Across Borders: Local Governance and Regional Implications
Darfurians have a lot in common. They speak Arabic, and they are all Muslims. Both the Orma and Somali are mostly Muslims, too. The Gumuz and Oromo also have long friendships. But permanent migrations across borders and the absence of effective government authority put pressure on the locals, fueling armed violence. The chapter states that border issues and arms smuggling, combined with weak government administration massively affected community relations in Darfur, Oromia, and the Tana Delta. The collapse of law and order in Darfur in the 1980s, as a result of inept administration and the influx of arms from Chad and Libya, brought about unprecedented armed violence. In Oromia and the Tana Delta, inadequate governance and arms smuggling across the borders contributed to ethnic tensions. Both the Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz states failed to adequately address causes of the conflict and to apply the widely respected local conflict resolution mechanisms in their border areas. They failed to arrest ringleaders and to intervene in time to halt the violence that led to another devastating crisis. Similarly, in the Tana Delta, failure to implement previous reports on clashes contributed to the perpetuation of conflict.