The role of local civil society organizations in rehabilitating Native/ Tribal administrations for Peace-building in Sudan

Shawgei Salah Ahmed

One of the more important factors in this quest is civil society organizations. They can be defined as organizations that work in the collective field between the state and private sector establishments, which aim to maximize social capital, in addition to defending the interests of their members and the national interests, and carry out voluntary work free of charge.

Civil society organizations include associations, leagues, unions, parties, clubs, and cooperatives; meaning everything that is non-governmental and everything that is not passed down a family or is hereditary.

The second factor in this article is the Native Administration in Sudan; rule by national agents (such as leaders, princes, principals). It is synonymous with indirect rule. It can also be called a tribal administration, which governs by mutual consent between the tribal groups and formations in Sudan known since the country’s independence.

The goal is to use tribal administrations to build peace through a process of intensifying efforts to address the root causes of conflicts in a way that does not leave any opportunity for the dynamic interactions of those conflicts to repeat the process of violence or war again.

Because of the current and recurring events in the Sudanese reality, it is not possible to talk about sustainable development without standing on a sustainable state of peace among the components of society, and to permanently stop the sound of guns, by thinking deeply about the root of the problem and answering the central question: why do people fight and why not use fighting as a tool for making peace?

Civil society organizations as a mechanism for cooperation in local communities

From the beginning, it must be recognized that the Sudanese society is a strict tribal society, and recognition of the problem is the beginning of the solution.

On the other hand, it can be said that civil society organizations are among the most important gatherings that provide members of society with legal incubators to practice activities such as education, training, rehabilitation, literacy, sick aid programs, providing loans and grants for those wishing to marry, helping the families of prisoners and the disabled, establishing social centers for youth and meals for the poor, etc…

All of these programs are outside the tribe, which leads in the final session to building a kind of trust and improving the social fabric of societies Damaged by wars for long periods.

In brief, the idea is to resolve tribal conflicts through building a network of interests between these tribal blocs, in order to maintain a stable and sustainable state of peace, and through the intervention of civil society organizations to build, operate, and maintain this network between tribes, to prevent any conflicts or disputes, by defining the importance of peace as a fundamental pillar in building any future sustainable development in Sudanese societies.

Community Mechanisms for Peace-Building in Sudan

In the history of Sudan there have been centuries of peace, punctuated by periods of grinding tribal conflicts, according to the leadership mentality that leads the tribe, in terms of the extent of wisdom and know-how in leading the tribe to achieve its interests and defend its resources.

This stereotypical view of the tribe can be improved through adding a touch of civil society organizations through the awareness and guidance of these tribal leaders, in order to build a cohesive society dominated by the spirit of familiarity, love, and mutual respect between the components of the same community.

It is worth noting by supporting this administration to fulfill the roles entrusted to it while creating new mechanisms that supports it and supports social stability and peace that are guarded by the sustainable development of the ordinary citizen, we find it more advantageous to heed the native administration, and not drift towards calls to marginalize and replace these leaders with mechanisms not previously tried in local communities.

Building mutual economic benefits between the warring parties

In the field of enhancing economic effectiveness, civil society no longer represents an economic power with a global dimension only, but many countries have now recognized the potential superiority of civil society in providing many services and goods.

Due to the existence of a culture of volunteerism and altruism, civil society organizations can employ or pay wages to employees.

Fewer of those government agencies and agencies will be needed to accomplish the same tasks, and from this interesting point of view, governments must push civil society organizations to take more delegated roles in the field of economic construction that guarantees access and the maintenance of sustainable development in local communities.

Development through the strengthening and empowerment of local communities, and in this area, civil society organizations have a role in capacity-building, skills development, and training in various development fields, such as strategic planning, formulating and implementing development programs, and expanding popular participation in them.

All these activities, if they focus on the institutions already existing in tribal communities, will have an unparalleled impact on success in enabling positive community relations to prevail, so that the spirit of work and production will prevail in the community.

Native/ Tribal Administration for Building Development

The basic role required by the Native Administration that has been rehabilitated and trained is to work on transferring the human energies that are conferred towards the charitable economy, by which we mean the economy that is based on social and financial contributions of all kinds, whether from real or moral persons.

That, and to work with civil society organizations to organize community programs directed towards individuals, contributing to the training of citizens and providing them with the necessary skills to activate charitable trends that enable them to participate in making decisions that affect their lives and the conditions of their society in a democratic way.

It is work that contributes to social, economic and political change.

Native/ Tribal Administration to ensure the continuity of development

Rapid economic growth can be achieved, but development will not take place when economic growth is accompanied by reduced popular participation in political, economic, and social decision-making, suppression of freedoms, and injustice to the civil rights of citizens in developing countries.

This is while development requires the participation of citizens at the broadest points in the making of national and local policies as a goal in itself for self-realization, and as a means to attract efforts and mobilize them in the processes of rebuilding the homeland.

These elements are what the civil administrations can provide by ensuring public interaction with the strategic plans developed from community institutions, while working to continue it without violating government interference, except in the event of exceeding the general legal frameworks.

Cooperation between old community formations, such as civil administrations with modern community formations of civil society organizations, leads to the formation of an effective community movement for them; an independent moral personality with rights and duties working in all the political, economic, cultural, educational and sports fields, provided that the security of the state and public morals is not violated.

This entity derives its legitimacy from its objectives and the interests of its members, and they are registered with the approval of the state, but they are not arms of the state.

Rather, they enjoy its complete independence, as these institutions are established by individuals or by the state, or by the two, according to applicable laws and legislation.

This article represents the theoretical frameworks required to reach the goal of building sustainable peace and stopping war; by spreading the culture of voluntary work framed by the scientific mechanisms provided by civil society organizations, which in turn do not touch the spirit of the local community and do not conflict with the customs and traditions inherited through successive generations.

Shawgei Salah is a researcher, writer, environmentalist and a member of the Young African Leaders Forum (YALF). He can be contacted at

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