Report drawn by Professor Dani Wadada Nabudere, the conference fascilitator


The First Conference of Traditional Leaders of the Nuba Mountains was held in Julud, South Kordofan between 17th-20th July 2005. Over one hundred participants attended the Conference from all the corners of the Nuba Mountains as well as officials of the SPLM/A and the Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation Development Organisation-NRRDO, which organised the Conference. Commander Cdr. Ismail Khamis of the SPLM/A officially opened the conference and participated throughout the Conference along other SPLM/A commanders, organisers and mobilisers.
The conference was called for by the NRRDO, which proposed such a Conference to take place given the rising awareness about the role of the House of Nationalities. A number of workshops and conferences had already been held in Nairobi as well as inside South Sudan in support of such a structure to be included in the constitution of the New Sudan. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs-DFA was involved in the facilitation of a number of these meetings and discussions.

The objectives of the conference were to give support to peaceful co-existence in the Nuba Mountains as well as the need to restore traditional structures of governance in the new constitutional dispensation in the New Sudan. It was also felt that a coalition of all the leaders in the region to promote and defend the traditional rights of the people in the Nuba Mountains was required. More importantly, the idea was to unify the traditional leadership that had been disintegrated by war and manipulation by the warring parties and to protect cultural diversity and wealth of customs and traditions of all the communities, among other objectives.
The original idea was to have a conference of 100 participants from both sides of the conflict: 50 participants each from the SPLM/A and the Government of Sudan-GoS. In the event there were 157 participants from these areas, but it was pointed out during the conference that a lot of hurdles were faced by the participants from the GoS side and that some leaders were stopped or bribed from attending. The conference was nevertheless vibrant as different views of contention emerged on all the key issues of discussion.

Issues discussed
Three main issues were raised and discussed at the conference. These were: peaceful co-existence between the communities in the Nuba Mountains; the role of traditional authorities in the New Sudan; and the land question. The conference was held in plenary sessions as well as group workshops to enable the participants to go deeper into these issues and at the same time share views on issues discussed in groups. The conference felt that in order to create an atmosphere for the peaceful existence of the communities after many years of conflict and war, there was need for a system of administration that recognised the role of traditional leaders. There was also need for the land issue to be revisited so that conflicts that had arisen out of the land distribution could be addressed. Moreover, it was recognised that no real peace can prevail unless government addresses the issue of equitable development in the whole country. The SPLM/A assured the participants that the SPLM/A was now part of the Government and there would be no more support given to such illegal militia that had terrorised the population. There would now be a shared 'Joint Defence Board' and the north and south have equal responsibilities and powers on the Board. He also said that on the South Kordofan Security board there were equal powers between the Government and SPLM/A and that security issues concerning the state would be decided upon within the state.

Regarding the role of traditional leaders, the conference agreed that their recognition was a key to the restoration of good government in the New Sudan. It was pointed out that traditional authorities had survived although a lot of changes had been made whereby the GoS was able to appoint chiefs who had little support on the communities. Group Discussions produced a consensus on the role of these authorities. For instance, the participants agreed that the chiefs should be elected in their respective areas, that they should have the respect of the people and that they should have legally defined roles and powers. It was also felt that these leaders should be officially recognised and paid a salary as well as being provided with logistics to enable them to undertake their work. There was a feeling that regular meetings were required between communities to discuss problems between them and that a Conference of Traditional Leaders would also be necessary every one year to handle disputes and resolve them.

The land issues were very controversial but there was a general agreement on how the issue should be handled by the new SPLM/A and GoS government under the CPA. It was recognised by all the participants that land laws and land distributions undertaken since the 1970s, and especially in 1983, were intended to disown and displace the people of the Nuba Mountains. It was felt that new laws would be required to redress the injustices of the past and that wronged parties would have to be compensated. It was also agreed that the traditional leaders should be involved in the new laws and that there should be both the national and local land commissions to oversee the management and use of the land. To avoid conflicts between the pastoralist nomads and the agriculturalists, it was recommended that properly demarcated corridors should be established and that the pastoralists be regulated so they can come into agricultural areas in March and depart in June and that committees of the in-coming pastoralists and the local traditional authorities be set up to ensure peace.

The issue of the environmental degradation in the Nuba Mountains attracted a lot of debate and discussion. It was agreed that tree cutting for any purpose be made illegal and that the traditional leader have a role in the implementation of this policy. It was also emphasised that in order to have a proper use of land, the government should promote new agricultural policies that promote new crops and animal husbandry. There was a feeling that government should promote the cooperatives as a way of enabling farmers and pastoralists to improve their production and marketing of their products and this contributing to price stabilisation.

The conference ended with recommendations on all the above issues as reflected above. The outstanding recommendation on the issue of traditional authorities, the overwhelming opinion was that the SPLM/ should recognise and these institutions and ensure that they are included in the new constitutions of the New Sudan and Southern Sudan. The leaders affirmed their role as guardians of culture, not just to preserve existing cultures that run the risk of being lost in turbulent times and through modernization but also in responding to new situations and modifying them, especially within the multicultural policies of the New Sudan. There was also consensus that bad traditional practices should be stopped or changed.

The participants felt that there was a very positive harmony between the emphasis on safeguarding traditional Nuba practices and the desire to be part of a movement towards a new multiculturalism that accepts other ethnic groups within its embrace. Whilst discussing the question of creating bonds between different ethnic groups the issue of intermarriage was brought up. Some individuals felt that Nuba should no longer allow their girls to be married to Arab men as there had been incidents in the past where this had made Nuba communities vulnerable: the daughters had told their husbands how to attack their former home village. Arab participants on the other hand, acknowledged that although in the past the process of intermarriage tended to be one way, this was no longer the case and expressed a willingness to create alliances through the marriage of their daughters.

The leaders were decided that they had an important judicial role but it was unclear exactly what this would be. They also saw themselves as continuing their traditional role as peacekeepers both within their communities (including between different generations) and between different ones. The question of alliances however proved to be a difficult one. These alliances are those that were formed between Nuba agriculturalists and nomadic pastoralists, allowing the latter grazing rights over land owned by the former. Because of the damage done through Government policy in the previous years, many at the conference felt that no new alliances should be formed and that all the old ones should be forgotten.

Others saw that new alliances were a necessary part of future harmony in the Nuba Mountains. In the end there was at least a kind of agreement: all alliances need to be revisited and challenged before being accepted again. The question of land there was general agreement and recommendations were made to the effect that land that was grabbed should be reclaimed and the role they should play as guardians: these questions were the heart of the conference.

The discussions were at times controversial and emotional. But in the end there was a general feeling that the discussion had assisted the leaders to voice their feelings on these very burning issues. The Land Commission is seen as of very great importance for the communities. The traditional leaders were very upbeat in looking forward to their being involved in drawing boundaries between different communities and the conference was useful in helping them become clearer on what their role would be in this. But land ownership is only one part of customary law; the chiefs and sheikhs were also keen to discuss ways in which they would regain past responsibilities for land management but with modern knowledge. The leaders together pledged that they would work together to try and reverse the damage caused by the abuse of traditional institutions and the misuse of the land.

In the opinion of the Main Facilitator, this Conference was a great success because the issues were handled by the communities on the ground. It is therefore highly recommended that these discussions be broadened so that grassroots communities be involved in these discussions and that to enable this to be done, a series of workshops at this level be organised by the NRRDO.



1. The Role of the NRRDO
The conference of Traditional Leaders in the Nuba Mountains/Southern Kordofan was proposed by the Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation Development Organization (NRRDO) in their application to the Swiss Confederation, represented by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs-DFA, Special Representative on Conflict Issues. It would appear that the decision by the NRRDO to hold such a conference was prompted by a number of factors. These included a feeling that the people in the Nuba Mountains were not organized, especially in the Government of Sudan-(GoS) areas. It was noted that in these areas, there were now several 'traditional' leaders where there used to only be one recognised leader. The new 'leaders' had been appointed by the Government to 'control' the people in their localities. It was felt that it was now time for the traditional leaders to restructure themselves and fit themselves in the new situation.

2. The Role of the SPLM/A
It was also felt that the SPLM was making certain moves to find new ways of reorganising these leaders so that the powers that had been taken from them would now be returned to them under the new political dispensation in the New Sudan. But it was also noted that although there were these intentions, they claims were still disorganised and it was not clear what form such intentions would take. There were also indications that many of the Traditional Leaders were pleased about the possibilities that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) presented them the opportunity to have a wider influence with the support of the SPLM in governance of the New Sudan. However, it was felt that such support needed to be concretised so that the traditional institutions can repair the damage that had been done in the war years and build trust again within the communities and the country as a whole.
Other considerations and factors entered the picture such as the fact that there was a feeling that traditional institutions could already play a role in the on-going resettlement and rehabilitation of the people in the Internally Displaced Persons Camp (IDPs) and related issues such as the management of resources. They also felt that they had the influence to guide the people under them to get involved in solving local issues such as cattle theft and conflicts arising out of them. It also appeared that although there was very little communication between these institutions in the GoS controlled areas and where one existed it was a top-down one-way communication. Despite this, in the case of the SPLM/A controlled areas there was a channel of communication between the institutions and the SPLM/A authorities. It was noted that because of this openness, the Baggara in the government controlled areas had become aware that the SPLM/A was prepared to listen to their concerns and needs as well as the need to re-empower the traditional authorities. As a result, they were prepared to come over to the SPLM/A political position in order to fight for their rights alongside other leaders.

