Accepted paper:

Pastoralists groups in Eastern Sudan: livelihood systems, migration and the question of integration


Zahir Abdal-Kareem (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Paper short abstract:

This paper deals with the issues of livelihood systems, migration and integration concerning pastoralists groups in Eastern Sudan. In this concern, governmental policies and massive population and animal increase and how they have affected the nature of migrations plus the question of integration will be central issues.

Paper long abstract:

This paper deals with three main issues concerning pastoralists groups in Eastern Sudan region. These issues are livelihood systems, migration and the question of integration. More precisely, the paper will try to answer the following questions: what are the main livelihood systems practiced by pastoralists groups in Eastern Sudan? What is the nature of migrations (historical and recent) observed in this area? What is the nature of integration processes of these pastoralists with the settled communities of the farmers groups as well as with the larger economic and administrative systems? The paper depends on information collected during my PhD fieldwork in Gedaref state, Eastern Sudan between April 2011 and May 2012. For the purposes of this paper, a comparison will be made between three main pastoralists groups that include the Fulbe, the Beni Amir and the Lahaween. The selection of these groups stems from the fact that they are among the most biggest and influential pastoralists groups in South Gedaref. The main argument adopted by this paper is that land and administrative policies practiced in this area by the successive Sudanese states, particularly the current state, together with the massive increase of human and animal populations in this area have created a land scarcity. Consequently, the livelihood systems of these groups have been enormously endangered. Moreover, the observed former safe migrations as well as the peaceful integrations, particularly between pastoralists and farmers communities, have been negatively affected. The key methods used during the fieldwork were participant observation, interviews and genealogies.

panel MMM12
Lost in mutation: pastoral development rhetoric of the third millennium (IUAES Commission on Nomadic Peoples)