Over 70 participants from East Darfur state and local authorities, civil society, women’s unions, rural courts and community police engaged in a conflict prevention workshop from the 12th-16th July. The workshop was part of the Cross Border Peace and Cooperation (CBPC) Project funded by the European Union. Facilitators from the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) conducted sessions on Conflict Prevention, Peace Building, Rule of Law and Gender Analysis with segments presented by IOM on Cross Border Management.
The five-day workshop aimed to support community members and authorities in enabling an environment for community stabilization and peaceful coexistence amongst pastoralist and sedentary communities in border areas. Using a participatory facilitation approach with practical case studies encouraged understanding and enhancement of local mechanisms that can proactively resolve conflicts, especially intertribal tensions that arise in the cross border regions.
The Commissioner of the Humanitarian Aid Commission in East Darfur State, Mr. Ibrahim Ali, provided details on how CBPC objectives on social cohesion have been accomplished in various localities in Darfur thanks to the support of the EU and IOM. Furthermore, the Nazir - tribal leader - of the majority residing tribe in the region, Mr. El Fadil Mahmoud, highlighted the importance of projects adhering to the CBPC approach and workshops that spread awareness, strengthen peace and security to achieve stabilization, complemented with the provision of basic services.
The multitude of ethnic and linguistic groups in Darfur have a long history of rich cross border interdependent relationships (Sudan and South Sudan) traditionally facilitated by trade and commerce. However, over the years the environmental, political and economic factors have created competition over shrinking resources that have created inter-communal disputes, intertribal clashes and conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. This activity is part of a set of workshops that have been conducted in Darfur since 2015 under the EU-funded CBPC project, which aims to contribute to Sudan’s development priorities through enabling an environment for community stabilization and peaceful coexistence amongst pastoralist and sedentary communities in South and the East Darfur states. IOM Sudan has conducted workshops on social cohesion and community stabilization through interactive methodologies, such as mobile theatre.