Faure Gnassingbe: Herders-farmers clashes a problem in West Africa

Togo President Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema says West African leaders will soon deliberate on the persistent outbreak of clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some countries in the region.

Gnassingbe, who is the chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said this on Friday after a closed-door session with President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina.

He said the violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen are not peculiar to Nigeria alone, saying the problem is being witnessed across the ECOWAS member states including his own country, Togo.

He said: “This is a problem that many countries experience. I was telling the President (Buhari) in my country in Togo, every year we have that issue between the cattle herders and farm owners.

“In Benin we have the same situation; in Ghana we have the same situation and also in Ivory Coast.

“So I think is a good idea and the President has accepted that issue can be discussed among the Heads of States. Within ECOWAS also it is an important issue.

“So, it is in many countries; it is not a religious issues; It is not a religious; it is not an ethnic issue but it’s an ancient problem which can resolve if we have the courage to discuss it and try to find solution as much as possible.”

The Togolese president said he used the opportunity to invite President Buhari to a meeting between member states of the Central African countries (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) slated for July 30.

He said: “I also inform the President that we have scheduled a joint meeting between Central African countries (ECCAS) and the West African countries (ECOWAS), and that meeting is scheduled for July 30.

“And I respectfully invited Mr President to attend that meeting. And the following day, July 31, there would be ECOWAS Summit in Lome.”

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