The 15-member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would converge in Abuja come April 26, 2018, to begin deliberation on the violent clashes between farmers and herders across the sub-region.
The meeting which would be opened by President Muhammadu Buhari was designed to find lasting solutions to the persistent farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria and beyond.
The Minister of Interior, retired Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, said after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja that the conference was initially planned for last February.
”This is why, for instance, we initiated the conference that is to come up between April 26 and 29 under the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services.
“The conference would focus particularly on the protocol on the movement of trans-humans which was signed in 1978 but yet to be implemented.
“I had meetings with President ECOWAS Commission, the one that left, and we agreed to have this conference sometime last month. But because they were leaving and new set of management was coming in it was shifted towards the end of this month.
”So, the whole idea is to look at this issue of movements across borders.
”So, this month, on April 26, God willing, we are going to have this conference and Mr President has graciously agreed to open the conference,’’ he said.
He said the conference, which would also attract participants from the Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, Morocco and Mauritania would explore the relationship between the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and trans-border criminal activities.