September 13, 2019

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has affirmed its commitment to tackling Transhumance and Intercommunity conflicts in the Sub-region.

Right Honorable Moustapha Cisse Lo, Speaker of the Community Parliament made this known during the opening of a three days Parliamentary seminar on Transhumance and Intercommunity conflict hosted by Liberia in Monrovia.

According to the Speaker the sub-region has been plagued by various crises for more than a decade with the most worrying situation being terrorism that is rampant in many Member States, and cited the case of farmers and herdsmen attack across the region.

The Speaker recalled that on April 26, 2018 in Abuja, a specific meeting of Ministers responsible for Security and Agriculture/Livestock was held, preceded by a meeting of ECOWAS Experts on conflicts between livestock farmers and farmers.

Unfortunately, while ECOWAS, the international community and Member States are working to combat this scourge, crises between various communities are also worsening, Cisse Lo said.

The Speaker emphasized further that the general objective of the ongoing seminar is therefore to strengthen the capacities of Community Members of Parliament on issues related to the problem of transhumance and the management of inter-community conflicts within the ECOWAS region.

He said that at the end of the ongoing Parliamentary seminar, strategies of curbing and bringing intercommunity conflict to an end will be realized.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the Speaker of the Liberia House of Representatives, Dr. Bhofal Chambers said that efforts by the regional body to bring about socio-economic synergy between and amongst the people of ECOWAS states must take cognizance of the respective cultures and values of its peoples.

“Transhumance is the movement of people with their animals or livestock from one place to another in search of food and better weather for their livelihood, whilst intercommunity conflicts deal with people’s  inability to coexist in social or cultural diversities” Bhofal said.

He further admonished the Parliament to consider the sociology of the people of the sub-region, ranging from their traditions, culture, religions and their respective economies to ensure a proper policy prescription that suits their wellbeing.

“As the region moves more closely together, the means and mechanisms for ECOWAS citizens to live more peacefully cannot be over emphasized” Bhofal said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/