Nomad Workshop Focuses on Strategic Development Plan
EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, October 19, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In a one-day workshop on Wednesday hosted by the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, with logistical support from the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), representatives from the Darfur Nomads Network appealed for infrastructure development as a key factor of recovery initiatives to support Darfur's nomadic communities.
The workshop, which brought together representatives from UNAMID, UN agencies, international nongovernmental organisations and nomadic leaders from the five states of Darfur, served as a platform to address the critical role nomads play in the peace process and to determine the best way forward for these mobile communities.
“Support to nomads will contribute to resolving the Darfur problem,” said Haussan Abdulaziz, the head of the North Darfur Nomads Network, while addressing the workshop.
The meeting provided an opportunity to deliberate about aspects of the peace processes related to Darfur's nomadic cultures, including social cohesion and the specific concerns of nomadic women and their role in reconciliation within and between communities. Workshop participants discussed progress made so far in these efforts and outlined a comprehensive plan for the future.
“The international community has a moral obligation to support nomads, but wants to see nomads committed to peace in the region and not engage in violence,” remarked Oriano Micaletti, Officer in Charge of UNAMID's Humanitarian, Protection Strategy Coordination division.
For his part, the Chair of the Darfur Nomads Network, Ibrahim Al-Riheidi, voiced his support for the workshop's agenda and other peace and reconciliation efforts throughout Darfur. Fathia Mohammed Abd ul-Aziz, a representative of the nomadic women in West Darfur, called on the relevant bodies to support women's issues through establishing reproductive health centres and by involving nomadic women directly in the peace process.
To date, through its quick-impact projects (QIPs) programme, UNAMID has facilitated several projects to raise awareness about nomadic issues, disseminate a culture of peace and help Darfur's nomads earn better livings through income-raising activities. Additional UNAMID QIPs are expected to provide better access to water, education and health services for nomadic communities in Darfur.
During the meeting, representatives from the UN Development Programme committed to prioritising the nomadic community's needs in its administration of the Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund.