Since 2015, 250’000 civilians have been displaced in the Diffa region of Niger as a result of a growing number of attacks by the Jihadist group Boko Haram (BH) and the military operations conducted in response to these attacks. The conflict has greatly disrupted economic activities, depleted natural resources to be shared among the local population, and increased organised crime. In addition to the latter, a number of young people in Diffa have rallied BH which has greatly weakened inter-communal coexistence. HD has been involved since 2017 in the region to help prevent and resolve inter-communal conflicts.
The conflict opposing BH to the States of Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroun has led to the evacuation of Lake Chad’s islands and the fertile land around the Komadougou River in Niger, displacing some 250’000 people in the region of Diffa. As a result, a growing number of inhabitants are now located in a limited number of municipalities making it impossible for displaced populations to exploit their agricultural and pastoral lands. The number of inter-communal conflicts over the sharing of available natural resources has thus increased significantly. The disruption of economic activities in the region which has reduced people’s means of subsistence, has made access to water points, pastures or farmland all the more crucial. In addition, tensions are growing between host communities and the refugee or displaced populations which they are accommodating and who seem to be settling in over the long term.
HD is currently facilitating the mediation of several inter-communal conflicts linked to access to natural resources and the hosting of displaced populations. To achieve this, the organisation is supporting twelve municipal Peace Committees and training them on conflict prevention and resolution.
Twelve municipalities in the Diffa region currently benefit from HD’s mediation efforts: the city of Diffa, Bosso, Maine Soroa, Chetimari, Goudoumaria, Foulatari, Nguelbeyli, Gueskerou, Kablewa, Toumour, Ngourti and Nguigmi.
HD would like to thank the French Government for supporting this project in 2017, and the European Union for supporting it since January 2018.
Signing of a peace agreement between Fulani and Mahamid Arab communities in the Diffa region of Niger (in French); 9 January 2019