Nomadic movement must not be source of conflict -Zanetor

Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, has observed that the movement of nomadic herdsmen must not become a source of conflict.

“We cannot go on pretending as if it is not creating some friction within our various countries, because that is what is resulting in a lot of instability, conflict and loss of lives and we must not allow their movement which we have lived with for centuriesbecome a source of conflict,” she cautioned.

The nomadic practice, Dr Agyeman-Rawlings explained, was driven by climate and seasonal changes, forcing the herdsmen to move around to ensure they had access to water and grass for their cattle which could be addressed not only in Ghana but within the sub-region.

She called for paradigm shift in addressing security and instability problems and challenges posed by nomadic herdsmen in the West African sub-region and stakeholders must work together to identify pragmatic solutions that would stand the test of time.

“Treating herdsmen as international travellers is one possible solution as states become more established and people become more territorial. The movement of such persons in and out of territories will have to be treated same way we treat any international travel.

“Once there is clarity on the immigration status of these nomadic travellers across the region, herdsmen will learn to carry documentation and go through due processes before entering a country and there must be strict identification processes, and specific areas allocated for them to move in and out of,” Dr Agyeman-Rawlings proffered.

That, she indicated, would bring checks and balances in activities of the nomadic herdsmen which was a problem that had become almost endemic within the sub-region which was a case of tagging the cattle to ensure their movement could be monitored.

Dr Agyeman-Rawlings, the Deputy Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, noted that crime statistics were disturbing and needed to be addressed efficiently and effectively before it got out of hand.

She stated that scramble for limited resources such as water and access to feeding for herds usually led to clashes since there were people within the country who owned some of the animals that herdsmen attend to and stressed on the need for honest conversation with stakeholder’s engagement on how to address it.

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