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It has been almost a decade since the eruption of a bloody conflict in Darfur, Sudan's western region, a period of well-armed, well-financed and well-organized civil war. The crisis in this region of Sudan is neither a case of human catastrophe nor an accidental disaster that humanitarian efforts can remedy. The situation on the ground is far from what is reaching the world through what many Sudanese claim to be a combination of sensationalist and often lazy media coverage. The world/international community believes that the situation is simply a case of conflict between the non-Arab/black African South and the Arabs/Muslim North (Malek 2005). The truth is that the Darfur conflict and destabilization, like many in sub-Saharan Africa is ethnically-driven and can be traced back to as early as the 1960s when the Zagawa and Rizigat conflict emerged. This marked the beginning of different inter-tribal conflicts that have characterized the landscape every decade since then as well as attracted both terrorist and extremist organizations. In the book "Sword and Fire in Sudan", Rudolf Slatin, a British colonial administrator cites similar tribal conflicts and incidents when he was serving as a governor in the region in the 19th century. In the past, such situations were remedied by inter-tribal conferences as well as reconciliation that often reached solutions that were mutually acceptable. The modern judicial system from the 1970s onwards served to weaken this very effective native administration that provided effective local solutions (SudaNews, 2005, p.2).


According to Netabay (2009), the situation in Darfur is a quagmire. The region seems to provide a problem for every possible solution sought so far. Period of seemingly effective ceasefire agreements are broken by sporadic violence fueled the main players, the north-leaning government troops or the fragmented rebel groups of the south. As such, the situation presents no guaranteed or easy answer. However, it is possible to transform the violence into something that is more constructive (Lederach 2003). This is because the people of Darfur all have a common ground. Traditionally, the farmers and the nomads living here have depended on one another for their survival. The farmers relied on the nomad's herd to transport their harvest to the market as well as fertilize their land while the nomads relied on the farmlands for grazing and watering their cattle. This has changed with neither group seeing reconciliation in sight. Conflict transformation will ensure constructive change initiatives that will guarantee a horizon of the peace efforts that the region is seeking. In order to determine the most effective way of going about this, this project will examine the Darfur conflict through the conflict resolution's psychological theories (Deutsch, Coleman & Marcus, 2006, p.437).

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