With this prospect, they did not see their role as being that of acting as militias for the GoS objectives. They now saw a different role for themselves, which they wanted to explore with other civil authorities, civil society as well as traditional authorities. Therefore they wanted to make their desires and concerns clear by collaborating. With this background, it was felt that traditional authorities were a real potential bridge between the community and central government authorities, creating a wider room for involvement in the governance of the New Sudan. It was these considerations that prompted the NRRDO, among other considerations, to propose for a Traditional Leaders Conference to be held in the Nuba Mountains to bring together Traditional Leaders to ponder over a number of issues of common interest.

3. Previous Discussions and the House of Nationalities
All these demands were being made within a wider context of discussion, which was beginning to spread, about the role of the idea of the House of Nationalities (HoN) in the new governance in the New Sudan. The idea to create a forum where the nationalities found in Southern Sudan can meet on a regular basis in order to discuss their problems had been muted among the exiled Sudanese leadership in Kenya. Consequently, these ideas were articulated in a booklet that was discussed at a seminar held at the Aberdare Country Club, Nyeri, Kenya funded by the Kenya Embassy of Switzerland, the Horn of Africa Centre for Democracy and Development, the New Sudan Council of Churches, the South Sudan Law Society and the Centre for Documentation and Advocacy presided over by Dr Willy Mutunga.

This seminar was significant in that it brought together South Sudanese across the political and social divide as well as religious leaders. At this meeting, the idea of a House of Nationalities crystallised because it was seen as an opportunity to create space for the people of South Sudan where they can meet and express their views across ethnic and cultural divide on may issues that will affect their common well being. Such a new institution was also seen as providing a vehicle for protecting linguistic, religious and cultural diversities of the people in a united country. Subsequently, the issue was discussed in the context of how it could be applied in the evolving political development that was leading to a Comprehensive Peace Agreement-CPA between the people of the North and the South. This aspect was pursued further at a workshop with a diversified attendance of Southern Sudanese in Nairobi on November 27th, 2002.

This series of meetings built up a momentum leading a meeting of traditional leaders held at Kapoeta, New Sudan, where the SPLM/A and the traditional leaders endorsed the principle of establishing a traditional leaders forum in Southern Sudan. In the ensuing "Kapoeta Declaration" became a basis for further discussions on the functions and principles of such a forum. This led to the holding of a consultation on the present challenges facing Southern Sudan, which was held at Neuchâtel, Switzerland on April 14-16, 2005 facilitated by Professor Kwesi K. Prah and Dr Willy Mutunga. This meeting was attended by a number of prominent people from Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, North and South Sudan, Oman, the US and Europe as well as members of the SPLM/A leadership and traditional leaders from Botswana and South Sudan.

At this consultation, the cultural and political significance and functions of such a forum was discussed as well as the operational principles, which included levels of authority, links between state and national levels, decision-making, accreditation, rotation, the role and place of women and youth, financing at different levels. The participants of the consultation conference submitted these conclusions on the establishment of a future forum of nationality leaders in the South Sudan for wider consultation in the South Sudanese community. As a consequence of this deepening interest on the issue of the HoNs, a website has been developed where the work emerging in this discussion are exhibited at

4. The Impact of the CPA
The successful conclusion the CPA in January 2005, therefore, opened a new opportunity as well as challenges to the people of Southern Sudan, and indeed, the whole of the Sudan to engage in this debate. One of the fundamental problems was the rebuilding of the war-torn country by two decades of conflict. The other was the accommodation and integration of the immense cultural and ethnic diversity of the country of more than sixty ethnic and cultural communities (or nationalities). Furthermore, it was quickly realised that both traditional and modern institutions in Southern Sudan had been severely weakened by the war, resulting in a critical "institutional vacuum" in the South of the country. The concern became more acute and awareness emerged of the need to rescue whatever had been left of legitimate institutions (including traditional ones) and to rehabilitate and adapt them to the new environment.

It was therefore fitting that at this particular time, the NRRDO decided to take up this call in response to the general situation, which was becoming favourable to such a dialogue in the Nuba Mountains.

5. Objectives of the Conference
The proposal that the NRRDO submitted to the DFA, the following objectives for the conference were spelt out. These were the need to give support to peaceful co-existence in the Nuba Mountains; the need to restore traditional structures of governance in the new constitutional dispensation in the New Sudan as well as the need to build a coalition of all the leaders in the region to promote and defend the traditional rights of the people in the Nuba Mountains. It was also understood that if restored such traditional institutions would in the process of time enable the following to be realised:

6. Preparation of the Conference
It was agreed that this conference be held in the month of July 2005 after a series of consultations and pre-arrangements. These involved the formation of an organizing and steering committees in Nuba Mountains and one at Kadugli, where liaison with the JMC, DPKO, Friends of Nuba and other international bodies were located. In the process, a list of participants/delegates was to be drawn up as preparations for the conference site, procurement of logistics and the identification of the facilitation team were appointed.

In drawing up a list of participants, it was agreed that the conference organisers would target about 100 traditional leaders representing Nasirs, Amirs, Umdas, mekks and sheikhs from both the SPLM and the GoS controlled areas inclusive of the traditional leadership of missirya, hawazma, kinana, kawahla and falata. Local government resource persons and officials were also to be invited to the conference. Thus the target group was to include a balanced representation cross lines of 50 traditional leaders from the GoS controlled areas and 50 traditional leaders from the SPLM/A controlled areas.
The criteria for the selection of the traditional leaders was also agreed to include the following considerations:

In addition to handling the above issues, there were other detailed problems such as the transportation of the participants/delegates to the conference venue from the different locations, the selection of the conference chairing team of three members, the convening of the conference and report thereon were also gone into in this period from June to early part of July, 2005. In the process of all this, it was agreed that the overall project management responsibility was to be facilitated by the NRRDO, NMIA and RUYA with the support from the donor partners. These together with the Organising and Steering Committee were to assist the communities in identifying and overseeing the conference process. In addition, the NRRDO Nairobi office, were to assist in programming, coordination, logistics, financial control and reporting. Further, the senior NRRDO management and donor partners were to supervise and monitor the progress of the conference where necessary.

The Facilitator to the conference and a local assistant were to be appointed to facilitate the conference. The main Facilitator in particular was contracted to carry out the following mandate:


According to the programme given in the project proposal, the conference was scheduled to take place from the 15th July 2005 to 21st July 2005. However due to logistical problems, the conference was delayed and the official opening took place in the evening of Sunday 17th July 2005 by Commander -Cdr. Ismail Khamis of the SPLM/A in the Nuba Mountains after prayers from the Christians and Muslims were said. After the prayers, there was a period of silence in remembrance of the heroes and martyrs of the war. Commander -Cdr. Ismail Khamis spoke, partly on behalf of the Regional Secretary, Abdul Aziz Adam, recognising the important roles played by the chiefs in implementing peaceful existence between peoples in their communities. He thanked the leadership in Julud for hosting the conference in their area.

The NRRDO representative, Lazim Suleiman, the Deputy Executive Director then discussed the role of NRRDO had played in the preparation and organisation of the conference. He thanked all those involved for making the holding of the conference possible. Samira Jama who spoke on behalf of the Women's Union of the Nuba Mountains followed him and discussed the important role women had played in the struggle. She pointed out that in order for the unity of the New Sudan to prevail, women had to be given an equal role in the running of the country. She also said that now people are feeling free and that this culture of freedom can never be forgotten. A woman in the Nuba Mountains is a candle that gives light into the darkness.

The Traditional Chief of Julud then spoke, and welcomed all the participants. He said what had been achieved was important for the people of the Nuba Mountains and that the people would never allow a situation where we would go back to the situation that had prevailed before, emphasizing that they would never surrender but go ahead with the peace agreement. He then pointed out that the ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains was the beginning of the peace, and that it was a positive step forward for the whole peace. In this new situation, everyone needs to come together at this time to protect what had been achieved; emphasizing that identity was like a child and one had to take care of it or else it would perish.

The Lagawa Executive Secretary, who spoke next, said that the correct vision of community leaders should be to serve their people not to serve the power-holders. The Dilling Executive Secretary called on all the traditional leaders to join in the SPLM/A in order to consolidate the gains that had been achieved. Commander -Cdr. Ismail Khamis, who rose to speak again, emphasized how important it was that the chiefs should be democratically elected by their people. He talked of the importance of dialogue and the need for diversity of language, culture and religion. He pointed out that cultural peace was the responsibility of the traditional authorities. He said that SPLM was a political party whose job was to support and implement the peace agreement. He also thanked NRRDO for the role they had played in hosting the conference.

