The Role of Peace Studies Centers in Supporting the Peace Process in Sudan

Thu, 19 Oct 2017


Dr. Isam Mohamed Ibrahim

Abstract :

The idea of this study is centered on around knowing the role of Peace Studies Centers at universities in Darfur to contribute to the diagnosis and resolution of the Darfur crisis that erupted since 2003 and continued repercussions so far. The objective of the research is to encourage more debate among academicians and concerned people about peace in the Sudan in general and Darfur in particular, and to find out the role of the Peace Studies Centers and the contribution of their graduates in resolving the Darfur crisis, as well as exploring the most effective ways to include peace-building and conflict resolution in the institutions of higher education’s curricula in Sudan. This study was conducted in the cities of (El Fasher, Nyala, Zalingei and El Geneina) in Darfur as the cities where Universities having Centers of Peace Studies are located. The study took place during the period 2013-2015. Several approaches have been employed in integration and overlap, where it was to take advantages of the historical method to display all the historical literature related to the subject of study as a backdrop for tracking the emergence and development of peace education, as well as the descriptive analytical method. Statistical method has also been used to tackle data that was collected by questionnaires. Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) is also used in addition to interviews and field observations.The study presented some recommendations if turned to academic programs and research work can enable these centers to play their leading role not only towards the crisis in Darfur but also other conflicts in Sudan and neighboring countries.


2-the theoretical frame and the previous researches

3- peace studies and conflicts

4- the roles of peace study centers in Darfur universities in supporting peace in the province

5- epilogue

6. Sources and references


1. Prologue:

1-1 Preface:

Historically and in the near past Sudan lived more than three decades of civil war in South Sudan which ended with a peace agreement in 2005 and resulted in the separation of the south. And since that day Sudan is still having a lot of troubles and conflicts(in South Kordufan and Darfur) which were the results of political, social and economical issues, which are contributing in weakening it and shaking the bases of peaceful living between its parts and forcing it to face comprehensive developmental challenges in all its sectors, and make it exposed to a constant threat of the possibility to go back to war (Musa Dodain 2012) thus, when the peace process comes after the end of conflict and demands the contributions of all the sectors of society and the institutions of the community, how the centers of research and studies in the Sudanese universities in actualizing and building peace, and how the contributions of its thinkers and scholars in completing the project of peace building? This is the main problem that we are going to study in this research which holds the name:”the role of peace studies centers in solving Darfur’s crises” and the study is based on scientific basis, where it sheds the light on lively issues that are connected to the future of man and its security and prosperity, and it covers the study of “peace” with its economical, social, political, cultural and environmental dimensions, and its reflection on the project of rebuilding Darfur which encompasses taking comprehensive steps aimed to solving the reasons behind the conflict, and establishing permanent peace. and when science is dealing with the reasons, then it’s the safety valve for the process of peace building if the universities were involved in solving these issues. From this premise the study puts the displaying the factors, facts, and active and contributing players in the peace  building process (the factors and the actors) especially the role of research centers in universities considering that it forms the one of the pillars of civil society, and the specialized in actualizing development and enforcing peace building after the end of the stage of armed conflict. Studying the reality of the crises in Darfur is part of the factual importance of this study, so it sheds a light on the most prominent Sudanese academic contributions during and after signing the treaties, next to the challenges that stands in the way of establishing the sustainable peace project in a province that is still suffering the consequences of endless conflicts internally that are planned in the outside with the existence of most of the leaders of armed Darfur movements there.

1-2. the problem of the study:

The idea of this study is that it starts from a basic problem that revolves around the relation between peace studies centers in Darfur universities (Elfasher- Nyala- Zalenge) and the crises in Darfur which exploded in the year 2003, and then relation is manifested in the positive roles that are supposed that these centers has provided  starting from the message of the university in addition to the educational and informational  messages, ought to play an important role in spreading peace culture in society, so the problem of the research is in finding the role that these centers has done towards the crises.

1-3 the questions of the Study:

Thus, the questions that were raised and answered through this study include the following:

1. what is the role of peace studies centers of the universities in supporting peace in Sudan?

2. did these centers have a positive role in the province’s crises that exploded in 2003?

3. to which extent could peace centers in Darfur universities spread peace and accepting the other and contributing in solving the results of war?

1-4 The goals of the study:

The study aims to promote more discussion between academics and interested people about peace in Sudan in general and in Darfur in particular, so we could know the role of peace studies centers in solving the problem of Darfur, and we could summarize its goals in the next points:

1- showing the role of Sudanese universities and its care with its communities issues next to its educational message through pace studies and development centers.

