Written: 2016 | Published: November 13, 2023 | Osman Mohamed Osman Ali, Yousif Suliman Saeed Takana

Peacemaking, customary laws and institutions in Dārfūr

This paper explores the role of customary laws and institutions in peace-making in Darfur. It aims to understand how different norm-related institutions operate in local communities, factors of continuity and change within local norms and their institutions, the type and nature of legitimacy of local norms and institutions, and the level of efficiency of these norms and institutions in peace-making processes. The paper is based on a field study that used qualitative research methodology, including in-depth interviews with key informants and focus group discussions with local leaders, elders, and youth. The study found that customary laws and institutions play a crucial role in resolving conflicts in Darfur, and that local communities view them as more legitimate and effective than state courts. The paper also highlights the importance of considering local factors in resolving the current Darfur conflict and the need for consultation with traditional leaders and local communities. Overall, the paper argues that customary laws and institutions should be recognized and integrated into the formal justice system to promote peace and stability.


This paper was originally published by the Christen Michelsen Institute (CMI).

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