At the end of the opening ceremony, the NRRDO introduced the two facilitators who would guide the conference and ensure that the conference comes out with concrete resolutions and recommendations. These were:
1. Professor Dani Wadada Nabudere, from Uganda (Main Facilitator);
2. Mr. Mohed Maryoud Ali, from Nuba Mountains (Assistant Facilitator).
The representative of the DFA, Kwacakworo, was also introduced to the participants and this set the stage for the beginning of the discussions the following morning.

Three major issues discussed at the conference:
A. The role of traditional authorities;
B. Peaceful coexistence;
C. Land distribution and use


On the second day, the conference was opened for deliberations with introductory remarks from the Main Facilitator, Professor Dani Wadada Nabudere from Uganda. Ho noted the role played by traditional institutions in the colonial and post-colonial Africa, by pointing out that the attitude on the part of colonial and post-colonial rulers to regard traditional institutions as being outdated to have been mistaken. He pointed out further that despite this negative attitude towards these institutions, the colonial powers had seen it fit to use aspects of some of the ideas and institutions for their own purposes of "indirect rule." Post-colonial governments had even done worse with the exception of a few countries. They abolished and criminalised these institutions. But today, some of the governments have waken across Africa to the fact that these institutions have a vital role to play in working with Governments to bring about peace and better government.

It is therefore welcome that in the New Sudan the SPLM/A has seen the importance of these institutions from the very beginning. Therefore the people of the Nuba Mountains and those present at the conference are fortunate to be part of this process of rejuvenation. This has been made possible because of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement-CPA, which should be fully exploited so that these institutions can have a positive role in development in this direction. The unity between the north and south is a sign of goodwill between the GoS and SPLM/A and the people of the Nuba Mountains can be a good example to the whole of Sudan by embarking on this path, which is as a sign of tolerance and goodwill.

After these opening remarks, the participants and delegates were asked to state their expectations from the conference. A number of participants put forward their views as to what they expected from the conference as follows:
1. One Chief said that he wanted to see a new framework emerge for the roles and responsibilities of the traditional authorities;
2. Another Chief and Headmaster of a school, wanted to see traditional authorities getting more responsibility for land in their areas and to be re-empowered by the conference;
3. One participant said that hereditary traditional authority leadership is not old. Therefore, we need to look at ways of communities electing their leaders. He said that in the towns they were told what to do and were therefore not free to exercise their powers. He said that he wanted the vision of the SPLA/M to come into being in their area. He also said that the traditional authority should not be pushed into political parties, but remain independent;
4. Another Chief wanted leaders in the state to be strengthened;
5. One Chief said that the role of the chiefs as peacekeepers to be taken seriously again. He said that the traditional authority was ready to take their positions again and hoped that a paper would be written after the conference outlining what the traditional authority need in the discharge of their responsibilities. He also hoped that criteria for the appointment of chiefs would become clear;
6. One participant said that the main problem was land because land has been taken from the local communities and given to outsiders. He talked about the tragedy of Habila, where no one owned their own land and had to rent it from outsiders instead. He said that the land should be returned and quickly to the real owners. He added that it was as if traditional authority had their hands amputated. They have been without power and this needs to be remedied. These authorities need to have their capacities and awareness built in order to cope with the current transformation;
7. One Chief received a standing ovation for having joined the SPLA. He said that people thought they were being given a good job by the SPLA, but found out that they were misled. He said that the SPLA could protect the traditional authorities and their interests. He said that from now on he would refuse to form a militia, this is a misuse of his position, and he would rather die because he does not want to fight his own people. He said an investigation is necessary to help the traditional authority to play the right role;
8. Finally, one Chief said that he risked death to come to the conference. This was his first time to see SPLA/M leaders but he could see their strength and power in their faces. He said that he expects the SPLA/M to give community leaders mandates for their work.


(i) Presentation on Traditional Authority
After these reflections on expectations, Mohammed Maryoud made a presentation about the history of the Tegali Kingdom in the past and how the traditional authorities were structured at that time. He talked about how, at the end of the Nineteenth century, the authorities had structured the system from the bottom upwards (Sirh-Mak/Nazar-Omda-Shiekh). He gave examples of how land had been taken from the people in the building of the Kennana Sugar Factory. There was no compensation given to the people for the land and water taken from them. He said it is vital that traditional laws for land ownership are recognized for peace to be maintained. Land is our mother; we cannot buy or sell it for personal gain. He said there was a discrepancy in the way land was dealt with in the South and the North. In the North, land had remained in the communities, whereas in the South, on the other hand, the Government took it from the communities and kept it or gave it to outsiders.

He pointed out that in 1951 some powers were given to the traditional authority as regards land management. But in 1971 these powers were taken away from them. Instead more than 5, 000 administrators from the north were brought to rule in their areas. Over the next ten years things became worse and worse for the community leaders. Since 1981 there have been a large number of 'puppets' elected, men who followed the Government's decisions about security and land management but who had no real power of their own. Now we need to decide what our roles and responsibilities will be for the future. For instance, what should we be called? We also need to think about issues such as salaries and what we will need in order to be able to function, for instance transport.

There was some discussion after this submission and some questions were raised and comments made on the presentation. One chief said that some of the traditional leaders were too afraid to come to the conference, even though they had known about it. He suggested that some of them might have been given money not to come. He said, to general applause, that money was no longer what they wanted. What they wanted was peace and development. He said he was serious about his support of the SPLM/A. There was also some discussion about how the position of traditional leaders become elective instead of them being inherited as in the past. It was suggested further that the leaders needed some guidelines within which to work.


(ii) Presentation on Peaceful Coexistence
The second presentation of the morning was by the deputy Amir of Tegali, Ahmed Mosar, who spoke on the need for traditional institutions playing a role in the peaceful existence of the people. He begun by pointing out that for the last 24 years everything has been wrong. He talked about how the Tegali administration had had their beliefs changed and how it had come under Islamic domination. The way the newcomers have done things has been inconsistent with the old traditional system. The agricultural schemes created a great deal of conflicts and trouble. People were killed and it became normal to hear gunshots at night in local areas. The Government began to classify people according to their interests. The two biggest courts in Kordofan were cancelled in accordance with a Government order.

From then onwards, any independent system of administration collapsed. Communities were destroyed and harmony was dissolved at this time. There was a lot of looting of property and raping of women. In order to try and create some order, the Government set up a system of appointing their chiefs. However, all policemen and officers were from outside and did not know about the values of the people they were supposed to rule. Coexistence was then imposed from above. One consequence of all this was that a gap begun to develop between the youths and the traditional authorities. Now we need to move on with a clear guideline.

After this presentation, the following discussion ensued. One Chief talked about the problems of his tribe. He said that although he had been elected, another man had now been appointed as the leader of his people by the Government. He wanted to know what would happen now? Another Chief talked about the problem of militias. He wondered how the chiefs could confront Arabs on camels with guns? He also said that agreements would be needed between different tribes in the Nuba Mountains and not just between Arabs and the Nuba authorities.

Another participant talked about the problems posed by the Imam campaigns. He said that the Government appointed Imams made everyone believe that those who were supporters of the SPLA were atheists. In response, Commander -Cdr. Ismail Khamis of the SPLM/A talked about the issue of the Arab camel raiders. He said that the SPLM/A was now part of the Government and there would be no more support given to such militia. He added that before, the north ran the Ministry of Defence. But now there is a shared 'Joint Defence Board' and the north and south have equal responsibilities and powers on the Board. He also said that on the South Kordofan Security board there were equal powers between the Government and SPLM/A and that security issues concerning the state would be decided upon within the state. The SPLA Governor (Abdul Aziz) would never allow raids to occur again. He also said that DDR would have a role in disarming these militias.

Group Workshops on Topics discussed
The participants were at this time divided into ten group workshops, which were each given a question to discuss. The Organising/Steering Committee or Secretariat suggested the questions to be discussed. After the discussions, which took over two hours, each group reported back the results and consensus they had reached and these were presented in the plenary session that followed. The consensus was presented on flipcharts and the other participants were invited to comment on the issues.


Group Workshop 1:
Question 1:

How can we create community leaders with a good vision for the future (ways of nomination and structures)?

The consensus on this topic was as follows: The leaders must be from the area they where to serve. The people of their areas must democratically elect them. In the case of the sheikh he/she must be elected by his community; in the case of the Omda the election must be by an assembly of sheikhs. It was also suggested that there should be one Omda for every 10 sheikh, and that you need a majority of these to agree on an Omda. There was also a consensus that there should be a sheikh for every 30 families).

The group agreed that the community leaders were not developing in parallel with the current situation and therefore they needed capacity building. They also said that there should be judiciary with powers clearly spelt out for all of the community leaders, but that more work was needed to decide what responsibilities were to be given to whom and what were to be the links between different levels of traditional authority and the central or regional government. There need to be a system bywhich, if a Omda is behaving inappropriately, such Omda can be stopped/ his position given to another.

There was an agreement that among the criteria to be developed for qualification should include: literacy, open-mindedness, strength, trustfulness, popularity and experience. There must be transparency in all cases there should be legal mechanism for dealing with bribery and corruption. The traditional authority leaders must also have good knowledge of all governance procedure and mandates, for example under the CPA.

