SOS Sahel UK began working in Sudan in 1985. We have developed expertise in lowering tensions and increasing cooperation between herders and farmers, and in helping communities and local government improve their management of natural resources, such as forests, grazing land and water sources. In our current programme we are addressing the conflict between mobile herders and settled farmers over natural resources (trees, water and rangeland) in a context of institutional weakness and instability. This kind of conflict reduction work requires a patient and committed approach, but the consequences of doing nothing, as seen in Darfur today, are all too evident.
SOS Sahel has expanded its activities west to Abyei and the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, using a low-cost, lasting approach to building peace and prosperity through sustained engagement at community level. In line with Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), SOS Sahel aims to provide a model for solving problems across Sudan through programmes that address the root causes of conflict.
In North Kordofan, we operate in Sheikan, Um Rowaba and Bara localities and we are expanding this work into new areas Nohud, Gabiesh, Abu Zabad and Wadbanedah, which lie on the border with Darfur. In South Kordofan, we operate in Rashad, Dilling, Kadugli and we recently expanded west to Muglad to enable work in the vulnerable Abyei and Nuba Mountains area. Here we are working with Misserriyya pastoralists and Ngok Dinka farmers; mutually distrustful yet interdependent livelihood groups. Our activities include:
Collecting and analysing base-line information concerning issues such as the incidence of conflict and experiences of successful conflict mitigation activities. The results are shared widely with key agencies in Sudan in an effort to influence wider thinking and practice.
Training, capacity building workshops and direct support to Pastoral and Farmers Unions, Community-based Associations and the Native Administration; enabling them to represent their members’ interests and engage with Government policy-makers.
Training women and youths separately in conflict management and resolution skills to enable them to participate effectively in Peace Councils and on conflict resolution committees. In our experience, trained local mediators help conflicts to be resolved in a peaceful and timely way without recourse to formal courts or the use of firearms.
Establishing conflict forums that bring together representatives of competing groups and other key actors such as local government. With skilled facilitators provided by SOS Sahel, issues of joint management of natural resources and other conflict triggers can be discussed openly and solutions sought.
Arranging exchange visits between members of different livelihood groups to increase understanding of other, interdependent, livelihoods and cultures.
Disseminating peace-building messages via TV and Radio broadcasts.
Supporting community initiatives that promote shared management of natural resources, for example water supplies used by both settled farmers and mobile herders. Also the provision of community services such as re-planting of degraded rangelands and veterinary and vaccination services to complement the recovery of the area.
Promoting this project’s approaches through key individuals in strategic positions, such as technical Government departments in the region, helping them to champion its ideas and approaches among a wider group of organisations.
- Local Women & Youth Associations
- Local Pastoral & Farmers’ Unions
- Regional Government in Sudan
- Native Administration
- Canadian CIDA
- Common Humanitarian Fund
- HG Buffett Foundation
- Humanity United
- Jersey Overseas Aid