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University of South Africa (2018)

Natural resources and the rural development challenge in Sudan : the case of the Greater Kordofan states

Osman, Mahdi Ismail Mahdi

Titre : Natural resources and the rural development challenge in Sudan : the case of the Greater Kordofan states

Auteur : Osman, Mahdi Ismail Mahdi

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Management 2018

Résumé
This study is a contribution to the research projects in Africa that are concerned with the analysis of the various conflicts that currently face the continent. Political, ethnic, religious, cultural, and other forms of conflicts have increased in number over the past five decades. The academic community has been making its contribution to the understanding and resolution of the conflicts through its research projects. The contributions of the academic community are widely acknowledged in this regard. This study is about those conflicts emanating from differences in the cultural interpretations of natural resources between crop farmers and nomadic herdsmen. The example selected belongs to those conflicts, which are entrenched in the cultural practices of rural communities. These conflicts are unique, since most of them predate the political, economic, and ethnic-based conflicts, most of which have emerged since the colonial era. Understanding these types of conflicts thus constitutes an important area of the development process of countries such as the Republic of Sudan, which already has many conflicts to contend with. The areas elected the North, South and West Kordofan States constitute some of the conflict hotspots of the Republic of Sudan in terms of the cultural-natural resource conflict dynamics. The understanding and resolution of the conflicts between the crop farmers and nomadic herdsmen in the region have the potential to offer enormous benefits to the peace needed for the long-term development of Sudan. The objectives of this study were chosen purposely to contribute to the research projects on the peace-conflict discourse of the Republic of Sudan. They were aimed at finding out how the cultures of the crop farmers and nomadic herdsmen of the Greater Kordofan states explain the conflicts and the efforts of the Sudanese authorities to help address them. The critical realist research approach has been selected as the framework for the study. This involved a number of steps. First, information on the nature of the current policies and plans of the government of Sudan to address the conflicts has been collected as one basic element of the challenge of development of the Greater Kordofan region. The challenge has been discussed in terms of the gap currently existing between the government’s peace building plan objectives on the one hand and the actual outcomes on the other. Next, information was collected from the relevant stakeholders on the reasons for the persistence of the conflicts between the nomadic herdsmen and the crop farmers despite the efforts on the part of the government at building peace between them. Generating information in this way led to the recommendation that the stakeholders identified in this study hold the key to the success of the attempts at building long-term peace between the crop farmers and the nomadic herdsmen of the Greater Kordofan States. The recommendations of the study are based on the idea that opportunities always exist for the stakeholders to introduce positive change in their society.

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