Darfur peace conference for solution to tribal conflicts

More than 1,000 people attend a social peace conference in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, that kicked-off yesterday in search of a final solution to the tribal disputes in the region.

More than 1,000 people attend a social peace conference in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, that kicked-off yesterday in search of a final solution to the tribal disputes in the region.

The participants, including State Governors, the head of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission (Unamid), native administrations, nomadic leaders and civil society organisations will discuss tribal conflicts as well as the spread of small arms and land ownership issues, in an attempt to lay out a social peace roadmap for Darfur.

Adam El Faki, the Governor of South Darfur said: “The movement from war to peace is a long way that needs an effort to extend the prestige of the state and collecting arms.” Speaking at the opening sessions he pointed to the long duration of the weapon collection project in Darfur.

The Joint Special Representative for Darfur and head of Unamid, Martin Uhomoibhi said that the combination of so many Darfuris “confirms the strong desire to find sustainable solutions to the conflicts among the communities in Darfur”.

He called on the governments and citizens of Darfur to adopt a comprehensive strategy to address the ongoing issues such as land ownership, management of natural resources and the spread of small arms. “Unamid will put all their efforts with the governments and the people of Darfur so as to ensure that the legal and judicial institutions in the rural and urban areas will reinforce the powers of law and the judicial authorities.”

'Tribal conflicts have become the biggest security threat.'

'Inaction of states'

The meeting in Nyala complements the peace conferences organised by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), which were launched through its Office of Justice and Reconciliation in 2014. Speaking at the conference, DRA Chairman El Tijani Sese accused the government of not being serious in law enforcement and the imposition of the state's prestige, which resulted in opening the doors for the spread of tribal conflicts.

“Tribal conflicts have become the biggest security threat, replacing the activity of armed movements with the formation of tribal coalitions to fight each other… in light of the spread of deadly weapons in the hands of the tribes,” Sese complained.

He advised the states to support the native administrations of the tribes, and qualify them to bear responsibility towards conflicts so they can be resolved in accordance with the customs and traditions in Darfur.

The term of the DRA will come to end by the end of next July, Sese explained. He pledged that the Authority's offices in El Fasher will turn into a service hospital for Darfuris. The end of its mandate follows the outcome of the administrative referendum on the Darfur region in April.

Taisha, Salamat reconcile

The same day, a reconciliation conference between the Taisha and Salamat tribes to settle the disputes between them that began in Bielel, Rahad El Berdi, and Um Dafug in South Darfur two years ago.

The head of the reconciliation committee, Shartai Ibrahim Abdallah, urged both parties to make concessions in order to reach a sustainable peace.

The secretary-general of the DRA Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, Ibrahim Kalimandu, demanded the intervention of locality Commissioners and native administrations to address the tensions between farmers and nomads in Mershing and Niteaga in South Darfur.

In November 2013, bloody inter-tribal clashes erupted between the Salamat and Taisha in South Darfur. According to a Salamat chief mid-2015, the tribes had been waiting for the authorities in South Darfur to arrange a reconciliation meeting.