The protection of human rights of ethnic minorities and Conflict Prevention using Early Warning Mechanism
Minority Rights Group International (MRG) has over 50 years of experience working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples around the world. Minority Rights Group International is working to promote and protect the rights of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples and strengthen their voices– addressing capacity building of partners, mentoring, legal empowerment and advocacy at both National and Regional levels.
Identity based conflicts between the main livelihoods of farming and pastoralists have become widespread and increasingly severe throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Pastoralist communities in East Africa have traditionally been built upon indigenous peoples, migrating along with their respective herds in search of lands to graze. The patterns of division and conflict in Kenya and Uganda are complex. There are many factors contributing to the risk of violent conflict involving pastoralists, and these have tended to become mutually reinforcing. Some conflicts within and between pastoralist communities, such as raiding and cattle-rustling, have a long history and have to some extent become an aspect of traditional pastoralist culture. Climate change also has resulted in declining of crop productivity, pasture for animals and the drying of water sources which has resulted into loss of lives and animals. As a result, conflicts in the region has intensified due to competition for the remaining scarce resources. However, such ‘traditional’ conflicts have become increasingly serious and thus needs efforts to prevent and reduce conflicts involving pastoralists.
Through Network for peace project, MRG is working to prevent and resolve conflicts through Early Warning Mechanism in Africa with focus on conflict between pastoralists and agro-farming communities in East, West, Northwest and Adamaoua regions Cameroon, North Eastern regions among Samburu, Turkana, Rendille, and Borana communities in Kenya and among Rwenzori ethnic minority Communities in Uganda.
This project is built around the creation of a well-functioning early warning system, with the explicit intention of identifying and responding to conflicts as early as possible. Monitoring and evaluation results which assess the effectiveness of the model developed under this project will be shared with experts and stakeholders in the field. MRG has designed activities specifically to enhance civil society networking through this project not only CSOs networking with CSOs but also crucially networking with other key stakeholders from the three target countries, as well as regional and international actors. That comes in line with MRG strategy to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development (SDG 16+), which is considered the enabler of the SDG framework and instrumental in consolidating peace, justice and strong institutions.
It is against this backdrop therefore that Minority Rights Group International, with financial support of DFID is organizing a two-day multi-country peace conference, bringing together representatives from indigenous communities and civil society organizations, academicians and peace leaders from the three target countries, along with other partners, to discuss identity based conflict issues in their communities in the region and reflect on the opportunities and challenges of peace building with a view to finding common ground on how to collectively address them. This is the second of the three events that are to be held every year in each project country. The events will allow participants to have an open discussion on identity-based conflicts in respective countries and give possible recommendations aimed at strengthening the implementation of SDG16+ with a specific focus on peace.
Objective of the training
The Multi Country Peace conference will bring together 65 participants aims at achieving the following specific objectives:
- To strengthen networking for peace experts, actors and policy makers in the region and guarantee early response to conflict prevention and peace building.
- To Provide a platform for knowledge and experience sharing and discuss good practices and lessons learned from interventions on conflict prevention and peace building as well as challenges faced by indigenous communities in the achievement of local peace.
- To discuss the human rights of minorities and conflict prevention as well as the role of civil society in guaranteeing sustainable peace.
- To share and strengthen early warning mechanisms and share opportunities for peace promotion and conflict prevention.
- To discuss and propose recommendations to policy makers in Cameroon
When? 21 September, 9.00-5.00, and 22 September, 9.00-1.00 (Yaounde time)
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