March 1, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – A member of the Sovereign Council, Hadi Idris, said that the Land and Hawakeer Commission, which will be established soon, will use traditional conflict resolution methods and customs to settle the conditions of settlers and ensure the return of the displaced to their areas.
One of the main demands of the victims of the war in Darfur is land ownership. The Juba Peace Agreement of 3 October 2020 dealt also with the settlements of newcomers in the areas deserted by the displaced and refugees who fled during the counterinsurgency campaign by the government militiamen since 2003.
Some fear that the expulsion of the settlers will lead to the outbreak of new conflicts in the Darfur region, which suffers from social and security fragility.
“The Land and Hawakeer Commission to be formed will work to address the land problems,” said Hadi, who is also the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement – Transitional Council (SLM-TC) in a speech to his supporters in Mellit area of North Darfur state, on Sunday.
He pointed out that the resolution of land ownership disputes would be through “the support of the Native Administration and the use of customs and traditions as basic references for dealing with land disputes, settling the situation of newcomers, and ensuring the return of the displaced and refugees to their areas.”
The peace agreement, in addition, speaks about the use of traditional justice in the resolution of tribal disputes when they do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Special Court for Darfur, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, and the International Criminal Court.
The leader of the SLM-TC, a splinter group from the holdout SLM-AW has been touring the Darfur region, for nearly two months since January.
He visited the IDPs camps across the region to explain the Juba peace agreement and encourage displaced people to regain their villages and areas of origin in the near future and pledged that the government would provide them with the needed means to facilitate their voluntary return.
During his tour, Hadi pledged to follow closely their causes and plights in term of justice and development, as his group is aware of the efforts of the holdout rebels to present the peace agreement as a power-sharing deal that does not address their demands.
The UN sanctions committee on Sudan recently urged the non-signatory groups to join the peace process and threatened to impose sanctions on their leaders.
He said the peace agreement provides the trial of perpetrators of Darfur crimes in the ICC, besides the Sudanese courts for the other cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity but will not be tried by The Hague tribunal.
The ICC, which is an exemplary justice, only indicted former President Omer al-Bashir, some officials and militia leaders responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.