Land has become an increasingly scarce resource in Sudan due to desertification and more frequent drought.
Competition over resources is one of the major factors leading to clashes between the Falata and Habaniya of Darfur.
Reciprocal attacks and cattle raids between the two groups have left more than 370 people dead.
Diminishing land resources, partly due to spreading desertification and poor resource management have increased resource competition between the Falata and Habaniya of Darfur. This, in turn has led to reciprocal attacks and cattle raids between the two groups between 2006 and 2010, leaving more than 370 people dead (Bromwich, 2008; Sudan Tribune, 2008; UCDP, 2015).
An important factor behind communal conflicts in Darfur is the struggle for recognition of ethnic homelands (“Dars” in Arabic). The Dar is of particular importance to local communities, allowing for native administration and political representation at the local and national level and thus increasing the group’s overall prestige. The possession of a Dar is also essential in order to gain access to basic services such as education (Flint, 2010). In the present case, the Falata, who did not have a well-established Dar, struggled to form one. This resulted in violent conflicts between the Falata and most of their neighbours, including the Habaniya (Takana, 2008). Ongoing wars and the spread of heavy weapons across many regions of Sudan have further intensified these conflicts (UCDP, 2015).
After mediation efforts by the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), the Falata and Habaniya reached a reconciliation agreement in 2010, which stated that the disputed areas should be shared (Radio Dabanga, 2010). Since then no more fighting has been reported.