EU, IOM, and Consortium Launch COMITAS Phase II to Mitigate Conflict Over Natural Resources in Adamawa and Taraba States
Abuja - Nigeria has witnessed an alarming rise in farmer-herder violence, with concentrated incidents in North Central, North-Eastern, and North-Western states. In Nigeria, these violent conflicts between farmers and herders have been fuelled by competition over natural resources due to demographic growth, expansion of human settlements, privatisation of land, year-round farming practices, environmental degradation, and climate change.
To contribute to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources in Nigeria, the European Union has approved the second phase of the project entitled “Contributing to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources between farmer and herder communities in Adamawa State, Nigeria”, also known as COMITAS. This project is implemented by the International Organization of Migration (IOM), together with Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and Mercy Corps.
According to Mr Ruben Alba Aguilera, Acting Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, “as a longstanding partner of Nigeria, the European Union invests in promoting peace and security in Nigeria including the farmers-herders’ conflicts and looks forward to a positive collaboration among all the relevant stakeholders to improve the socioeconomic wellbeing of the beneficiary communities in Adamawa and Taraba states”.
Mr Laurent De Boeck, who is IOM’s Chief of Mission in Nigeria, added that “the first phase which covered Demsa, Numan Girei, Lamurde and Mayo Belwa LGAs in Adamawa State directly benefited 7,960 individuals, including 2,006 women and 5,954 men, and indirectly impacted 25,237 individuals, comprising 6,309 women and 18,928 men, from 52 communities in Demsa, Mayo-Belwa, Girei, Numan, and Lamurde Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“The Adamawa state is grateful to the generous support of the European Union, the COMITAS implementing partners, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), traditional leaders and civil society in fostering a lasting peace and sustainable resource management.” Added Mr Robert Ahidjo who was representing the Governor of Adamawa State, the Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
“The Taraba State government expresses their gratitude to the European Union, IOM, and the consortium partners for taking the positive step of expanding the project to Taraba state which has also been experiencing the Farmer-Herder crisis noted Dr Jeji Williams who was representing the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Dr Agbu Kefas.
On 3rd August 2023 IOM, its partners, stakeholders, and government officials from the Federal Adamawa and Taraba State governments converged on Abuja for the first high-level project steering committee meeting to officially launch the second phase of the project. The project has expanded its scope to Guyuk and Shelleng LGAs of Adamawa and Zing and Lau LGAs of Taraba State and it will cover a total of 22 wards of nine LGAs in Adamawa and Taraba states of Nigeria.
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