2. estimating the efforts of peace centers in Darfur universities in the province’s cause and to which extent these centers contributed in solving the crises.

3. the research is aiming to knowing the best educational programs to deal with armed conflicts cases and its secretions based on the pure Sudanese experience.

1-5 the importance of the study:

The importance of the study is in two axes:

First: by looking into the modernity of the peace studies experience in the Sudanese academic  circles, there is a lack in such studies in the Sudanese libraries , so we are hoping that this study constitutes an addition to the Sudanese library and a guidance for researchers in higher education in the field of peace and development.

Second: through evaluation and correctional approaches of the study that could benefit the decision makers in universities through the academic councils in modernization and development of the programs of the centers to deal with issues of disputes and conflicts and war and peace in general and in the regions of Sudan, especially those suffering from recurrent conflicts such as the case of Darfur.

The study methodology and the means of data collecting:

In order to complete the steps of the study the researcher followed several methods which were applied in integration and overlap in the following manner:

1: the use of the historical method in presenting all the historical literature that has a relation o the subject of the study as a  back ground about following the rise and development of peace education in universities.

2. the use of the statistical method in analyzing the study questionnaire.

And during the collection of the study data we used several means such as: observations and interviews as well as questionnaire, where a sample of about 200 person were taken from (north, south and mid Darfur and west Darfur) which are the states where the peace centers are at its universities, the study also relied on –of course- the journals and books and references that are specialized in its field as secondary resources and on the data of field work such as observations and interviews and questionnaires as priority resources.

2. the theoretical frame and the previous researches:

2-1 the concept of war and peace:. 

The concepts of peace and war caught the attention of human thought from the beginning of the universe since the first forms of collision and conflict known to humanity began with the story of Cain and Abel the sons of Adam through the World Wars to what we see today of the struggles and conflicts, the reason behind this concern is that the case of war and peace as a social phenomenon in general is glued to the human activity with prominent presence in the political life of countries and people, and at the present time it constitutes a real challenge and a dilemma that raises philosophical question that has to do with life and death, it is an interest in all sciences, particularly the war and peace studies and conflict resolution (Attijani Mustafa, 2000). This dialectical relationship between war and peace was the main point of human development and thus societies. The roots of war lies in the depths of peace, and the signs of peace could be launched from the heart of the war. Since war and conflict in their various forms are a feature of human life, and means of amendment of the political, economic and social system, and a tool to achieve a balance of power between what we want and what we can obtain the views and orientations varied in the definition of the concept of peace, also differed in clarifying and monitoring the causes of its establishment as well as its collapse, it’s like any other concept it’s definition varied depending on its multiple uses and purposes; but peace from the point of view of the political and military in the simplest sense is "the absence of war" (Gaston, 2007).

The intellectual contributions of the German philosopher Emmanuel Kant and his perceptions on the building of a global peace comes in his book "Perpetual Peace" to confirm the idea that peace is a fundamental human right and a universal goal that should be achieved, because it constitutes the summit end of the political and legal goals, but as a result of the rapid progress witnessed by a turning world in the light of the development of the scientific and technological revolution with the end of the twentieth century, it has become difficult to achieve a neutral stand-alone phenomenon of other phenomena, because it is no longer the concept of peace indicates only the absence of war, but peace has become with many dimensions linked to many problems that are no longer confined to the political meaning and the military, but extended to include also the social, cultural and economical and environmental meaning (Gaston, 2007).

2.2 The establishment of methodologies for peace studies:

Peace studies are multilateral effort systems aimed at the prevention of conflicts and to prevent it exacerbation and resolve it unlike military studies aimed at achieving victory in conflicts. It may include relevant sciences to  political science and economics, psychology and sociology and International Relations, history and anthropology and Religious Studies and gender studies, besides other various sciences (Bulet Hazory 2011). But there are within the Peace Studies, methodologies for intellectual schools to  teach its concepts and terminology, and peace studies can be considered a more modern addition to the family of Social Sciences although the  work in it started in a while. Focus of peace studies is in the human beings in their social environment and consider the peace that the absence of/ the lack of violence in all its forms and the existence of non-violent creative change to  violence ( Zaki Al Beheiri, 2010). That’s why the work of peace is the reduction of violence by peaceful means. So it can be described  the study of the conditions which could peace work. And as the researchers see, the peace studies are various sciences arena that includes a wide range of studies inside social sciences, such as (political, economical, psychological and sociological sciences as well as international relations, history and anthropology and even more). Thus, we can consider peace studies one of the social sciences that has a moral orientation (to support peace). In addition to that, peace studies share some basic hypotheses with the scientific efforts and the other social and applied sciences (Rami & Yaseen 2012). In spite of that there is now consensus between scientists in various fields of knowledge and social sciences on the importance of peace and conflict studies as well as between many of the policies makers in the world. In our time there are a lot of research in the field of peace and conflict studies as well as its being presented in a growing number of institutions in many parts of the world. It’s hard to determine the number of universities that teaches peace studies courses now because many of the courses could be presented in many different departments under many different names (Ramy & Yaseen 2012) and the report that was published by the Herald Tribune in the year 2008 mentions more than 400 program that is concerned with teaching and researching peace studies and conflict, especially the ones conducted in the international college and peace studies institution in Oslo and the American university and the universities of  Bradford, Costa Rica and George Mason and Lund, Michigan, Notre Dame and Queen Rhode Island and Uppsala and Virginia and Wisconsin. And the Rotary Association and the United Nations University in Tokyo provides support to many of the teaching programs and the international academic research organizations (Bulet Hazory 2011)

