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Regional Representatives to the Congo Basin (2012-2014)

Regional Representative : Hindou OUMAROU IBRAHIM, M'Bororo, Chad
Deputy Regionnal Representative : Jean NGANGA, Babi, Congo Republic
Women's Representative : ALI Aiishatou, M'Bororo, Cameroon

Background and Ethnic Overview

In June 2012, the Executive Committee of IPACC agreed to restructure the Central Africa sub-region into two new electoral units: the Great Lakes, and the Congo Basin (formerly the Sahel).

The Congo Basin region is a growth area for indigenous peoples' self-organising. There are newly emerging organisations in Gabon and Cameroun; AFPAT is developing national status in most departments of Chad; the Union Bayaka has joined IPACC from Central African Republic; ADDPPA is playing an important role in outreach to indigenous peoples in Congo Republic.

In 2011-2012, AFPAT hosted a major process of dialogue on the impact of climate change on the human rights and well being of indigenous pastoralists. This included a three day workshop in November 2011 in N'Djamena, which included participation by two national ministers, the World Meteorological Organisation, UNESCO, CTA (EU-ACP) and pastoralists from Chad, Niger, Kenya and Namibia.

The 2011 workshop results were presented to the 17th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa. This was followed up by a highly successful project of participatory 3 dimensional modelling of the Baibokoum territory in southern Chad, by M'bororo pastoralists. 

The Baibokoum mapping was part of IPACC's ongoing cooperation to promote the use of participatory uses of geospatial information technology by indigenous peoples in Africa to create dialogue with national governments about land use, planning and conflict prevention or resolution. 

Trainees came to southern Chad from Uganda, northern Kenya, Tanzania, Niger and Cameroon, as well as five regions inside Chad. Pastoralists built a scaled model of their territory to discuss the impacts of climate change and land use changes, whereby they have lost cattle migratory routes to encroaching sedentary farmers. The Governor of the Department of Logone Oriental agreed to address the issue.

AFPAT became sensitised to the P3DM technology when the coordinator, Mme Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, participated in a similar exercise in Ngounié Province in Gabon in September 2010. In that mapping exercise, Abongo and Mitsogho people wanted to discuss governance of the Waka National Park and surrounds with the different levels of Government and the Agence National des Parcs Nationaux. 

Materials from both the Gabon and Chadian mapping are available under the video and publications links on this website. 

In April 2007, the Executive Committee of IPACC re-established a Region which includes the Horn of Africa as well as east Sahelian countries. This change was made in recognition of the growing organisation of pastoralist communities in this arid territory. IPACC notes in particular the influential role of MBOSCUDA (Mbororo Socio-Cultural and Development Association), the national Cameroonian organisation of Mbororo pastoralists.

The indigenous peoples in Chad, northern Cameroon and the Central African Republic include the Mbororo (also called Wodaabe/ Peul/ Fulani),Tubu and Tuareg pastoralists, and the nomadic and fishing Kanuri and related peoples. In the Central African Repulic and Cameroon, the Aka, Baka, and Babendjelle are forest-based indigenous peoples. Newly formed Pygmy associations have been established in Cameroon, but require organisational capacity support.

In Sudan and Ethiopia, indigenous peoples include honey gathering forest peoples such as the Manjo, as well as those using traditional methods of horticulture including Dinka and Nuer, and nomadic pastoralists, including Afar, Karamajong, Boranna and others.

Regional Overview
Mbororo pastoralists express their concern about the rising tide of conflict in the Central African Republic which is displacing pastoralists. The lives of people as well as cattle are at great risk, and the situation is forcing people across the border into Chad.

Chad also remains fragile with conflict on several borders, and has had a surge in small and medium armaments. Delegates at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues also expressed their serious concern about the situation of Lake Chad. Due to climate change and building of dams in Cameroon, Lake Chad is rapidly shrinking. This has a severely negative and potentially life threatening impact on traditional fishing people and pastoralists.

Mbororo pastoralists from both Chad and Cameroon expressed their concern about the ongoing bias against transhumance.As with other herding peoples, the Mbororo have a distinctive culture and economy that has been marginalised from governance in preference to agricultural peoples. When Mbororo people move their cattle around the region to help protect biological diversity, they are then told that their land has been allocated to poor farmers. Herders are often fined for bringing cattle through traditional transhumance zones.

MELCA, an NGO from Ethiopia, worked with IPACC to host training on human rights and the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples from the 30th of March to 4th of April for indigenous leaders in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. 15 delegates from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia attended the training, which focussed on understanding UN and African human rights mechanisms and standards. The event was funded by the Christian Fund.

Mrs Fadematou Dahirou of Mboscuda in Cameroon became IPACC's Regional Representative of the new Sahel-Horn Region, and Ms Oumaru Ibrahim, an Mbororo activist from Chad became the Deputy Regional Representative.

Ms Oumaruu Ibrahim helped coordinate African indigenous women's input at the 6th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Babagana Aboubakr was the first Kanuri delegate to attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The Kanuri of north-east Nigeria live from fishing, nomadic pastoralism and drylands agriculture.

MBOSCUDA was active in the process of the CBD Expert Committe on Article 8J.

The Mbororo people of Cameroon created the Mbororo Socio-Cultural and Development Association (MBOSCUDA) in 1992. Since then, MBOSCUDA has been one of the most dynamic indigenous peoples’ organisations in Africa. It has both African Commission and UN ECOSOC observer status. Mboscuda has worked with the ILO to promote awareness of indigenous peoples’ issues. Gender activism has been supported by Mboscuda and it helps operate one of the most effective regional branches of the African Indigenous Women’s Organisation (AIWO). Mboscuda has been active in building a dynamic civil society and reaching out to their Chadian and Central African Republican neighbours. One of Mboscuda's important initiatives has been paralegal training for its members to protect them against arbitrary arrests and corruption. Mboscuda has run a programme to educate indigenous peoples about their legal and constitutional rights. This has proved useful in rural courts where police and magistrates are also not well trainined in national laws and human rights. Pastoralist communities have benefited from para-legal support, as it allows them to defend their rights and to reduce corruption and human rights abuses.

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