Youth activists and leaders in South and West Kordofan have expressed their resentment at “the negative role played by Native Administration leaders in the lives of local communities”, and complain of the administrators’ allegiance to the Khartoum government.
Journalist and researcher Ahmed Mukhtar told Radio Dabanga “The Native Administration has been politicised since the Salvation regime [of President Omar Al Bashir] came to power in 1989. It has appointed its affiliates to government posts and imposed them on all tribes and communities living in the region”.
Mukhtar explained that most of the current Native Administration leaders are commanders of government-backed militias and officials at various ministries, thus giving up their basic role in the life of the communities and addressing the various issues for which the native administration has been established, namely resolving disputes, demarcation of the borders, caring for tribal communities and preserving customs and traditions.
He criticised the negative roles played by the native administrators in South Kordofan, especially with regard to issues of peace and stopping the war.
He told Radio Dabanga that the native administrators have stood by the government, declare their blessing for the war in the state, and do not listen in return to the demands of the communities to stop the war. This is in addition to their contribution to arming communities in South Kordofan, assisting mining companies accused of using harmful substances to the health of man and the environment, and abandoning the demand for the basic services of their communities.
Amir Ismail Hamedein, a Native Administration leader in West Kordofan denied that they abandoned their responsibilities towards their communities,
He told Radio Dabanga that the lack of services towards communities is the fault of the government, which does not implement the agreements signed between the various communities, concerning the provision of services, schools, and water, as well as in the reconciliation conferences”.
He said, adding that the government does not provide government native administrations with the means to move and security.
Hamedein acknowledged the loyalty of some of the native administration leaders to the ruling Khartoum government, but denied that this included all of them.
He appealed to the local communities to renounce violence, tribalism and preserve the social fabric and peace among them. He also appealed to the government to do its part by providing the necessary services to the communities in West and South Kordofan.
* The Native Administration was instituted by British colonial authorities seeking a pragmatic system of governance that allowed for effective control with limited investment and oversight by the state. The Native Administration also took on new responsibilities for executing policies, collecting taxes, and mobilising labour on behalf of the central government.