Mr. Moustapha Cisse-Lo, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament made the declaration while speaking during the opening ceremony of the Parliamentary Seminar on Transhumance and Inter-community Conflicts in the ECOWAS Region hosted in Monrovia, Liberia, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The Media and Communications Department of the ECOWAS Parliament in a statement, said Cisse-Lo, said the seminar is aimed at strengthening 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.
According to him, the most worrying is the menace of terrorism which is rampant in the many Member States, citing the case of farmers and herdsmen attack across the Region. He said that the sub-region had been plagued by various crises for more than a decade.
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.
Cisse-Lo said that unfortunately, while ECOWAS, the international community, and the Member States are working to combat this scourge, crises between various communities are also worsening. He said that at the end of the ongoing Parliamentary seminar, strategies of curbing and bringing the inter-community conflict to an end will be realised.
Earlier, Dr. Bhofal Chambers Speaker of the Liberia House of Representatives said that efforts by the regional body to bring about socioeconomic synergy between Members of ECOWAS states must be considered. He explained that the efforts must take cognisance 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 inter-community conflicts deal with people’s inability to coexist in social or cultural diversities,” Bhofal said.
He further urged 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 well-being.
Bhofal said that as the region moves more closely together, the means and mechanisms for ECOWAS citizens to live more peacefully could not be over emphasised.