2-3 The concept of education for peace:

Includes education for peace, which is the widest subfield of peace studies. A big group of activities that aim to change the values and traditions and ways that earn the leadership it essence in a way that leads to establishing and enforcing peace in communities inside the state or in the international relations between countries or in the international level (Bulet Hazory 2011) and since the settlement of conflicts was through peaceful means requires education in all levels of society then many of the institutions should aim to study the severe conflicts and work to actualize reconciliation and enforce the ability of societies for fighting bias and oppression and violence including systematic group violence, and the universities and colleges could support the education of peace at the level that primary schools and secondary schools and civil society organizations and temples (Ramy& Yaseen 2012) and the education of peace could benefit from culture and arts with their tools in music, dancing, acting, and drawing. When the war of Mozambique ended after thirty years the dance bands started to travel all over the country spreading the news of the end of the war (read: the documents of UN on its website) (Bulet Hazory 2011)

2-4 The definition of peace studies:

Peace studies has acquired by the end of the twentieth century the following definition: an academic field that defines and analyzes the patterns of the violent behavior and the nonviolent behavior as well as the structural mechanisms that come with social conflicts to understand those mechanisms that leads to the most unwanted humanitarian conditions. and most of the scholars see that peace studies are studies that aim to understand the way that through it human beings could live together, without harming each other, to live in a manner that gives individuals and communities a chance to evolve  economically, politically and socially as well as emotionally and spiritually together and to achieve self actualization (Ramy & Yaseen 2012) and some  researchers in the field of peace assure that although peace studies focus on programs that some may conceder simple but it could be the most needed programs today considering it relatively clear (Bulet Hazory 2011) generally the subject is complicated and very ambitious, mysterious and controversial. While other researchers focus on the big programs arguing that it can’t achieve its goals unless the root of the problem was solved. According to that we can define peace as follows: the process of acquiring the values and knowledge and developing the stances and skills and patterns of behavior which makes the individual lives in peace with himself and the others and his natural environment. In other words, teaching peace focuses a lot on hoping learners on critical thinking without telling them what they should think about. And the focus would be on the skills and knowledge that prepare them to actively engage in civil and political community (Adam Ezzain 1998) the bottom line in the matter of defining the concept peace is that we have to refer to the strong relationship between the content and the context in teaching peace that were mentioned in the literature that affirm making teaching peace suitable and beneficial to a certain community that requires that the form and content of that education to take in consideration the social, cultural, political and educational context … etc.

2-5 The standards of peace studies:

First: numerous in systems: so it can deal with its complicated problem sufficiently it has to rely on several systems including political sciences, international relations, strategic studies, development studies, psychology, and social psychology and many more (Bulet Hazory 2011)

Second: numerous in levels: the scholars in the peace studies field ought to be able to deal with their subject on many levels like (pace inside the individual- peace between individuals- peace between the groups of communities- world peace between nations- world peace between humans and the rest of the biological surroundings)(Bulet Hazoury 2011)

Third: numerous in cultures: the research in the field of peace requires global collaboration work from the perspective of geographical regions which are sought to establish peace in. and from the perspective of the searchers for peace themselves who call from all over the world (Bulet Hazoury 2011)

And finally: peace studies are analytical and normative: in addition to being theoretical and applied. It aims to understanding the obstacles that stands in the way of peace and wants to do something to remove it (Bulet Hazoury 2011).

