On 31 January 2016, as part of the Mission's support to the mediation in community conflicts, UNAMID Civil Affairs Section, Sector East, organized an open dialogue forum for more than 40 participants comprising women, farmers, herders, sheikhs and native administration leaders in Maaly village, located within Assalaya locality.
The event intended to provide an opportunity for farmers and herders of the village to identify the root causes of their friction and reach a common ground through peaceful dialogue.
Some of the issues discussed included the cultivation carried out by farmers along the migratory routes, the release of animals by herders before the end of the harvest season, reservoirs that sustain animals during their seasonal migration and insecurity which prevents herders from taking their animals to grazing areas far from the farm lands.
The participants also discussed the challenges facing their locality and community institutions and urged the native administration and peace committees to mediate and resolve these relevant issues.
Other concerns raised included limited resources needed to expand the presence of community institutions to all affected areas, and the lack of sufficient mobility by the local mediators and peace committees to commute to affected areas due to unstable security situation.
Despite the outlined challenges, the Maaly villagers recognized the good efforts made by the native administration and peace committees in preventing the escalation of tensions, citing the demarcation of animal migration as a relevant initiative in containing disputes between farmers and pastoralists in the area.
Representatives of the Darfur Regional Authority, civil society and the locality Commissioner thanked UNAMID for organizing the workshop and appealed to the farmers and herders to engage their native administration and leaders in finding methods and solutions to prevent violence in the state.
UNAMID organizes similar community dialogue sessions in other Sectors as part of its efforts to support peace and reconciliation talks among various disputing groups in Darfur.