Group Workshop 2:
Question 2:

What should be the names given to the members of Traditional Authority?

The group reported that there was some confusion over this issue. Many people in the group made different suggestions and at the end of the discussions, there seemed emerge some lack of clarity. It was agreed that in different areas might adopt different names. It was agreed again that the sheikhs would be elected by their communities and then would elect Sultan/Omda who would then assist a Mag (although some said that 'Sultan' should be the highest rank). There seemed to be agreement that Mek was the Nuba word, 'Omda' Arab and 'Shatai' the word from the West, but all were the same position. It was also emphasized how important it was that the community leaders recognized that they had to preserve and develop the culture of their communities. The need for training was reiterated. It was pointed out that there used to be clarity on this issue but that the recent Governments had deliberately caused confusion. Some speakers said that the community leaders must support SPLM/A objectives.

Group Workshop 3:
Question 3.

What roles should these community leaders play in the coming period?

There was consensus that these roles should include: preservation of old good customs and getting rid of bad ones; maintaining security in the community; forming courts and getting some judicial powers (e.g. punishment for tree-cutting); governing people in a democratic and equal way; keeping the land in good condition and maintaining borders; there should be one Mek for each community; involvement of the community in common projects; and maintaining local regulations.

It was also agreed that the community leaders should have a role in forming traditional dancing and singing teams etc, and other ways of preserving and encouraging traditions and youth involvement in the community such as festivals. It was agreed that the community leaders must set a good example on various social and cultural issues, such as being the first to take both boys and girls to school; saying no to female circumcision and early marriage, and advocacy for reduction in dowry reduction payments.

The group also agreed that the community leaders should have a role as peace observers/keepers, especially in the relationships between farmers and nomads. 30th March was set as a date for nomad movement into the Nuba Mountains. They should also have a role in getting Nuba people who are away to return to their lands and ensure that at least 90% should return. The community leaders should work together with their own vision for the future, those selected as leaders in Khartoum who are not united with those in the Nuba Mountains and who do not share their vision but have rather been appointed as puppets by the GoS should be abolished.
It was agreed that the community leaders should have a role in disseminating information in local languages, for example telling people about their rights, the CPA etc. They should also help women reach their potential and encourage good practice, like education and freedom of speech in their communities and a respect for human rights for all, especially women.

Group Workshop 4:
Question 4.

What sort of relationship should exist between community leaders and the State? What about between them and other traditional institutions?

The group agreed that there should be clearly defined links and that Judiciary powers should be given by the State to them so that they can use their customary laws in regulating local issues. There must be a clearly defined link between customary law and state law. However, it was agreed that the two should compliment each other and not contradict each other. It was agreed that if foreign companies want to invest in an area or if the projects are Government projects. e.g. oil, the community leader should be on the board of trustees so to have a good understanding of what is going on. It was also agreed that the community leader should be on the local board/part of the Land Commission. Furthermore, Judges, lawyers, and police should have a relationship with the community leaders. It was also pointed out that decisions need to be made about 'doubled-up' positions, e.g. Omda in IDP population and that at 'home'.

Group Workshop 5:
Question 5.

How can the traditional administrator be empowered so that he can effectively play his role? What powers does he need, what incentives, transport etc?

The discussions in this group tended to replicate the discussions in the other groups so that there was an overlap of the issues that were discussed. The group thought that the community leaders need to know what their geographical boundaries are, and what powers they will have in the discharge of their roles. Their decision-making powers need to be respected without interference from central authorities. Some participants in the group wanted to know whether or not this contradicted the interim constitution. There was a suggestion that the community leader should be given projects and funds to complete them with but someone else said that this might lead to corruption. Someone also noted that this kind of thing might be an obstacle to the community leader's political neutrality.

There was also some discussion about judicial powers, whether the community leader should have powers of arrest and criminal trial? There was also a question of situations where there were no lawyers, whether in those cases customary law could 'complete the job'? On the other hand, it was felt that conflict and dispute resolution could be handled within boundaries of customary laws. The group put no specific areas of delegation of powers forward.

Group Workshop 6:
Question 6:

How can we encourage or rebuild coexistence between communities?

The discussion revolved around the issue of development in the Nuba Mountains. The group emphasized that there was need for a complete programme of development of economy and social services and that once this was done; it would remove a source of conflict between communities. Land reform was seen as central to this problem. Boundaries need to be redrawn, land taken from local communities returned and a proper plan for the usage of lands decided upon.
It was felt that for peaceful existence to prevail, there had to be a democratic election of chiefs by the people instead of them being imposed on them. The group also agreed that strong people should be elected as community leaders, those who can confront interference and troublemakers.

It was also agreed that peace should be built into the curriculum of schools at all levels. Generally awareness about common citizenship also needs to be developed. It was also felt that projects, which were aimed at enhancing cohesion in the community should be encouraged. Furthermore, it was agreed that alliances between pastoral nomads and agricultural farmers need to be revisited and reformed to reflect changes. Agreements about the use of pasture and wells should also be monitored so that care is taken to ensure that temporary agreements should not lead to one side loosing their pastures and wells permanently.

The group also agreed that a Conferences of Traditional Leaders ought to he held one a yearly basis to solve problems and disputes between communities. Intermarriage between Nuba and Arabs should also be encouraged. Currently there is a 'one-way' relationship whereby the Arabs often marry Nuba girls but do not allow their daughters to marry Nuba men. One participant stood up afterwards and said that he knew of more than 250 Arab ladies who were now married to Nuba men and he offered his six daughters to add to that number. But someone suggested that intermarriage should not be allowed as sometimes Nuba sisters showed their Arab husbands where to loot their former homes.

It was felt by the group that there need to be a committee to follow-up on inter-ethnic relations and make sure alliances are being respected. There should be heavy penalties if these alliances are broken. It was also emphasized that everyone should have equality in the community. Everyone is African and therefore alliances should be respected and revisited on this basis.

It was also felt that in order to ensure peace in local areas, the Government should work closely with the traditional leaders when land was being surveyed for any purpose to avoid suspicions. The leaders must be consulted and agreement reached before such surveys are carried out.

Commander -Cdr. Ismail Khamis who attended this group intervened and described the wrongs of Islamization policy in the Nuba Mountains. He told the participants that this would never be repeated. He said that community leaders had suffered discrimination under this policy. For example, those appointed by the GoS as leaders said that one was black then such a person could not become an Imam. He added that refusing intermarriage was the old thinking. We need to think as New Sudanese and avoid discrimination. `Divide and rule' is the old policy of the GoS, but the SPLA believes in the cultural and religious diversity of the people of New Sudan. It was important to respect traditions but also to pave the way for unity in the New Sudan.

Group Workshop 7.
Question 7.

How can people of different generations work together?

This question raised a very animated discussion in the group. Many participants felt that there was need for better education for the young, including civic education; especially focussed on the education of the girl child. It was agreed that conflicts between communities destroyed the relationship between young adults of different communities and how they relate to their region. Therefore, it was necessary to create cultural clubs to make cohesion possible. Youths also need projects and programmes to enable them to be active so they are not kept idle.

It was also agreed that local languages and traditions should be taught to children. Elders as well as youth should participate in community programmes such as drawing up boundaries. Furthermore, children in IDP camps need to be brought back into the communities so they can be re-socialised in the cultures. Boarding schools should also be encouraged because they bring children from different communities together. It was also suggested that traditions were good because they gave authority to all adults to punish children for wrongdoing. Youths should also participate in congress.

Group Workshop 8:
Question 8:

How can we rehabilitate old alliances?
There were mixed feelings on this question. May participants felt that there was no need for new alliances in any area. However, as the discussion proceeded opinion changed and the majority of the participants felt that new alliances were necessary. In the end there seemed to emerge a consensus that all alliances should be reviewed and if found to be unfair or unfeasible, they should be thrown away and better ones formed. The overwhelming view was that the reform of old alliances should not be to the benefit of only one party. There was also the view that conferences between communities and intermarriage were preferable. Recognition and respect for each other was essential.

Group Workshop 9:
Question 9:

How can we resolve community problems?

The majority of the participants felt that the best way to resolve problems between communities was through conferences and workshops between different communities, which would leading to peace and transformation. It was also felt that there should be improved system of law and order. Some participant argued that discussion on this issue should be delayed "until we destroy central Government". The other participants felt that the best way of maintaining good reactions is to use resources in a positive way, e.g., harvesting and selling of Gum Arabic. Others felt that by holding firmly on the SPLM/A, communities would solve their problems. Others felt that the CPA should raise the percentage in power and resource sharing.

Group Workshop 10:
Question 10:

How can we organize and maintain the cohesion of out communities?

