Liptako-Gourma, the cross-border region between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, lies at the geographical heart of the Sahel which has been plagued by conflicts and insecurity for decades. The Liptako-Gourma region is especially affected by multiple destabilising factors that diminish the prospects for immediate and longer-term peace. Located at the junction of the three countries, this area is now the epicentre of illicit trafficking, population displacement, intercommunity conflicts, and activities of armed groups and violent extremists.
The limited presence of State services and authorities, the multiplication of national and foreign military activities and the rapid deterioration of the security situation in the area contribute to local frustrations and create a risk of increased community tensions over natural resources.
Conflict resolution at the local level
It is in this context that the “Common Ground” project was called to life. Financed by the Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS) of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project was implemented by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Search for Common Ground; a NGO specialised in conflict resolution and known for innovative conflict mediation and prevention methods developed in contexts of insecurity and instability. The project is part of the G5 Sahel’s Emergency Development Programme (PDU), an initiative aimed at stabilising the border areas of the G5 Sahel countries and financed by the members of the Sahel Alliance.
The project was implemented from November 2018 to November 2019 with a total budget of EUR 200.000. The project aimed to strengthen collaboration between communities, local authorities, and defence and security forces (FDS) in the Tillabéry region of Niger in order to reinforce social cohesion.
Concerted action to meet needs and expectations
The project’s intervention logic is built on the observation that only concerted action can enable local actors to respond to the needs and expectations of all stakeholders and to overcome fears and prejudices to ultimately restore peace and stability in the region. Thereafter, the project activities were built around two key pillars:
- Creating safe spaces for exchange and collaboration between communities, local authorities andFDSin the Tillabéry region;
- Supportingcommunities, local authorities andFDS to develop and implement joint initiatives that meet the expectations of the populations of the target communes.
For more information, please download the project sheet below.
Fields of action
France — Agence Française de Développement (AFD)