Sudan: Young Sudanese Activists - 'Tribal Violence in South Kordofan Caused By Armed Herders and Militias'

Delling / Kega — Young activists and Native Administration leaders in South Kordofan attribute the continuing tribal conflicts in the state mainly to armed herders and militias formed by the regime of ousted President Omar Al Bashir. They said so during an interview at the Radio Dabanga Youth Issues programme.

According to the young activists and the Native Administration leaders the (officially disbanded) Public Defence Forces, the Central Reserve Police (Abu Teira), and the Rapid Support Forces are the main armed militias. Tribal armament of herders, violations of reconciliation agreements, and the spread of hate speech were also mentioned as important reasons for the continuing tribal violence in South Kordofan.

Youth leader Ali El Ameen told Radio Dabanga from Delling that in the past young people in South Kordofan got to know each other in the neighbourhoods. They didn't see others as members of tribes or ethnic groups. The regime of Al Bashir, however, based its divide and rule policies on old tribal systems. This brought back ethnic hatred.

The Al Bashir regime, El Ameen said, used discrimination and racism in order to remain in power since the 1989 military coup. He considers arming herders, who show little respect for agricultural lands when migrating with their cattle, a main cause for the current instability in South Kordofan. Tribal violence has damaged the social fabric and the economic development of the state, he said.

El Ameen emphasised that all civilians must be disarmed. A culture of peace must be spread through workshops and hate speech must be rejected.

Mousa El Zubeir, Native Administration leader in the area of Kega north of the state capital Kadugli, said that the absence of the rule of law in South Kordofan created the current unsafe situation. Tribes that used to live in peace with each other ceased to do so. El Zubeir holds the Sudanese authorities responsible for the instability in the state. He called for the imposition of the rule of law.

El Neel Hussein, mayor of Abu Jubeiha town, said that the main problems in South Kordofan are the herders and militias that were armed by the Al Bashir regime. These herders and militias used these weapons to attack other tribes and groups and steal property. He called for the collection of all fire arms. He also called for reconciliations between tribes and solving problems in a peaceful way.

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