ABIDJAN, March 17 -- Multiple initiatives have been launched to resolve the long running conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers, especially in the northern part of Cote d'Ivoire.
Both administrative authorities and the non-governmental organizations in the West African country have put in place measures to resolve the crisis and ensure peaceful coexistence between the locals.
According to one of the leaders in the northwestern region of Bafing, Yatie Diomande, it is important to find a lasting solution to the problem.
"It is our role to take actions that will bring social cohesion in our region," he told Xinhua in an interview.
"It is important to use legal mechanisms defined in various laws, but it is more important to establish village commissions to help resolve conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers," he said, adding that the commissions should further count the number of heads of cattle in each village.
ADVANCING DESERT CONDITIONS CAUSING MOVEMENT OF LIVESTOCK KEEPERS
According to Jacques Amani, a Cote d'Ivoire agricultural expert, the advancing desert conditions have been the major factor for the movement of livestock keepers.
"Given the rapid advancement of desert conditions in the extreme northern region, livestock keepers have been forced to move towards the lower grounds where they could get some pasture for their animals," Amani explained.
"But in these regions where the vegetation is still green, there are farmers and most of the time the animals invading the farms," he said.
The agricultural expert said there is need to find a peaceful solution to this problem that keeps recurring each year.
In several villages in the north, specialists from the National Agency for supporting Rural Development (ANADER) have initiated integrated projects to enable the population to live harmoniously.
The initiative has seen the construction of dykes and preparation of community parks with several hectares of pasture.
Through the projects, the specialists hope to end fights between farmers and livestock keepers over the farming land and grazing land.
INVOLVEMENT OF ALL
Facing the disastrous consequences of the conflicts, different actors have been involved in the cessation of hostilities between farmers and the livestock keepers.
The Cote d'Ivoire authorities have been sending delegations to the northern region, with the most recent being headed by Water Resources Minister Kobenan Adjoumani.
Besides the government, civil society organizations have also been actively involved in the search for peace between the fighting groups in the north.
Through the initiative of a local NGO, a program to promote social cohesion was launched on Friday in this part of the country.
"It was meant to create an ideal environment for peaceful coexistence," said Lorence Mazini, one of the project initiators.
Conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers in northern Cote d'Ivoire have persisted for several decades. In the recent months, the conflicts led to destruction of several villages and deaths of several people.
According to observers, the joint efforts by various actors will be conducive to restoring peace between local farmers and livestock keepers, most of whom are non-natives in the region.