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South Darfur farmers plead protection for ‘productive’ harvest

October 12 - 2022 BIELEL LOCALITY
A woman gathers millet in Darfur (File photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID)
A woman gathers millet in Darfur (File photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID)

As the harvest season for sesame, millet, and corn begins, farmers in Bielel locality, east of Nyala, capital of South Darfur, have appealed to the state government and security authorities to intervene urgently in order to protect the agricultural season by intensifying the presence of security forces.

Farmer Muhammad Ibrahim told a press conference that the harvest has started, “which bodes well for great productivity this year”.

The nomads in South Darfur announced their readiness to cross to the southern regions, calling on farmers and government authorities to help them cross the agricultural areas in peace.

The delegate representing the nomads, Mahmoud Ahmed Rifa, said that the southward migration requires great awareness from farmers and herders, pointing to “the eternal relationship between the Herder and the farmer”.

Rifa called on the herders not to infringe on the farms around water tanks and drinking pools.

Darfur has a long history of strife between Arab herders and non-Arab African herders or sedentary farmers. Arab tribesmen were recruited by the previous regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir to join the Janjaweed militias. Al Bashir employed these Arab militias to repress a revolt over ethnic marginalisation in the region, mainly targeting non-Arab African farmers. During the war that followed, at least 300,000 people were killed and over 2.5 million were displaced according to the UN.

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