Sudan: Initiatives in North Darfur, South Kordofan to Stop the Fighting

El Fasher / Delling — Civilian groups in the North Darfur capital of El Fasher have managed to convince the warring Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to stop fighting in the area. Native Administration leaders in Delling, South Kordofan, agreed on Tuesday to launch such an initiative as well.

Nimir Abdelrahman, the acting governor of North Darfur, yesterday lauded the initiative of Native Administration* leaders, civil society activists, police officers, and women and youth groups that has led to a new ceasefire between the two warring parties in the state.

In a speech on the occasion of Eid El Adha (the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice), the governor called on all Sudanese “to start similar initiatives in order to stop the war, especially those who enjoy good relations with both sides”.

Abdelrahman, a former rebel leader who was appointed following the Juba Peace Agreement signed in October 2020, said that the Committee of Mediators and Elders will continue to regularly meet with the commanders of the two warring parties in North Darfur to discuss the status of the armistice.

The governor called on the rest of the country’s states “to follow the example of North Darfur, as the biggest losers of the war are the Sudanese people”.

He called on “all segments of society in all localities of North Darfur to come together and help maintain hospitals and health centres and provide assistance to those who fled the attacks on Kutum and on Tawila”.

In early May, army and RSF commanders in North Darfur agreed to extend an three-day ceasefire in El Fasher for an indefinite period, following mediation of the Good Offices Committee. The committee, which included imams, Native Administration leaders, activists, and the acting governor of North Darfur, was able to convince the two sides to agree on the initial ceasefire.

In Khartoum, a journalist launched a White Banners initiative on Wednesday, to demand an end to the war. “We have called on people living in areas not affected by the war to raise white flags on their roofs and doors on Friday, June 30, and carry white flags in the streets to demand an end to this absurd war,” she said.

South Kordofan

On Tuesday, tribal community leaders in Delling locality agreed on an initiative to stop the fighting between the Sudanese army and the RSF on one hand, and the army and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) on the other hand.

Local activists told Radio Dabanga that Native Administration leaders and locality officials met in the town of Delling “to address the violence at state level in general and Delling locality in particular”.

The participants agreed on the formation of mechanisms that will work on “three main axes: rejection of the war, prevention of rumours and hate speech, and promotion of peace.

A joint committee will be formed to meet with the RSF and the SPLM-N El Hilu “to achieve peace, security, and stability” in the South Kordofan’s Nuba Mountains.

The activists downplayed the importance of the initiative “because of the lack of effective mechanisms and influence on the parties involved in the war”.

* The Native Administration was instituted by British colonial authorities seeking a pragmatic system of governance that allowed for effective control with limited investment and oversight by the state. The Native Administration also took on new responsibilities for executing policies, collecting taxes, and mobilising labour on behalf of the central government. According to the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) and civil society activists, the Native Administration during the 30-year rule of dictator Omar Al Bashir did not represent the real local community leaders.