The participants here felt there was need to continue to have conferences, exchange visits and meetings every year between traditional leaders. There was also agreement that confidence building and trust between communities through the sharing of projects and intermarriage would contribute to better cohesion within communities and the other communities. There was also a suggestion that committees should be formed from community leaders to bring about better cohesion. Strict laws for punishment across communities were also proposed. The youth should be made aware of a peace culture through education and family-upbringing.
At this point, Commander -Cdr. Ismail Khamis who had moved to this group using the words of Nelson Mandela said that we should to forgive but not forget wrongs done to us. He said we needed to examine these alliances and ask the question where did the old alliances come from? The members of traditional authority need to decide what a good alliance is.



The Main Facilitator opened the day's work by congratulating everyone on the previous day's proceedings and achievements from the group discussion. He said that people's feeling that they were free to speak was an achievement, which was won out a long period of struggle for these rights. People of Southern Sudan were fighting for their identity. He spoke of black martyrs all over the world who fought for the rights. He called for a moment of silence in the remembrance of those heroes of African freedom who were not with us.

He spoke of the SPLA policy, and emphasized that it is only the oppressed that can liberate and humanise the enemy through their struggles for equality. He pointed out that Africans believe in the philosophy of Ubuntu-equality of all human beings. This is what motivated leaders such as Mandela to struggle for such a long time until they negotiated with the former enemy. This was also what John Garang and the SPLM/A had done. There must be no revenge, but dialogue to find new solutions. When we fight for our freedom and rights, we also fight for those same rights for the oppressor.

He emphasized the importance of culture as the main contributor to our liberation. He reminded the participants that the Sudan and Nubia in particular, was the Cradle of Mankind. It was here that the civilisation of all humanity begun. Therefore Sudan is the seat of very old cultures that have survived through centuries. The New Sudan should resurrect that humanistic civilisation that emerged here many centuries ago. This will remind the rest of humanity of the strong humanistic traditions that Africa was able to create but which can serve us for the future. When we believe in Ubuntu, we mean that we should have a world without exploitation and domination. We want an all-inclusive civilisation that recognises all humanity-Arabs and Africans included. This belief comes out of our deep cultures that should be the basis of new policies such as land and traditional leadership.

After this introductory speech, three presentations on land were made. The first presentation by Mohamed Maryoud went into the history of land alienation and use in the Sudan. The issue of the creation of corridors that the nomads used and the wells for cattle were the two major sources of conflict. The speaker called for a calm discussion on this issue so that we can all benefit from this conference. In his view, the new land policy should revolve around the land commission, which will be responsible for solving disputes. He pointed out that in 1898 the British passed a law called the Land Control Act under which land in the Nuba Mountains was managed. In 1918 - 1925 new land distribution under British control was introduced. Again between 1922- 1947 there was the Closed Districts Policy under which the Nuba Mountains was classified into three parts: (a) 3 km area around the mountain was declared to be reserved for the Nuba use only; (b) the next 6 kilometres, which was two thirds of the land is for Nuba (c); and finally half of the next 9 kilometres, was to be used by Nuba and he other half for the government and others. No non-Nuba could use the land that was designated for Nubas. Under the policy, custom law was recognised to be used to control the land ownership and usage, a customary law that was respected within Nuba-designated lands.

The second speaker, the lawyer Mohamed al-imam, pointed out that the land laws from 1925 onwards until 1980s were not satisfactory for the Nuba people. There emerged a gap and division between the people, the legislator and the implementer. The implementers were free to do things in which the people had no voice. The Nuba people in Government in Khartoum have been like puppets doing whatever the government in Khartoum wanted as regards land. The laws passed in 1983 contained many defects in the land situation at the time. It was a politicized law. The Nuba people were marginalized in their education and there were no good lawyers trained to defend them. The laws had an Islamic flavour but did not reflect Islamic beliefs. All over Sudan, except in Gezira and northern Sudan, any land that was not being used was automatically alienated to the state. In this way many people lost their lands, which was given to businessmen who did not live in the area. Their ownership was put on maps, which legalized the land-grab.

All crops that were grown on the lands were taken away to Khartoum with no benefit accruing to the benefit for the local people. There was one area of 13, 000 feddans that was owned by one man! We can only imagine how many families were displaced by this act of land grabbing. These lands should now be divided back for the people of the area to use. Some land was also taken from South Kordofan to allocated to North Kordofan, which is going to create political problems in the future.

We need a clear and sustainable policy on land, which will give a clear line on individual ownership of land. There should be written documents to support such allocations. One role of traditional leaders could be to take care of land belonging to absentee owners. If the owner wishes to sell his land the chiefs and his neighbours should be consulted first. There also needs to be clarity on issues such as water sharing especially given the fact that streams sometimes change their direction.

The third speaker was made by Jaafar Salim. He pointed out that in the 1970s the north had complete control over the land in the Nuba Mountains. The objective at this time was to control the boundaries and put in place clear corridors for the nomads from the north to enter and use certain wells and pasture in the South. The nomads begun to misuse the natural resources by cutting down trees in the areas where they had access without permission of the authorities. He recommended that the Land Commission should look at the 7 million feddans of agricultural land in the Nuba Mountains (out of which 4 million feddans were given to people from outside). In one project 200, 000 feddans was given to one person. The Land Commission should divide the land into two parts. One part should be for use of the communities and the other part should be used to the central government.

He suggested that the Land Commission should give the people the right to review all contracts and other land issues. The local Land Commissioner should be chosen from the local area and will be given full powers to monitor the use of land. There should be a clear definition of 'land' use both on the surface, what is beneath the soil and the space above.

Commander Cdr. Ismail Khamis also intervened in this Workshop and reminded the participants that the land is not only for Nuba, it is also for the communities that live here. The Nuba should not be depicted as pushing everyone away. Others communities have the same rights in the New Sudan as everyone else. We are all responsible for preserving our land. We should look after our trees for example as we look after our cows. Oil and gold are in the control of the state but full compensation will be given to those who have their land disturbed.

After these presentations, there was a general discussion. Many people came forward to congratulate the SPLM/A on their victory and to state their loyalty to the Movement. Others came forward to talk about Habila and what a scar this had left on the land and the communities concerned. Many participants agreed with the three presentations that had been made, suggesting that new policies should be framed to remove the problems created by the old land policies.

Group Workshops on Land
The discussion on the land issue took a whole day. After the above presentations, the participants were divided into the ten groups to discuss the questions that were given to them with a view to putting forward some resolutions since there appeared to be a general consensus on the issue of land emerging from the plenary presentations and discussions again to look at nine questions concerning land law in the Nuba Mountains region.


The following resolutions on the 'Land Questions' were presented after the group Workshops in the plenary.

Group One:
Land Boundaries

The group felt that in order to find fair boundaries the following policies should be put in place:

1. To ensure the ownership of the land, it is necessary to demarcate boundaries between tribe and tribe with the help of the elders;
2. The only people who own land should be those that live area concerned;
3. It is important to put marks to demarcate different boundaries, for example using trees;
4. The land must be distributed by sheikh and elders in the areas that belong to them.

Group Two:
Land Use:

The group suggested that in order to prevent future tensions stemming from the utilization of the land the following policies be put in place:
1. All old land laws should be cancelled as well as the wrong policies on which they were based;
2. There should be new legislation and a recognition of customary law that keep and regulate the relationship the people to their land;
3. There should be compensation for those individuals and communities who were affected by policies of land grabbing in the past. This could come in the form of material compensations, e.g. by erecting dams from which all can benefit;
4. There must be a clear policy put in place that can be the basis of decision making on the proper usage of the land in the state;
5. Modern forms of farming and animal husbandry should be introduced and new agricultural crops and the horticultural schemes introduced;
6. Water collection and preservation should be implemented to provide water for animals in different areas;
7. The SPLM/A policies regarding the land ownership should ensure that land belongs to the community.

Group Three:
Problems of Desertification

The group recommended that in order to fight desertification in South Kordofan the following measures be undertaken:
1. There should be a general prohibition of tree cutting in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture;
2. There should be appointed forest-guards, under the authority of local administrations;
3. Measures should be put in place for fire fighting;
4. Government in collaboration with the communities should building windbreaks by plantation of trees, especially Acacia trees;
5. Charcoal making should be prohibited and instead the use of gas should be encouraged;
6. Strong measures and punishment should be taken against those individuals who cause fires. Also people should be encourage to grow trees for decoration as well as fruit trees;

Group 4:
Relations between pastoralists and agriculturalists:

The group recommended that in order to confront the environmental situation in North Kordofan that led to the fighting between the farmers and pastoralists, the following measures be undertaken by the government of the New Sudan:
1. The pastoralists must not be allowed to enter the region before March 1 every year, and must have left the areas into which they are allowed by the end of the June every year;
2. The local traditional administration of the region must be notified early before their entry;
3. People must comply with the laws that prevent cutting of the trees, especially natural fruit trees. Any harvesting must be only with express permission of the host community. Any breach of those laws must be strongly punished;
4. The pastoralists must confine themselves to the routes given to them when they enter the areas they are permitted to do so;
5. There should be periodical meetings between traditional administration of the pastoralists and of their agricultural hosts and efforts must be made to coordinate these regular meetings by the central or regional government;
6. Fees/taxes must be levied on the pastoralists coming from outside of the state after consultation with the governments they come from.

