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Popular Court re-opened in North Darfur's Kabkabiya

August 20 - 2015 KABKABIYA
Opening of the Popular Court in Kabakabiya, North Darfur, 19 August 2015 (RD)
Opening of the Popular Court in Kabakabiya, North Darfur, 19 August 2015 (RD)

On Wednesday, the Central Popular Court in Kabkabiya, North Darfur, was re-opened after an extensive renovation.

The Kabkabiya Popular Court, established hundreds of years ago, is the oldest popular court in the country. Shartai El Tayeb Abukora Ahmadai Mohamed was appointed as “21st chairman of the court”.

The court's three offices and a hostel were renovated with the support of the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (Unamid).

The opening ceremony was attended by native administration leaders, represented by the chairman of the court, members of Unamid and North Darfur civil society organisations. Shartai Mohamed praised Unamid for “restoring the glory of this grand court” and all those who contributed to its rehabilitation.

He told Radio Dabanga from Kabkabiya on Wednesday that the court was re-activated to achieve justice among the local communities. “The court enjoys wide competence in resolving social conflicts, disputes over land rights, and other issues.”

Popular courts, also known as tribal courts, are traditionally staffed by respected community elders and enforce customary law that is not considered to be inconsistent with the law or public policy.

Generally, the judges are well reputed citizens of good conduct. Membership includes tribal chiefs, Omdas, sheikhs, and Nazirs. Due process in customary courts does not appear to be clearly defined, rendering them vulnerable to arbitrary application of the laws. Cases can be referred to statutory courts.



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