Vulnerability of border communities: Are we protecting them enough?

Publication date: 
Dec 2005
Source: 
Conciliation Resources

Mariama Conteh of Conciliation Resources explores the importance of communities who live along state borders within the Mano River Union (MRU) in this article.

Many such groups embody the very spirit of peaceful co-existence which MRU governments are striving to achieve.  As well as being important trading partners to each other, they often share a culture and a language which creates strong bonds.  Given this unity and their strategic location, these peacebuilding communities should be nurtured.  However, in reality, they remain vulnerable.  

Their geographical distance from centralised authorities mean they rarely receive the attention they deserve.  The Yenga border dispute is an example of how governments need to recognise that problems, such as access to farmland and relations with the military, need to be addressed to protect these groups. 

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