Group 5:
Problem of the IDPs on resettlement:

The groups recommended that in order to solve the problem of IDPs, the following policies should be put in place by the government:
1. Building of trust building and peaceful coexistence to ensure the eradication of the wars, both those stemming from a lack of services and from ideological reasons;
2. There should be provision of means of livelihood and employment and all-needed conditions for the return of the IDPS and their resettlement in South Kordofan should be put in place before they return;
3. The Nuba Mountains Agricultural cooperation needs to be restarted in order to assist in the resettlement of the IDPs;
4. Cotton cultivation to be restarted in order to create employment opportunities for all, including the IDPs;
5. There must be a banking system to facilitate credit for new investors especially in agriculturally rich areas;
6. There should be price stabilization for the agricultural products;
7. Monopoly over marketing and production of certain crops should be made illegal;
8. Planning institutions in the state of South Kordofan should be activated;
9. The Cotton ginning factory as well as the Kadugli textile factory need to be restarted;
10. Gum Arabic should be renamed Sudan Gum.

Group Six:
Regulation of Individual Land Ownership:

The group recommended that in order to prevent farmers from individually contravening policies in the land that he owns, the following measures be adopted:
1. The farmer has no right to share out his land but he can lend, all or part of it to another individual;
2. The farmer must advise the Sheikh or chief of the village before taking any such action;
3. To lease and distribute the agricultural schemes the following measures must be considered:
(a) Repeal of existing land laws,
(b) Form land commission at tribal level with qualified members and elders youth and women to acquire knowledge and know-how,
(c) The distributor schemes granted in the past must be cancelled and redistributed on a proper basis and according to new measures that guarantee the rights of the citizen first and for all,
(d) Three kilometres must be demarcated as boma area, 6 kilometres to be village area for mechanized farming, and the rest of the area that belongs to the mechanized farming must be distributed to the citizens of the tribe first and then the rest to the citizens of the state;
(e) The existing investment laws should be replaced by sounder investment laws that ensure the interests of the citizens of the area concerned,
(f) The Tribal Land Commission is the link between the National Land Commission and the concerned tribe. No other group has precedence over this relationship;
(g) Dams must be constructed in agricultural schemes to provide drinking water for workers and farmers.

Group 8:
Agricultural Development:

The group was of the view that for the agricultural cooperation to flourish so as to contribute to the economic development of the citizens of South Kordofan there must be eradication of past grievances against developmental projects that come from outside the region. Therefore the group recommended that the following measures be put in place:
1. There must be agricultural means and new technology that should be placed under the administration of the boma;
2. The land must not be given to any individual or group from outside the state;
3. The agricultural land must be owned by the residing citizens of the boma;
4. All land laws that gave land to outsiders by former governments should be cancelled;
5. Pesticides and other forms of insecticides should be provided by the state to the farmers;
6. Water in shared sources in agricultural schemes should be provided.

Group 9:
Development of Gum Arabic (Gum Sudan):

The group suggested that in order to make use of Gum Arabic in a better way, the following measures be adopted:
1. The establishment of cooperatives for gum farming and marketing in order to provide the following:
(a) Protection of the producer,
(b) Protection of gum forest,
(c) Stabilization of gum prices,
(d) Provision of enough funds to help people begin to trade in this product,
(e) There must be qualified people to train locals how to make use of the trees that produce gum.
2. Encourage and enlighten the citizen the importance of the gum as an economic source;
3. There must be ways found to fight locusts and other pests that harm the gum trees, and this fund must be provided at the right time;
4. Legislate effective laws that are able to protect the natural resources.

In the afternoon, after the recommendations on the land issue had been given there was time for two brief speeches on the topic of culture and the importance of preservation of culture by the people of the Nuba Mountains.

The Main Facilitator pointed out that culture and customary practices in the whole of Africa favour customary ownership and control over land. He said that culture is the reason why people fight for their land, and that the fight has made the culture strong, adding: 'you have been fighting with this culture for 500 years.' He also talked about the vital importance of preserving the environment. He called on the participants to make it as their first agenda when they return to their communities the problem of fighting desertification, which was becoming serious in Sudan. We should form grassroots organisations to fight the encroaching desert and educate the nomads how to loom after trees by quoting a Kiswahili saying from Nyerere to the effect that: one is a visitor for one night and the following morning must take a hoe to join the host to cultivate. He wished the participants a good return home and to greet them.

Kochakoro added a small note, emphasizing how important culture is. Every culture has good and bad sides, you have to protect the good side, in the end your culture is your only possession. He wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone how fragile cultures are, that the participants must not get lost as they are the leaders of future generations, whenever they meet, even if the purpose is to discuss something else, they should also think about this.
In the evening, the plenary session continued to consider the final Resolutions and Recommendations by the Conference drawn up by the Secretariat from the record of the discussions in the plenaries and group workshops. The following were the final resolutions:



1. The traditional authorities should be independent and non-political and should make every effort to keep away from partisan and divisive politics;
2. The traditional/community leader should be democratically elected by the people concerned;
3. The leader will be over 40 years of age, resident in that area and literate; (there was some discussion over this last point with no clear resolution);
4. The leader should have responsibility to resolve disputes within his community and between his community and others and to support the good relationship between tribes in any way he can;
5. The leader should preserve the good aspects of his culture and work to eradicate bad cultural practices;
6. The leader should contribute to customary law, working to make various aspects compatible with new situations, for example alliances and corridors for nomads;
7. The leader should make sure that land is used wisely and in accordance with good environmental practices;
8. The leader will have a judiciary role and links with higher authorities to support him or her in this;
9. All traditional leaders should be paid a salary and a percentage of the taxes on animals. There will be an audit of all these movements of monies;
10. The leader shall recognize the value of cultural diversity;
11. The leader shall work to improve education for all members of his/her community, as well as having a role as an information-disseminator himself;
12. The leader shall develop the relationship between the youth and other generations;
13. Traditional leaders shall pay special attention to the role of women in their communities and promote the education of all youths, including the girl child;
14. All alliances shall be revisited and critically examined. All unions between tribes and groups are to be encouraged, meetings, intermarriage etc.


1. There should be a recognition of tribal customs, cultural and religious beliefs;
2. There is need of improving the education curriculum by implementing peace culture to eradicate the roots and causes of war;
3. There is need for disseminating education in the regions and restoration of dormitory system in the schools;
4. Government should implement different innovative activities to harmonize gender between the elders and the young to link generations;
5. To revitalize the alliances and old conventions and agreements it is important that these alliances be: -
a. Revised by the Nazirs, Mecks and Sultans of tribes;
b. Drafted on new basis that guarantee equality and commitment;
c. Refreshed by convening regular meetings for dialogue between the native administrations in the region;
d. Revitalised by building trust between the tribes and individuals so as to create unity between the coexisting tribes in the region;
e. Improved by efficiency and exchange of culture to reinforce the social structure cohesion;
f. Reinforced by the formation of associations and unions in away that contributes to social structure cohesion.


1. The ownership of land shall to follow demarcations that come from tribal affiliations to the land;
2. There shall be officially recognised markings to indicate the demarcation of land in difference areas;
3. All oppressive land laws repealed and new ones made to suit community interests;
4. The state shall encourage good land use and provide new seeds, pesticides and new methods to be used for better farming;
5. Water points shall be provided and be built near farms;
6. The general adoption of SPLA policy on land shall ensure that land it belongs to the communities;
7. The leaders shall play a leading role in the fight against desertification by stopping over-cutting and large-scale destruction of trees in order to make charcoal. Punishments shall be put in place to punish those who engage in unlawfully cutting of trees. Instead the state shall encourage the use of gas in households;
8. The pastoralists coming to the Nuba Mountains from other places shall be regulated on a seasonal basis. Their corridors shall be demarcated and properly and maintained. They shall be taxed for their movements into lands belonging to other communities and contribute to tree planting during their stay. There shall be meetings set up between the nomadic and sedentary communities to ensure peace and trust among them;
9. To reduce conflict between communities, the state shall undertake development in all the communities. New farming schemes, development banks, and other infrastructure shall be established to service such development. There should be stabilization of prices to help ensure reasonable income to the farmers and cattle-keepers;
10. The personnel appointed on the Land Commission shall have the right qualifications and experience. They shall establish a good link between the community interests and those of the state;
11. The legal basis of current land schemes and allocations shall be studied to ensure that land is redistributed fairly and any damage done individuals and communities compensated;
12. The state shall encourage farmers and pastoralists to form cooperatives to enable them to improve their production and marketing. They will also contribute to the stabilisation of prices;
13. The State shall improve the production and trade of Gum Arabic Gum Sudan);
14. The state shall encourage communities to engage in reforestation of their areas.

