Al-Geneina Tribal Violence: How to Transform the Challenge to Opportunity

Osman Mirghani

According to West Darfur Doctors Committee, the death toll that resulted from the recent tribal violence in Al-Geneina reached 137 and the injuries 221.

Meanwhile, the Council of Defense of Security met in Khartoum and issued several directives through sending more troops to contain the surge of tribal violence in the area.

The paradox is that Al-Geneina in Arabic means (The Garden), and it is a garden with its fertile green lands, tourism potentials, and nice scenery. Unfortunately however, it dominated the news by its tribal violence and killing.

This is not the first time and will not be the last, as in just one year the same clashes were practiced three times with less death, but all of us recognize that the beginning of violence starts with minor quarrels and then grows into big fires and bloodsheds.

Every time, following such clashes, the central government issues a routine statement talking about its attempts to collect firearms to minimize such clashes without addressing the roots of the issue and the cause of such clashes.

The series of killings will not stop at Al-Geneina only, but will spread all over the country unless the government adopts structural change in its relationship with the citizens.

Our politicians are unable to understand the meaning of citizenship, as they only make it title for political demands which allow for seats in the executive government to the political leaders which consideration to the actual demands of the citizens.

The State of Citizenship means direct relation between the government and the citizen at all levels. It is not just a fake relationship, but direct dealing.

It is high time for the government to recognize this relationship and deal with the issue of such tribal clashes from the prospect of the direct rights of the citizens.

In short, the official address of the government should be amended to become (Government-citizens) as this is the appropriate start to establish the State of Citizenship, which gives its citizens dignity and prevents killings and other offenses.

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