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6. Effectiveness of Customary Authorities' Conflict Resolution


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    Tillabéri, Gotheye: "The disagreements and rivalries between religious groups are a real threat to our community. If a solution is not found for this, it will certainly lead to serious conflicts.”

    Tillabéri, Abala: "Small-scale land conflicts and those relating to customary law are managed by the village chiefs, the canton chief and the gendarmerie. Here, as soon as you say authority, people see it as the law. As a result, the decisions of the authorities are often accepted."

    Tillabéri, Abala: “The measures we have taken are denunciation, collaboration with the authorities and meetings between the different communities in the municipality, such as the "tchintia" festival, to discuss, engage in dialogue and find solutions, whose implementation is monitored by a committee. [...] It is a festival that has greatly contributed to bringing the communities together and to solving inter-communal conflicts, mainly between the Fulani and the Tuareg. It has also contributed to a considerable reduction in cattle rustling and armed attacks before the jihadists came and ruined everything."

    Est, Bogande: "After the chief has settled the disputes in a conflict, these individuals usually agree to forgive each other and even if these people end up somewhere they can greet each other. On the other hand, if it's in court, these people never reconcile because there is always a winner and a loser, in which case the loser will always seek revenge."

    Est, Gayeri:  “You know the world today is a world of money even. If the traditional chief summons people once or twice to talk about living together, if on the third time they come, and he gives them nothing - I don't think the fourth time someone will come again”.

    Est, Diabo: "The main problem is that we have two chiefs, which divides the population, especially as one chief is more powerful than the other, which creates frustration in the dominated camp.”

    Sahel, Bani: "People are used to respecting the proposed solution made by the traditional or religious authority, because they are afraid that the police or the gendarmerie will get involved, because they know that there, conflicts are solved most of the time by the legal way and sometimes the fine is very high and also susceptibility of being incarcerated."


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    Est, Gayeri: "Their main assets are their proximity to the people, their capacity to mobilise, they are respected and listened to by the people."

    Est, Gayeri: "The authorities here in town have their representatives in the different villages so they are responsible for ensuring certain conflicts at their level. Although they are not there, they know everything that happens in the surrounding villages.”

    Est, Kantchari: “There is often a problem of dialogue between the local population and the traditional authorities and a generation conflict. These authorities often want to impose their decision, but this does not necessarily work because the local population of today is not the same as that of yesterday.” 

    Gao, Gabero: "The people accuse them of being very authoritarian and above all of taking initiatives without their approval, without consultation or without the involvement of everyone. These are recurrent accusations that we cannot support, as we have always seen all strata of society in our activities and as humanitarians we are careful not to try to know everything because some things in the villages are very sensitive."

    Tillabéri, Bankilare: "We are also limited by insecurity in monitoring activities and winter campaigns. There is a rift between the traditional authority and the communities in some areas."

    Tillabéri, Bankilare: "We are also limited by insecurity in monitoring activities and winter campaigns. There is a rift between the traditional authority and the communities in some areas."



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    Est, Kantchari: “The involvement of political leaders complicates the succession question”

    Sahel, Bani: "We have the terrorists who can be a very big influence because they have weapons the authorities are afraid of. Sometimes there are traditional and religious authorities who are targeted because they do not share their views. For this reason many abandon the tradition. They even tend to hide or leave the area for Ouagadougou.

    Tillabéri, Bankilare: "All the tribal chiefs, group chiefs, canton chiefs and religious leaders have become ready-made politicians. Some of them are even campaigning in spite of the legal prohibition. Everything starts with the election of group, canton or tribal chiefs and even villages. They are supported by politicians who in return ask them to campaign for them."

    Tillabéri, Gotheye: "In recent years, many traditional leaders have been politically appointed. As a result, they find it difficult to go against the people who have imposed them. The politicisation of chieftaincy means that there is a lot of financial malpractice by traditional leaders who embezzle taxes from their villages and aid intended for disaster victims or vulnerable people."

    Centre-Nord, Mané: “Religious authorities hide to make politics so that their faithful do not know that they are in it because it will play a lot on its credibility."