Comments from the Participants:
1. The role of sheikh should not be underestimated; this is the first connection to the community and has an important role to play in connection to land. The Omda needs the sheikh in order to be able to operate. The sheikh should also be given incentives;
2. The hardest part of this procedure will be implementation; the chiefs should be provided with copies of the resolutions delivered to them all;
3. Roads are in bad shape and need to be improved. The traditional authorities should use consultation methods to make some decisions instead of one individual leader doing so. This will encourage democratic approach to decision making in traditional institutions;
4. The structures of the traditional authorities still needs some work. Can there be differences in structure between different communities?
5. The issue of the relationship between community leaders appointed by the Government in IDP communities as well as others and the leader elected by the people needs to be examined. No clear conclusion was reached as to whether the 'town' leader should simply be abolished or whether he should be allowed to be an 'assistant';
6. Compensation for the land that was ruined by the oil pipeline should be made to the communities affected;
7. Complete transparency was called for in the demarcation of boundaries;
8. There is a need for regular conferences, meetings and discussions between the traditional authorities to enable them to resolve conflicts. There was some discussion of yearly or twice-yearly meetings;
9. All communities should be encouraged join the SPLA/M;
10. 'Gum Arabic' should be renamed 'Gum Sudan'.


The conference was wound up on the 20th July 2005. A message of congratulations was received from the new administration of the region. Commander -Cdr. Ismail Khamis of the SPLM/A thanked the participants for their contribution and assured them that the new Sudan government will do everything possible to implement what they had decided at the conference.A number of participants also joined in to thanks the organisers of the meeting and for having invited them to be part of this historical conference.


S/N - Name - Designation
Observers from SPLM regional office:

