The Southern Kaduna Joint Peace Committee (SKJPC) has identified triggers to the persistent conflict in the area and recommend a way forward.
The Committee made this known in Kafanchan yesterday, through its Co-Chairman Dr. Ahmad Yande, at a sensitization meeting organized for Fulani leaders in the area.
The meeting was held in collaboration with Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative(NERI), a unit of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which has been working to strengthen grassroots security in Southern Kaduna since 2020.
Ahmad Yandeh, listed proliferation of small arms, depleting space for farming, climate change, desertification and lack of political will as some of the triggers to the conflict.
“One of the triggers to the conflict is the increasing proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
“Given that the herders and farmers have access to sophisticated weapons, minor disagreement often degenerates into violent clashes.
“Also, increasing desertification and the effects of climate change have further increased the drive for herders further south in search of pasture for their livestock.
“These southward movements always pitch them against farmers whose crops are invaded and destroyed by the cattle during this seasonal movement,” he added
On ways to ensure peaceful co-existence between herders-farmers is achieved, Yandeh said the committee recommends that government revisits the grazing reserve system operated in the 1960s.
According to him, the government should prevail on all actors to accept modern ranching as an alternative to traditional migration of herders which causes friction.
He further urged government to move from military response to resolving conflicts and focus on training the locals on negotiation skills and dialogue facilitation.
In his remarks, the Southern Kaduna zonal chairman of Miyetti Allah, Abdulhamid Musa, called for equity, fairness and inclusion as a way of ending the persistent herders-farmers conflict.
“There will be peace when everyone is given a sense of belonging and treated equally.
“But a situation where some people are treated as sons of the land and others are not is not the best,” he said
Musa noted that the search for peace could not be a one day talk shop affair, but a constant and sustained effort.
LEADERSHIP reports that SKJPC was constituted at the end of the southern Kaduna Peace Summit in 2020, with a mandate to ensure sustainable peace in all surrounded communities.