Cattle herder in Northern Nigeria ©

Justice for All

June 2020

Representatives of farmers and herders in the Guyuk Local Government Area (Adamawa state) have signed a peace accord to end violence over access to land for farming and grazing. The peace agreement was signed on 4th June 2020 and was the result of dialogue and mediation initiatives facilitated by the Agaji Unity Foundation (AGUF) with capacity building and financial support from the Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme. 

The signing ceremony was attended by traditional authorities, local government council officials, and security agencies. Leaders of the groups agreed on the actions required to prevent further escalation of conflicts to violence, including: an agreement on the period for harvesting of crops so cattle can graze on fallow land; the prohibition of grazing during periods of darkness and with the help of underaged children; the re- demarcation of grazing routes; and the establishment of dialogue and mediation committees to resolve disputes. 

At the ceremony, there was a voluntary submission of weapons to symbolise the commencement of non-violent resolution of conflicts. The farmers and herders also exchanged baskets of kola-nuts, mats and kegs of oil representing their acceptance of the new policy and willingness to embrace peace. 

The MCN Programme will be supporting initiatives to monitor compliance, resolve disputes, and administer agreed sanctions on violators. 

'This agreement will be adhered to and will outlive all of us. Based on the recommendation of the Dialogue and Mediation Committee, I have included representatives of herders and farmers on my cabinet. We will ensure there is monitoring of compliance with and enforcement all the terms of the agreement.' 

HRH Kuruhaye Dishion Dansanda II, Paramount ruler and Chairman of Lugunda Traditional Council, Adamawa State 

'As mothers who are usually at the receiving end of these violent conflicts, these past months following the dialogue has been a blessing. This peace agreement is one of the best things to have happened in this community in recent times.' 

Rebecca Manuel, Chairperson, Guyuk Women’s Association, Adamawa State