Background to the fighting in Lagawa County

by Nanne op 't Ende

The Netherlands
October 10, 2007

Unfortunatley, the violence in Lagawa County continues. The only positive thing to report is that the dispute between the Miseriya and the Nuba is over land ownership, rather than over past grievances.

Neroun Philip, South Kordofan Minister of Rural Development and Water, describes the situation as follows:

"The problems started when the Ajang, one of the Nuba groups of which Abu-Junuk is part, tried to organise their tribal conference in an area called Abu-Sunut. They were blocked by the Mesirya on the grounds that the area belongs to them and the conference was postponed to a later date. Resently the Mesirya were going southwards on their migratory route and Abu-Junuk in turn decided to block their access to the route. The Mesiriya were ready and well armed to open the route forcefully, but when they attacked Abu-Junuk thirty of them were left on the battle ground with Abu-Junuk losing only five. That is the main issue. The Governor of Southern Kordofan, though from the Mesirya,  is not popular among any of them, so he can't end the violence."

As access to land is easier to settle than past grievances, we will not likely see a complete escalation of the conflict.


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