North Darfur Conference calls for review of land use
On Thursday, the North Darfur Land Conference concluded in El Fasher with a series of recommendations concerning the need to review all laws concerning land use and ownership.
The participants of the conference, organised by the Darfur Land Commission in cooperation with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), called for the opening of migration tracks for pastoralists and their herds, the provision of a joint military force to protect farmlands during agricultural seasons, the empowerment of the displaced by development and production opportunities instead of direct support.
The conference also recommended workshops for native administration leaders on hawakeer (lands traditionally used by tribal communities), to remind them that the customary use does not mean the lands are owned.
Meetings should be organised as well for rural and agro-pastoral communities, to inform them on how to secure registration of their lands. Native administration leaders and relevant departments of the Darfur Land Commission must be involved in the land registration process.
Other meetings should focus on reconciliation between certain communities and identify roadmaps to prevent the outbreak of new conflicts.
The recommendations also included the formation of a joint committee of members of the Darfur Land Commission, the Ministry of Infrastructure, and other stakeholders to follow up the implementation of the conference’s recommendations.
In the opening session of the North Darfur Land Conference on Wednesday, the state governor stressed the right of people displaced by the war to return safely to their areas of origin, rebuild their lives, and live in peace.
Earlier this week, a similar land conference was held in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, that recommended that illegal arms must be collected as soon as possible.
Services must be provided to the areas of voluntary return. Western African and Sudanese settlers, who have taken over the lands and villages of the displaced, should be removed.
Other recommendations include a “realistic review” of land laws and procedures for registration of hawakeer, and the participation of women and native administration leaders in all mechanisms concerning land use.
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