A radical idea for an ancient African conflict: talking to the enemy | World news


John Dalyop Dangyang hid in the toilet while the gunmen set fire to his house. As it burned down around him, he soaked his underwear in the toilet water to bind around his face against the smoke. He was trapped for seven hours before police came and broke the wall down.

Two months later, homeless and traumatised, he was invited to meet the leaders of the group he blamed for his attempted murder.

On the other side of the table was Idris Gidado, a powerful leader of Fulani herdsmen, the nomadic cowboys who have trodden the Sahelian countryside for centuries.

At the dialogue, something extraordinary happened. After the two sides had had it out, Dangyang offered a rare commodity in this bitter feud: forgiveness.

News doesn’t always have to be bad – indeed, the relentless focus on…

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