1 Cdr. Ismail Khamis Jallab - Acting secretary of Nuba mountains Region. Commander of SPLA 4th front
2 Cdr.Yousif Karra Harun - SPLM/A HQ Rumbek
3 Cdr. Suliman Jabna - Commander of Western Region
4 Al / Cdr. Al Sadig Tamam - Deputy Commander western Jebels.
5 Al / Cdr. Mariam Yuhanna - Director Women, Child and Gender
6 Judge / Ramadan Shimela - Judge -Dilling county.
Observers from UNMIS&NGOS :
1 Neroun Philip aju - Executive director NRRDO
2 Allazim Suleiman - Deputy executive director - NRRDO
3 Siddig Mansur - Director of Information & Information Regional office.
4 UNMIS representatives Julud
5 Mrs.Sky weeler - Representative PACT-Kenya.
6 Mr mohammed fadal - UNDP Kadugli.
1 Prof. Dani W. Nabudere - Ugandan Expert
2 Mohamed Maryud - Local government expert
3 Prof. Conradin Perner, Switzerland.
Organizing Committee:
1 Mubarak Bolus, Kauda
2 Hassan Adam Alsheikh, Kauda
3 Mojo Mohamed Daud, Kauda
4 Samira Yamma, Kauda
5 Mustafa Jibril, Julud
6 Jaafar Ali, Julud
7 Sadig Hamid, Julud
8 Musa Shantu, Julud
9 Bakri AbdulRahman, Julud
Panelists of the conference presented papers:
1 Deputy Amir Ahmed Al mansur - Jaili Tagali /rashad
2 Mr: Mohamed Maryud Ali - Local government expert
3 Mr: Mohamed Al -Emam Al Nour - Lawyer
4 Mr: Jaafar Salim Mohamed - Ex.lecturer- Africa Int.University
Information & Secretariat:
1 Mr. Mohamedein Ibrahim Omer - Regional HQ
2 Mr. Jaafar Salim - Regional HQ
3 Mr. Badawi Bashier Al Fier - Regional HQ
4 Mr. Edris Al Rashid - Regional HQ
5 Mr. Harun - Regional HQ
6 Mr. Mohamed Ismael Ali - Regional HQ
7 Mr. Suna Kalamanja, Julud
8 Mr. Khalda Abdalla, Julud
9 Mr. Abbass Ahmed Abdul Rahim - Regional HQ
10 Mr. Salwa Mohamed Daud, julud
Delegates Native Administration leaders :
1 Meck: Al Amin Abdul Gadir Daud, Mandal Adlan - Gos dilling locality
2 Meck: Mohamed Arya, Assubae - Gos kadugli locality
3 Meck: Musa Azrag Kuku, Tima - SPLM lagawa county
4 Meck: Murad Al Momin, Assubae - Gos kadugli locality
5 Meck: Al Fahal Abu Raida Daldum, Al kurgul - Gos kadugli locality
6 Meck: Idris Omer Balla, Julud - SPLM dilling county
7 Meck: Abdalla Inenat, Katla - SPLM dilling county
8 Meck: Mohamed Ali Kuwa, Golfan - SPLM dilling county
9 Meck: Salih Alyas Daldum, Kamda - SPLM lagawa county
10 Sultan: Abbas Badawi Kuku, Tulushi - SPLM lagawa county
11 Judge: Al Amin Aries Birri, Kawalib - SPLM rashad county
12 Meck: Nimeri Abdalla, Anshu - Gos dilling locality
13 Meck: Abdalla Ali Tirab, Habila - Gos dilling locality
14 Meck: Suliman Al Basha Mohamed, Al Katen - Gos dilling locality
15 Nazir: Saied Komi Kuti, Kwalib - SPLM rashad county
16 Meck: Yusif Ismael Al manna, Kajala - SPLM dilling county
17 Meck: Mohamed Dagal Kuku, Umhetan - Gos dilling locality
18 Meck: Hamid Tieri Kidan, Al Ama ( Alqos) - Gos dilling locality
19 Meck: Mohamed Fieri Sallam, Al Ama (Al Kuk) - Splm dilling county
20 Meck: Sir Aldar Al Daw, Golfan (Kabeila) - SPLM dilling county
21 Meck: Abdul Bagi Annaw Saied, Um heitan - Gos dilling locality
22 Meck: Awad Gawi Ingliez, Al Ama (Salam) - Gos dilling locality
23 Judge: Babiker Khamis Jallab, Tima - SPLM lagawa county
24 Meck: Hamdan Gaddal Amin, Hagar Sultan - Gos dilling locality
25 Meck: Abdalla Mohamed, Al Ama Nitil - Gos dilling locality
26 Meck: Al Daw hassan Mohamed, Kadaro - Gos dilling locality
27 Meck: Al Tayib Badawi Dunia, Golfan alrugul - Gos dilling locality
28 Sultan: Al Zein Hammeida Kuku, Lagawa - Gos lagawa locality
29 Meck: Ismael Suna Krun, Nyimang - Gos dilling locality
30 Meck: Aabdin Ahmed, Katla Tima - SPLM lagawa county
31 Sultan: Madibo Idris Suliman, Daju (Lagawa) - Gos lagawa locality
32 Sultan: Abdu Hassab Alla, Hajar Sultan - Gos dilling locality
33 Meck: Sabir Salmin Tawir, Sinnar state - Sinnar state
34 Meck: Attom Al Basha Musa, Dabre - Gos dilling locality
35 Sultan: Abdalla Al Tiaema, Shiffir - Gos dilling locality
36 sultan :Tawir Mahdi Rudwan, Abujunuk - SPLM lagawa county
37 Sultan: Rabbah Kenjo, Al Ama (Keilak) - Gos lagawa locality
38 Meck: Mukwar Asum, Al Ama (Salara) - Gos dilling locality
39 Meck: Azrag Bashir Hamdan, Al Karko - Gos dilling locality
40 Meck: Suliman Tieso Tieya, Tulushi - SPLM lagawa county
41 Sultan: Anglo Wafer Dao, Dinka (Abuyei) Kadugali - Gos kadugli locality
42 Admin. Officer.Ibrahim Obeid Hassan, Assubae - Gos dilling locality
43 Meck: Salih Bilal Adduma, Addabatna - Gos dilling locality
44 Sultan: Himedan Juma Kafnan, Abujunuk - SPLM lagawa county
45 Sultan: Al Imam Ahmed Musa, Lagawa (Dajo) - SPLM lagawa county
46 Sultan:Abdulrahim Mohamed Subahi, Lagawa (Dajo) - SPLM lagawa county
47 Ustaz:Mohamed Al Imam Anour (Lawyer), Abu Jubeha (kawahla) - Gos abugebeha locality
48 Dep.Amir:Ahmed Al mansur Abbasiya, Tagali - Gos rashad locality
49 Dep.Amir: Mustafa Ismael Alzeibag, Rashad - Gos rashad locality
50 Sultan:Bahr Addin Attijani Ismael, Rashad(Alfeyed) - Gos rashad locality
51 Meck: Yagub Fadl Al Basha, Turjuk - Gos rashad locality
52 Sultan: Abdalla Shol, Abujubeha - Gos abugebeha locality
53 Eng: Abdalla Adam Ramadan Chair of advisory council, Nilab - Gos rashad locality
54 Khamis Altuweir Abubakr Dep.court chairman, Al walka - Gos rashad locality
55 Meck: Mohamed Ali Kowa, Longan - Gos rashad locality
56 Meck:Omer Ahmed Nagra, Talodi - Gos talodi locality
57 Meck: Babikr Mohamed Al Hussein, Subut - Gos rashad locality
58 Meck: Mohamed Adam Jigir, Allieri - Gos talodi locality
59 Meck: Mohamed Suliman Sagga Gadier, Gadier - Gos rashad locality
60 Meck: Nurein Juma Al Mahdi, Kao Nyaro - Gos abugebeha locality
61 Meck: Dafa Alla Ali Dafa, Alla Tamoro - Gos rashad locality
62 Meck:Hammad Abdul Ghani, Minnawi Werni - Gos abugebeha locality
63 Amir: Mohamed Tieya Kuwa,Alliera - Gos kadugli locality
64 Amir: Ahmed Musa Harin,Keiga - Gos kadugli locality
65 Amir: Mahmoud Abdalla Almurad, Shawabna - Gos kadugli locality
66 Meck: Jibriel Allayin Kappi, Tiera Lumon - SPLM kadugli county
67 Meck: Abbas Adaira Alliya, Seref Jamus - SPLM kadugli county
68 Meck: Kafi Abdul Wal Wahid Daragat, Shat Damam - Gos kadugli locality
69 Meck: Rajab Allamba Kuku, Umsirdiba(Moro) - Gos kadugli locality
70 Dep.Meck: Juma Fadul Juma, Bargo - Gos dilling locality
71 Asst.Judge: Babo kakum Munir, Assubae - Gos kadugli locality
72 Judge: Ahmed Abiela Kuku, Kauda, Moro - SPLM rashad county
73 Sultan: Ibrahim Komi Sharhabiel, Alliera - SPLM rashad county
74 Meck: Abdul bagi Annow Saed, Al hadra - Gos kadugli locality
75 Amir: Karar Attom Ahmed, Lagawa - Gos lagawa locality
76 Omda: Al sheikh Biera kinga, Kujuria - Gos dilling locality
77 Omda: Abdalla Mohamed Tiena, Lagawa (misseria) - Gos lagawa locality
78 Omda: Abbakar Ibrahim mohamed, El farshaya - Gos dilling locality
79 Omda: Zacharia Ghaboush Eldai, Kamda - Gos lagawa locality
80 Omda: Ibrahim Kassalwi, Altukuma (Hawsa) - Gos dilling locality
81 Omda: Elsiddig Hamid Idris, Dilling - Gos dilling locality
82 Omda: Basar hammed Kuku, Elnitil - Gos dilling locality
83 Omda: Yunan Mekki Ali, Tabanat - Gos kadugli locality
84 Omda: Ahmed Adam Abdul Rahman, Habila (Bargo) - Gos dilling locality
85 Rep.Omda: Mohamed Salih Yunis, Lagawa (fallata) - Gos lagawa locality
86 Omda: Awad Abdul Rahman Elamin, Kawalib (port Sudan) - Port Sudan
87 Omda: Zacharia Ghaboush Kafi, Lagawa - SPLM lagawa county
88 Omda: Abdalla Ahmed Azrag, Kuldgajji - Gos dilling locality
89 Omda: Azrag Ismael, Elkafeir - Gos dilling locality
90 Omda: Ahmed Elhaj, Habila (SPLM office rep.) - Gos dilling locality
91 Dep.Meck: Jibriel Yoda Salim, Habiela - Gos dilling locality
92 El Tahir Anour Hamid, Habiela (SPLM office) rep - Gos dilling locality
93 Omda:Siddig Anour Jariema, Julud SPLM dilling county
94 Omda: Hammad Ali Hamid, Kao Nyaro - Gos abugubeha locality
95 Omda: Ali Musa Adam, Abukarshola (Tukum) - Gos rashad locality
96 Omda: Abu baker Elmanssur, Jaile Tabasa - Gos rashad locality
97 Omda:Ibrahim Adam Awdoon, Gardud Ngama - Gos rashad locality
98 Omda: Sabiel Bukhari, Allubana - Gos rashad locality
99 Omda: Hassan Mekki Abdul Rahman, Kabous - Gos rashad locality
100 Omda Rep. Omar yahya Attom, Karmogia - Gos rashad locality
101 Omda: Daud Ibrahim Khalid, Rashad - Gos rashad locality
102 Omda:Yunis Osman Ahmed, Turjuk - Gos rashad locality
103 Omda: Abdul Karim Yagoub Harran (elders), Tagoi Abukarshola - Gos rashad locality
104 Ahmed Omer Siraj Elnour (elders), Abukarshola - Gos rashad locality
105 Omda: Abdall Omer Ali, Tajilbo - Gos rashad locality
106 Omda: Abdul bagi Ahmed Anour, Tartar - Gos abugubeha locality
107 Omda: Musa Adam Iedam (Hawazma), Abukarshola - Gos rashad locality
108 Omda: Abdall Omer Ajloun, Tajilbo- Elseref - Gos rashad locality
109 Omda:Ali Eljamri, Khor Deleib(Attoro) - Gos rashad locality
110 Omda:Daud Shukr Alla Kanu, Kadugli - Gos kadugli locality
111 Omda: Rajab El Iaiser Shakkak, Keiga Timero - Gos kadugli locality
112 Omda: Kuka Kowa Himeidan, El Luugori - Gos kadugli locality
113 Omda: Abdalla Deng Tieya, Teisae - Gos kadugli locality
114 Omda: Jibriel Mohamed Tom, Fama - Gos kadugli locality
115 Omda: Samir Hamid, Teisae - Gos kadugli locality
116 Omda:Elsharief Badr Kuku, Damba - Gos kadugli locality
117 Omda: Musa Tieya Kaki, Chururu - Gos kadugli locality
118 Omda: Elzubeir Kuku, Jabal Kuwa - Gos kadugli locality
119 Omda: Zeidan Kuwa Tieya, Abu Hashim - Gos kdugli locality
120 Omda: Iz Eldien Mohamed Suliman, Moro - Gos kadugli locality
121 Omda:Dahiya Hamdi Tutu, Abu Sunun - Gos kadugli locality
122 Omda:Yunan Mekki Ali, Tabanga - SPLM kadugli county
123 Omda: Hassan Elbanna Kuku, Alliera - Gos kadugli locality
124 Elsheikh: Mohamed Ali Adam, Habiela - Gos dilling locality
125 Elsheikh: Yusif Daud, Habiela - Gos dilling locality
126 Elsheikh: Ibrahim YahBeshir, Habiela - Gos dilling locality
127 Elsheikh: Deng Mobeik, Habiela - Gos dilling locality
128 Elsheikh: Mohamed Yagoub Idris, Habiela - Gos dilling locality
129 Elsheikh: Taruk El Rihema Yagoub, Lagawa - SPLM lagawa county
130 Elsheikh: Mohamed Tiyo Kheir, Lagawa ( Daju) - SPLM lagawa county
131 Elsheikh: Beshir Norein Jamus, Karko - SPLM dilling county
132 Elsheikh: Deif Alla Hammad, Karko - SPLM dilling county
133 Elsheikh: Azrag Dabba Ariel, Karko - SPLM dilling county
134 Elsheikh: El Fadul Abbass Attom, Lagawa - SPLM lagawa county
135 Elsheikh: Norein Attom, Karko - SPLM dilling county
136 Elsheikh: Abdalla Kuku Gawiya, Eldabatna - Gos dilling locality
137 Elsheikh: El Mahi Elgadir Asosa Asosa, Golfan - Gos dilling locality
138 Elsheikh rep: Mohamed Osman Mohamed, Kurtala - Gos dilling locality
139 Elsheikh: Abdalla Arban Saied, Golfan - SPLM dilling county
140 Elsheikh: Gadoum Fadul Kunar, Dabri - Gos dilling locality
141 Elsheikh: Mohamed Hamdien Kuku, Kamda - Gos lagawa locality
142 Elsheikh: Khamis Kuwa Kafi, Kamda - SPLM lagawa county
143 Jabal dair rep: Awad Hilal Natu, Jabal Dabab - Gos northern kordofan state
144 Elsheikh: Hassan Omer, Assubae - Gos kadugli locality
145 Elsheikh: Suliman Ibrahim Mohamed, Bargo - Gos lagawa locality
146 Elsheikh: Annow Juma Mohamed, Ma-aalia - Gos lagawa locality
147 Elsheikh: Garfa El Nabbad, Nyimang - Gos dilling locality
148 Elsheikh: Musa Mohamed Abdalla, El Farshaya - Gos dilling locality
149 Elsheikh: Hammeida Joda Bukman, Um Kurum - SPLM dilling county
150 Elsheikh rep: Azrag Essa Nasir, Tama - Gos lagawa locality
151 Elsheikh: Ibrahim Adam Omer Bakhiet, Elbeija - Gos lagawa locality
152 Elsheikh: Abbass Harun Mohamed, Elboma (SPLM Office) rep - Gos lagawa locality
153 Elsheikh: Hanuwa Mohamed, Dilling - Gos dilling locality
154 Elsheikh: Gesm Alla Diemo Bakhit, Dilling - Gos dilling locality
155 Sultan rep: Tawer Mahdi Rudwan, Dilling - Gos dilling locality
156 Elsheikh: Musa Saad Eldien Hassan, Habiela - Gos dilling locality
157 Elsheikh: Hassan Suliman Abdalla, El Dibeibat - Gos dilling locality