Residents of Kaduna South Senatorial zone comprising of 29 ethnic communities from five local governments have reached an agreement to put an end to violent conflict and allow peace to reign in the zone and the State.
The peace agreement was brokered by a Jos-based Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) at a peace parley held in Jafanchan, Jemaa local government of Kaduna state.
A copy of the communique signed by the 29 communities and made available to the media in Jos read thus: “Worried by the recent communal clashes in southern Kaduna, twenty nine communities spread across five local government areas of the state have signed an agreement to remain in peace and not to allow such ugly incidents to happen again.
“Leaders from the five local government areas, made up of Kachia, Kaura, Jema’a, Sanga and Zangon Kataf, signed the pact after a parley brokered by Swiss government sponsored Nairobi based inter governmental organisation, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. HD has been involved in peace and conflict mediation process in Plateau and Kaduna states.”
More than 20 people were killed when clashes erupted among communities in Jema’a local government area of the state. The areas affected were Godogodo, Ninte, Gada Biyu, Gidan Waya, Antang and Dogon Fili as well as Kagoro in Kaura local council.”
The communities said that they were committed to peaceful resolution of the issues that led to the clashes and assured their people and leaders and the wider community of their continued commitment to uphold the peace in Southern Kaduna.
“While acknowledging that inter communal dialogue process, which focused on, among other issues, the prevalent farmer/grazer issues and the return/ settlement of internally displaced persons, is a continuous process, the leaders said that they were committed to sustaining the peace through ensuring the implementation of the dialogue recommendations.
“The inter-communal dialogue between the twenty nine ethnic groups has succeeded in helping us begin to jointly find solutions to our issues and concerns. The community-driven approach has given us much more direct involvement in finding these solutions. The dialogue cut across all levels of civil society and has sought the buy-in and support of key stakeholders (Federal, state and local government, the business community, traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, women and young people).
“The bottom up approach provided a different model for addressing the issues and was received positively by our communities. We cultivated a new culture among ourselves of embracing dialogue as the mechanism for dealing with our disputes, hoping to ultimately lead to peaceful co-existence between us.
The peace pact, entitled ‘Kafanchan Peace Declaration’, also assured that every attempt must be made to end the attacks and ensure that there were no reprisals, stressing, “We are conscious that the failure to implement an agreement is worse than not reaching an agreement at all”
“Thus the communiqué outlines one key issue that has affected the implementation and explains how to shore up factors that can positively affect its implementation and eliminate, contain or manage those which may undermine it.
“As part of fence-mending, the leaders agreed on joint condolence visit to affected families, resettlement of displaced Fulani and natives and to hold perpetrators accountable so as to end impunity”
To ensure permanent end to the conflict, the communiqué asked state and local governments to define specific conflict prevention and goals and factor the promotion of conflict prevention objectives into polices and legislations. The communities are to intensify the dissemination of information to the broader community.