Not long ago you may have seen our appeal sharing the impact of our peacebuilding in Sudan. It was about the local Hakamat women becoming agents of peace instead of conflict. Many of you donated in response to this, thank you. Today we’d like to give you a look at the success donations like yours are helping achieve.
In South Kordofan, violent conflict and uncertainty plagues rural tribal communities. A recent increase in the spread of arms has exacerbated the worrying instability in the region, leading to more violence. In February, a market dispute erupted between Mohammed from the local clan and another man from a rival clan. They killed each other. Mohammed’s brother, devastated by the death of his brother and seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict, sought the council of the Hakamat women.
Instead of preaching non-violence, they persuaded him to seek revenge. Just six hours later, he had found and killed a family member of his brother’s murderer.
In this hostile and unforgiving region, it is customary that unless you remove four generations of the rival family, the other party can take revenge at any time for a past crime.
To avoid escalation, the solution to relocate one of the families was voiced. But they were both nomadic herders of different tribes, using the same migration routes to graze their cattle. Relocation would have spelled the loss of livelihood, so neither family was willing to relocate.
Luckily at this point our partner got involved. Their local Peace Committee suggested that the families settle their differences non-violently. After rounds of difficult negotiation, eventually reconciliation was agreed and facilitated by the Peace Committee.
This community normally has a murder each week, many in revenge for past crimes. This was the first time that revenge killings were prevented and it was only as a result of the skills and work of the local Peace Committee.