Restore Native Administration Act in Sudan: Darfur tribes

Lawlessness in Darfur is on the rise because the role of tribes’ native administrations has been diminished, government officials and tribal representatives agreed in Khartoum.

Lawlessness in Darfur is on the rise because the role of tribes' native administrations has been diminished, high-ranking government officials and tribal representatives agreed during a workshop in Khartoum on Sunday.

The chairman of the Security and Defence Committee of the Sudanese Parliament, Ahmed El Tohamy, requested the tribes' native administration leaders in the reconciliation workshop to report their tribesmen's criminal activities. “Report it to the police and the regular armed forces. They should be jailed outside of Darfur, to prevent attempts by their comrades to break them free from the prisons.”

The native administration leaders of several tribes in Darfur replied that the government in Khartoum has disabled the Native Administration Act, reducing their power as native administration, from 2009 onwards. They claimed that the prestige of tribes in Sudan was broken after such policies came into play.

The Native Administration Act was restored in 1986. The act reinstated certain autonomous rights of the native administrations that allowed them to solve issues in and between their tribes – such as the right to allocate land use. President Omar Al Bashir decided to reduce the act when he came into power in Sudan.

The diminished role of native administrations was one of the major topics during the workshop. Tribal conflicts are now resolved by force of arms, turning the conflicts into clashes between armed tribesmen who use automatic weapons, a tribal representative said.

The government officials acknowledged the rise of lawlessness in Darfur and vowed to decisively confront and deter the law breakers in the tribal conflicts. The tribal representatives recommended the re-incorporation of the Native Administration Act into Sudan's Constitution.