main causes of inter-communal conflicts. “In addition, I would like to underscore the importance of women in keeping peace in the community. I hereby appeal for their participation, especially in peace issues and in this Forum, as stipulated in the UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security” Mr. Welda stated.

Other issues to be discussed at this Community Dialogue and Consultative Forum include the importance of protection of civilians during the farming season; strengthening coordination between native administrations on issues related to protection civilians during the cultivation season, provision of water, health and education services; the importance of maintaining peaceful co-existence by all people; supporting IDPs with livelihood projects and the importance of conducting periodic assessments visits by UNAMID to areas frequented by nomads.

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