Prévention et gestion des conflits au Niger
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A general description of conflict causes and management in Niger. The author identifies five different types of causes according to their nature: political, socio-economic, management of natural resources, frontier, and ethnic/religious. Natural resource management conflicts stem from demographic pressure, urbanization, drought, and a deteriorating resource base. The current conflict between herders and farmers is characterized as occurring during a transitional phase between traditional and Western legal frameworks. Decentralization is a successful strategy to manage economic and socio-political conflicts. In May 1995, elements of civil society in Niger (women, religious, union, traditional chief groups) held a workshop and created a national conflict prevention and management observatory. This was followed in July of 1996 with a regional workshop in Burkina Faso where participants decided that a regional observatory was needed. Such an observatory would monitor and support resolution of conflicts in the political, NRM, and socio-religious conflicts. Is conflict good or bad? Only the solution is good or bad. Conflict can be constructive or destructive depending on the outcome. If it degenerates into violence, it is bad, but if it managed by the parties, it can be a factor for growth and a motor of change.