Land Tenure Journal, No 2 (2012)

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Addressing natural resources issues in Darfur through a Participatory and Negotiated Territorial Development approach: preliminary results

Syprose Achieng Ogola, Paolo Groppo, Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil


The roots of the conflict in Darfur have been characterized as an erosion of natural resources caused by climate change that have contributed to social strife and ethnic conflicts. One of the critical issues still requiring resolution is the long-standing conflict over land and grazing rights between non-Arab farmers and Arab pastoralists. The need to address Darfur resource and development issues were recognized, initially by the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in 2006, and more recently in the Government of Sudan's New Strategy for Darfur, 2010 and the Doha Darfur Peace Document (DDPD) signed in July 2011. The complexities involved in terms of interventions relating to natural resources - land in particular, must respond to the realities of the different livelihoods groups at the grassroots levels; failure to do so will perpetuate historic grievances linked to resource rights and sharing.
This article describes the situation as regards land and natural resources in the Darfur region, the approach that FAO is taking, and preliminary results of the fieldwork undertaken by the project Strengthening Community-Based Institutions for Participatory Peace Building, Conflict Resolution and Recovery Planning in Darfur, funded by the Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund. The aim of the project is to bring together different ethnic groups that were in conflict, to address the region's problems. In particular, the aim has been to find solutions to problems related to competition over and restricted access to common natural resources, using nonviolence means such as dialogue and other peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms.

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