In 2021, PeaceNexus supported the Résau Billital Network (RBM) to lead a study on the impact of insecurity on pastoralist communities in the Sahel and West Africa. Based on 2000 testimonies from pastoralists and key stakeholders, such as local authorities and farmers’ associations, from 7 countries, the study provides unique insights into how the security and pastoral crises interrelate and suggests concrete ways to address their causes and effects.
The study findings were presented at a regional conference in Niamey that gathered over 100 pastoralists as well as local and international partners. This resulted in the “Niamey Call to Action”, championed by the Nigerien President, to radically rethink the role of pastoralism in the region and to adapt government policies so that pastoralists are part of the solution to regional insecurity.
In June, RBM and the G5 Sahel Secretariat convened a high-level event where state representatives from across the region endorsed the study recommendations On the ground, the study findings have informed the design of new large-scale regional programmes, notably by strengthening the inclusion of young pastoralists as key actors of change. Another key follow-up has been the launch of a dialogue initiative across pastoral areas to foster stronger understanding between different communities and state actors, including Defence and Security Forces.