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Tribal reconciliation conference begins in West Kordofan

August 24, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - A reconciliation conference between Darfur’s Rizeigat tribe and a clan of the Ma’alia tribe known as Agarba kicked off on Wednesday in West Kordofan’s state town of Al-Muglad.

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West Kordofan State (Wikipedia)

The conference, being held under the auspices of West Kordofan and East Darfur states, aims to settle the longstanding conflict between Rizeigat and Agarba tribes.

The first session of the conference was held in the presence of the Minister of Federal Government Chamber and representative of the presidency Faisal Hassan Ibrahim.

For his part, head of the Agarba delegation Muslim Saeed said they came to the conference determined to open a new chapter of relations with the Rizeigat.

On the other hand, the representative of the Rizeigat, Mahmoud Khaled Mohamed said it is hightime to settle the prolonged differences between the two tribes.

Ibrahim said that First Vice-President Bakri Hassan Salih would attend the closing session of the conference on Thursday if the two sides reached an agreement, stressing the government is determined to end the tribal conflicts.

Governors of West Kordofan and East Darfur states praised participation of the two sides in the conference, underscoring the need to achieve reconciliation between the two tribes.

Meanwhile, traditional and youth leaders from the Ma’ala have issued a statement ahead of the conference, describing it as incomprehensive because it only includes one clan within the tribe.

It added that the traditional administration of the Ma’alia is not aware of the conference and has nothing to do with it, saying the tribe refuses to participate in any reconciliation conference that doesn’t recognize its unity as a social entity.

Tribal clashes are now seen as the first source of violence in the western Sudan region and displaced thousands of civilians in Darfur five states.

The conflict between the Rezeigat and the Ma’alia tribes in East Darfur state is considered one of the longest and most deadly in the region.

Both the Rizeigat and the Maalia are pastoralist tribes, based in East Darfur. The centre of Rizeigat territory is in El Daein town, while the Maalia centre is in Adila, the second largest town after El-Daein.

Numerous reconciliation conferences and mediation efforts have failed to end the long-standing feud especially after reports that the disputed land contained oil.

Last year, the reconciliation conference between the two tribes, which was held under the auspices of Sudan’s first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Salih in the locality of Merowe in the Northern state, stalled over the right of land ownership known as Hakura (traditional land grant).

Tribal clashes are now seen as the first source of violence in the western Sudan region and displaced thousands of civilians in Darfur’s five states.

(ST)