The Sudanese General Crisis in Darfur

Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid

Tribes of Darfur have never lacked awareness and wisdom in addressing the intertribal conflicts in the region, one can say proudly. During the period from 1957 until today, dozens of tribal reconciliation conferences have been held in Darfur.

These conferences summarized, precisely & accurately, the vocabulary of the conflicts, in respecting the historical right of the tribes to their lands, defining the borders of the pathways for the nomads & their livestock (west & east of Jebel Marra), with an accurate and definitive definition of the fixed natural features and timelines, stressing the adherence to the agreed upon tribal norms to resolve the tribal disputes, hosting & protecting the needed tribes, warning against establishing new native administrations without taking into account the dispute over land ownership (Hawakeer)…etc.

They point out to many negative & dangerous practices from the central authorities, especially the Ingaz regime, that had assumed divide & rule policies according to the loyalty of the tribes or the native administrations, discriminated between tribes when collecting or distributing weapons, and recruited armed tribal militias along the ethnic factors, etc…

Tens of sound and unanimous recommendations came out of these conferences, but remained without any serious & real implementation efforts, and it will be a catastrophe if the transitional government of the revolution follows the same pattern! This is why the conflict in Darfur continues.

I am trying to say that the Darfur crisis is not a localized regional conflict; rather it is a manifestation of the General National Crisis of the Sudan, which has been embedded in the country since the dawn of its independence on the 1st of January 1956.

This general crisis is reflected in the persistence of instability, conflicts, and civil wars all over the country, and has left its deep imprint in all aspects of the country’s political, economic, social, cultural and spiritual life.

It is a clear resultant of the big failure of the Sudanese political elites, civilian & military, who have been in ruling the country since that date of independence, to address and manage correctly and properly the foundational tasks and the fundamental issues required to build the post-independence state in Sudan.

These issues & tasks include: the relation between religion & state, the question of the identity of the Sudan, the appropriate form of governance, the suitable developmental project, and the management of diversity & the ethnicity relations.

Unfortunately, up to this very moment, these fundamental & foundational tasks are still waiting to be unlocked or answered successfully, and so, that is why we are describing the conflicts in Darfur as the crisis of Sudan in Darfur!

Again, it will be a catastrophe if the transitional period which we are living in now passes without seriously accomplishing those fundamental & foundational tasks. These tasks constitute the only key that can unlock the door & pave the way for rebuilding Sudan through a process based on the agreed upon principles of:

  1. Voluntary unity of the country against the possibility of its fragmentation.
  2. Citizenship as the basis for rights & equality regardless of race, religion, culture or gender.
  3. Adoption of the pluralistic civil democratic system based on the reality of the Sudan’s ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic diversity, and the interpretation of this recognition in the permanent constitution and the country’s laws and practices.
  4. Reform of the political system to ensure the equitable participation in power among the various national, ethnic and regional formations in the country.

5- To ensure a balanced, fair & just distribution of resources and wealth among the various Sudanese national groups.

6- The Rule of Law.

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