Hussein Sulieman and Helen Young present on livelihoods, peace, and security in the Darfur region of Sudan

January 2023

A presentation on “Upholding Livelihoods, Peace and Food Security in Darfur Region of Sudan” was given by Helen Young of Tufts University and Hussein Sulieman of the University of El Gedarif at FAO Sudan premises on Wednesday, 11 Jan 2023. The presentation brought together the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) staff, other UN agencies, national and international NGOs, the European Union (EU), and representatives of different embassies.

The aim of the study presented is to record the unique resilience and potential of the “gizu” pastoral system, including its scientific rationale and social interconnections and institutions, to promote sustainable livelihoods and peaceful relations and security throughout the Darfur region.

But what is Gizu? And where we can find it? The gizu is a unique pastoral grazing system, mainly for camels, in the Sahara Desert of North Darfur and North Kordofan states of western Sudan. The gizu is also a Sudanese term for a remarkable form of short-lived vegetation that appears seasonally at irregular intervals. The gizu vegetation has a high moisture content and the livestock feeding on it do not need water throughout their stay.

Traditionally, camel and sheep herders from Darfur and Kordofan states use the Sudanese gizu. Recently, goat herders started to use it as well. However, camels remain the predominant species.

The presentation highlighted the gizu environment and pastoralists’ migratory systems based on three recent exploratory visits to the region (in 2021 and 2022). It also highlighted the implications of these systems on the relations between Gizu pastoralists and between pastoralists and farmers further south.

The implications of new trends have also been outlined, particularly the fact the region has become the focus for artisanal gold mining, trade, smuggling and migratory routes to Libya as well as a rear base for armed factions.

“Sudan is a country with enormous agriculture potential therefore investing in sustainable agri-food systems is key for inclusive transformation for the achievement of the SDG 2: “Zero Hunger”. Said Adam Yao, FAO Deputy Representative in Sudan.

This article was originally published by FAO.

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