The region has been marred by all types of ethnic and tribal violent conflict and convening reconciliation conferences to resolve them have become the rule rather than exception: for example, six reconciliation conferences were held in the year 1991 alone. The 1989 reconciliation conference between Fur (Farmers) and some nomadic tribes resulted in formation of multi-disciplinary technical committee, which was mandated to survey the animal routes all over Darfur States. The committee adopted eleven main routes (those routes end in Bahar Al Arab, Central African Republic and Chad) each of length ranging 450-600 kilometres. Eight of these routes lie within South Darfur State: three from west Nyala to Kas town and five from west Nyala to Eldain town. The committee also surveyed and adopted 35 inter-state routes (branches).
The efforts to stop the conflicts and frictions continue:
In 1996 the Governor (Wali) of Darfur issued a Law to organize farming and herding in South Darfur State. Although the Law stated the obligations that should be followed by the farmers and the herders, issues such as the width of the route, type of compensation, compensation value, and when agricultural by-products are allowed for use by pastoralists required the law to be amended.
Local Order No. 1/1996 was issued by the executive director of Idd Al Fursan Locality for the protection and improvement of the natural pasture within the Locality.
In March 2005 Presidential Decree No. 20/2005 was issued to establish an Administrative Committee for Route Delineation–Darfur States (ACRD-DS).
In 2005 the Chairman of ACRD-DS issued Decree No. 1/2005 to establish a technical committee to revise the Farming and Herding Organization Law (1996) South Darfur State. One of the major amendments was to increase in the width of the corridors from 100 meters to 150 meters.
Establishment of the Nomads Commission to tackle the Pastoral Affairs in 2006.
Comprehensive Peace Agreement 2005 (CPA), Chapter III – Article 2 of CPA stipulates: the Parties agree that the regulation of the Land tenure, usage and exercise of right in land is to a concurrent competency exercised by appropriate levels of government and there shall be established Land Commissions with specified functions including recommendations pertaining to land reform policies and recognition of customary right or law.
Human resources: farmers & pastoralists
A Rapid Appraisal was carried out during the field survey of this assessment to collect information from relevant stakeholders: The ACRD-sd, Route Committee, Pastoralists, Farmers, Pastoralists’ Union, Farmers’ Union, and Native Administration. The information was collected mainly at Nyala Locality and Kas Locality to check ACRD-sd activities. This approach was used to enable the implementer to secure the engagement of pastoralists in subsequent advocacy and implementation. The research concluded the following facts:
The pastoralists have the ability to organize themselves, identify and prioritize their actual needs for social and economic development, for example they identify education as a social priority and they advocate for the set up of boarding schools;
In spite of the absence of formal veterinary services, pastoralists are self-reliant in purchasing and using medicines and vaccines;
Nomads are provided with radios and they are accustomed to the market economy;
The way nomadic groups are moving indicates that a bottom up approach can be initiated by nomads themselves for a more sustainable development;
Representation of PU in the Compensation Committee at the Locality level and in the field team has a positive impact on local resentments by pastoralists and increases their willingness to participate. Furthermore, involvement of the pastoralists in the Compensation Committee formed at the village level has strengthened their decision taking and brought them closer to other partners (farmers);
The pastoralists are represented in the National Assembly as well as States Legislation Councils and they are aiming for true representation and criteria for selection;
Sudan’s policy for peace building, environmental conservation and protecting the rights of marginalized and vulnerable land users (pastoralists and farmers) requires the following:
Availability of boarding schools for nomads’ education, and literacy classes for elders;
To restore the fire lines to protect natural pasture;
To improve/increase the area of pasture by broadcasting improved seeds;
Investment on water provision by drilling of under-ground water along the way to Khartoum State harvesting will help in solving the problem of water provision.
Achieving a peaceful settlement to resource based conflicts in Darfur will have direct impacts on the rehabilitation and protection of the environment as the process was associated with development interventions.
The Sudanese government has adopted policies that have improved security and assured ease of movement in the grazing areas and hence this may initiate adoption by similar affected areas. Thus a successful policy can assist further in developing models of appropriate approaches for pastoral development in the Sudan.
A participatory approach and an effort to assure the representation of pastoralists at different levels of committees contributed to the positive policy changes and gave the marginalized pastoral groups an effective voice in influencing decisions that affect their lives.
NGOs’ direct involvement in the policy agenda is very important as they are of the view that sustainable development policies must be modified to capture regional and national capabilities and opportunities.
The Route Committee demarcated the routes with a new width of 150 metres (according to the law amendments) whereas it was formerly 100 metres, which was at the expense of farms areas and was decided without surveying the actual dependent human and animal population.
There is no follow-up mechanism to check sustainability and sound implementation of the activities. Many farmers at grass-root level were neither informed of the demarcation nor became part of the implementation. The land-marks were fixed as if the demarcation of the route is new and not old. Such cases were solved by the native administration through re-allocation of the land-marks to the correct places.
Route demarcation has brought positive environmental impacts that benefit the herders and farmers at household and community levels. It also reduced conflict between them both along the routes and at Manazil and Sawani.
Participation of the beneficiaries (whether pastoralists or farmers) at the grass root level was weak, especially in the process of posts fixation and they were not part of the ACRD-sd demarcation process and only heard about it from the radio.
Nomads in the Sudan are heterogonous groups, the differences are stemming from their different geographical, regional and local ecosystems. However, pastoralism is an important livelihood system and the attitude of decision makers towards pastoralists need to be changed. Through time, pastoralists have come to possess accumulated knowledge of the ecology of the resources utilized and the animals raised.
