The 150 participants at the two-day workshop came from Sila region, which hosts about 95 percent of all the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country, some 167,000 people.
"The successful integration of returning IDPs is crucial to the stabilisation of eastern Chad," said UNDP Country Director Pascal Karorero. "UNDP is committed to further supporting conflict prevention and livelihood activities for affected populations in the region."
The consultative discussions focused on ways to create a culture of peace and mutual acceptance in order to reduce tensions between the IDPs, the host communities, pastoralists and other settled populations. The participants formed three working groups on crisis prevention, peace building and sustainable development, and agreed to address corruption and impunity, begin environment protection activities and engage in disarmament of civilian populations.
This would have the dual benefit of achieving long-term integration of the IDPs and allowing the implementation of projects that respond to urgent and prioritized socio-economic needs in host villages.
Presiding over the occasion, the Governor of Sila, El Hadj Toke Dady, acknowledged that the forum provided a unique opportunity for consultation in a bid to cultivate better relations in the future. He also stressed the importance of the partnership between the Chadian government and its development partners in maintaining peace among the various communities in Sila.
Attacks by local bandits and rebels from neighbouring Darfur have made eastern Chad highly insecure and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. UNDP has initiated an Early Recovery Programme in this region, aimed at strengthening rule of law, access to justice, security and local governance as well as promoting socio-economic recovery and development.
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