The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has in a statement by his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, called on all concerned governments, regional organisations, civil society and other relevant actors to work together to find acceptable and lasting solutions to the conflicts.
He spoke a few days after attacks by suspected herdsmen left scores of people dead in Plateau State. Guterres described the trend as being detrimental to regional stability.
He said the UN was ready to support national and regional efforts to resolve disputes between farmers and herders.
The statement read, “The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the increasing frequency, intensity, complexity and geographic scope of violent conflict between farmers and herders, as well as related banditry, extortion and cattle rustling, in several countries across West and Central Africa.
“He condemns the resulting loss of life, property and livelihoods, as well as population displacement, which undermines peaceful coexistence between communities in many of the affected countries. It is also detrimental to regional stability.
“The Secretary-General stresses that all attacks targeting civilians violate international humanitarian law.
“He urges all concerned governments, regional organisations, civil society and other relevant actors to work together to find acceptable and lasting solutions to these conflicts, in full compliance with existing regional regulatory frameworks and international humanitarian and human rights law.
“The Secretary-General expresses the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and governments of the affected countries. He reiterates the readiness and commitment of the United Nations to support national and regional efforts to resolve disputes between farmers and herders.”