Although The FU at the Locality level has a representative in the Routes Committee who should accompany the Routes Committee to the site, participation at the field level is weak. They are not fully aware of the field demarcation activity and are not always available at the sites. Some farmers are not convinced of the ACRD-sd work. The PU at the Locality level has a representative in the Routes Committee who should accompany the Routes Committee to the site.
Neither unions have representation in the Compensation Committee but individual members have representation. This committee is formed at village level and when damage occurs the committee meets to estimate the damage and determine the fine (cash or in-kind). The decision of this committee is final and usually respected as the concerned parties are represented. The South Darfur State FU mentioned that frictions do occur between the farmers and herders due to shortage of water resources and expansion of farms into the animal routes, but such problems are still resolved through traditional mechanisms.
The native administration is represented effectively in the ACRD-sd, but it was not accompanying the Routes Committee during the field demarcation so a lot of technical faults occurred. Later sheikhs intervened and re-corrected the situation of the posts. The new law for Native Administration gives it legal authorization and formation of local courts, and sheikhs are provided with armed guards and monthly salary. This law prohibits any illegal practices along the animal routes or at Manazil and Sawani.
To regulate the issuing of Agricultural Land License, the Ministry of Agriculture in South Darfur State produced a Conflict–Free Form that should be signed by all the concerned to confirm that the land is free of conflicts before final actions taken.
The most important outcome of all this work is that authority at its highest level (the Presidency) came to understand and believe the importance of the pastoral sector and the economic and social role it could play if due attention is given to proper policies and plans.
Despite high costs of route delineation in terms of money the policy output was profitable in term of environmental conservation and range resource improvement and management. Intervention has significantly achieved its objectives, and in particular the involvement of all stakeholders.
Participation of beneficiaries at the grass root level (whether pastoralists or farmers) needs to be strengthened, especially in the process of posts fixation, which should be the responsibility of both Parties and not just of hired labour.
Reliable data and information is required and assessment of the present situation, especially in the field of natural resources and population number and distribution.
Darfur is dissected by many seasonal water courses (Wadi) carrying huge amount of water that mostly goes waste. Special consideration should be directed towards the use of water harvesting and spreading techniques to aid in range improvement and diversification of crop production and combat desertification.
The delineated routes should be officially registered and directly linked to State Range and Pasture Administration which in the future should carry the responsibility of management and improvement and the body to refer to in case of violation.
The Higher Committee at the State or Locality level needs to be restructured to incorporate units or offices such as Extension, Monitoring and evaluation and Community development, to overcome the lack of specific follow-up and monitoring.
Extension should be the backbone of this work if success and sustainability are to be achieved. In Darfur like many rural places in Sudan, land is still looked at as community property governed by customary rules and it is not easy to convince communities of the need to share this resource with others.
Resource Management Organizations or other forms of local institution need to be created, at all levels up to Locality and State level, empowering all parts of the community (including women). The beneficiaries should be directly involved in implementation and management.
The Higher Committee should allocate a development fund to finance intervention proposals raised by the community (Development Committees) and this should not rely entirely on government but should seek financial support from other organizations e.g. U.N. Agencies, NGOs, etc.
It is recommended to create Route Patrolling Teams at each route section, to observe the situation along the routes before movement of nomads and to report violations to Locality Committees, will help to avoid conflicts. These teams should be composed of pastoralist scouts, Native Administration, and farmers, or should at least adopt and legalise the old system of Pastoralist Scout (Mandoub).
The status of surface and ground water resources needs to be assessed and water should be made available where appropriate for human and animals as well as crop production.
Considering the lessons learned from past experiences, new policies, modalities and approaches need to be developed and a new outlook with clear and defined objectives is needed. In this regard, a common vision must be developed through knowledge and dialogue, and more discussions and research are needed to develop programmes and inputs.
Stronger environmental awareness needs to be generated among decision makers, including the important role of livestock in maintenance of ecosystem health and diversity in drylands.
Coordination mechanisms should be developed or improved between the Pastoralist Union and the Farmers Union and other land users.
A better means of valuing pastoralism and recognising the costs and benefits of interventions will be beneficial both to the future of these interventions and for attracting other government and private sector investments in pastoral areas.
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8 Abbala is derived from “ibbil” which is camel, hence denoted a camel economy and its related culture.
9 Baggara is derived from “bagar” which is cattle , hence denoted a cattle economy and its related culture.
10 Central Bureau of Statistics, Population Census 1993
11 Republic of the Sudan2006: Darfur Joint Assessment Mission (D-JAM) ,Status of Natural Resources and the Environment
12 Fenced area in the pasture established intentionally by farmers to provide feed for their animals and trap animals to get compensated for crop damage.
13 Impermeable hard surface clay soil
14 Manazil and Sawani are the Arabic names for the nomad’s temporary camping sites, Sawani are bigger in area than Manazil which are overnight stay sites.
15 Mediation; which is a established tradition in northern Sudan
16 Makharif: wet season grazing area. Here the pastoralists stay for a period of 2-3 months following the rains
17 Used as warning indictors for pastoralists to illustrate the condition around the route where red colour stands for close cultivation, yellow stands for apart but within reach of animals, white is safe.
18 Veterinarian is government employee (Department of Animal Health) and the services are provided through a mobile clinic.
19 Buram is interior route, i.e. out of the eight main routes.