Its noticeable that the abovementioned fourth parameter is the point where peace study meets the political activity to actualize peace. And that matter should not be sought by governments alone (as it’s the norm between the researchers in the peace field)  it should be sought by the citizens too. And this is the reason that makes a lot of researchers think that peace studies and conflict resolution should be taught at schools as long as it doesn’t deny any of the traditions, it should help everyone to live together. And some said that learning the theory and conflict resolution peacefully is considered one of the human rights. In other words, peace studies doesn’t aim to understand the world but also to change it.

2-6 The forms and models of peace education:

Peace education happens in formal and informal contexts , and the formal education of peace is concerned with the knowledge and skills and training that is provided in the educational institutions in the third level like middle schools and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities. While the informal education is generally shorter and is aimed to develop the skills and earning new knowledge, and the formal education of peace is about any kind of education and training that is done in a regular or irregular context. And according to the global academic methods there are four methods to develop formal peace teaching and they are the ones that were summarized by Isaac Albert and Olermy Albert in (Conflict Trends) magazine in the following manner (Bulet Hazoury 2011)

A: Process curriculum Approach: it relies on designing a clear curriculum that takes the basis and skills of nonviolence and educated to students as a subject on its own in addition to what they are already studying, and learning in this context happens through activities like mimicking training and role playing and group discussions and other collaboration learning activities.

B: Mediation Program Approach: and it relies on training a number of students in school context so they could take afterwards the role of mediators for their colleagues considering them a third neutral party.

C. peaceful classroom approach: according to this approach the basis and skills of conflict resolution should be added to several subjects like social sciences, languages, history, mathematics and sciences that usually given to upper classes in primary schools and secondary schools.

D. Peaceable School approach: and this methodology relies on the method of peaceful class through enabling all the students from benefiting from teaching the principles and skills of peace.

3- peace studies and conflicts:

3-1 peace studies and global conflicts:

Historically, teaching peace was called in many regions of the world by the name teaching for conflict resolution, peace building, and global understanding as well as human rights, universal education, important education, education for salvation, social justice education, environmental education, life skills education, and disarmament education and development and many other names, and these names shows the importance and depth of this field.. that’s why using the name Peace Education helps in coordinating between such global initiatives and unites the educators in there general practice to teach peace culture. The peace education evolved later so it could deal with the wider goals to build the peace culture. In the frame of this global effort the generations of teachers from all over the world teach the values and standards and principles that are stated in the documents of the UN like the united nations agreement and the documents of human rights and the treaty of ending all forms of discrimination against women and the treaty of children rights and the global declaration of education for all, and many other documents (Dickens 2012).

In the context of the care of the united nations with peace in the worlds the UN established the UN University for Peace, where the message of the university is stated in the second paragraph of its charter that was approved by the general assembly according to its decision in the fifth of December 1980 which states the following:” establishing a global institute for higher education of peace aiming to promote understanding and tolerance and peaceful living between all human beings and promoting the collaboration between nations and decreasing the obstacles and threats that stand in the way of peace and global progress in response to the noble aspirations stated in the charter of the united nations” (Ramy & Yaseen 2012).

The scientists in the field has provided estimated contributions to the policies that are taken by voluntary organizations and development agencies and the global monetary institutes and the system of the united nations in specific fields of conflict resolution and popular diplomacy and development and political, social and economical reform and peace conserving and mediation and early warning and prevention and peace and state building. And that represented a move from the methods of administrating conflict that are aimed to( positive peace) and that has raised after the end of the cold war and was mentioned in the report of Ghaly who took the position of the general secretary of the united nations (1992) (Adam Ezzain 2003)

3-2 peace studies and conflicts in Africa:

In spite of the modernity of peace studies as an academic field in some parts of Africa, the studies about the ethnical and structural reasons of the conflict was going for several decades, especially in  higher education programs in the departments of social sciences, so since the year 19991 the council of developing social sciences, which relies in Dakar, kept providing support to networks and research groups that are multinational that are working in the field of ethnic conflicts in Africa, and the African Journal for conflict resolution which is issued from Derian by the African center for conflict resolving, has became globally famous by creating experts and conflicts resolving makers, in addition to that this center research African conflict on a daily basis and provides its summery in (conflict trends) magazine. In spite of that the field of peace studies in Africa is well established in the heritage and global tradition that are distributed all over the world including the west and parts of the southern region of the globe, as well as in the history and cultures and scientific activities in Africa, and the peace studies has adopted several concepts of which the most prominent is Ubonto, which is known to Africans  because it appeared in Africa, (and Ubonto is an old African term from the terms of humanity and it means empathy and sharing and living in harmony with the creatures, and is considered one of the ideals that promote the collaboration between individuals and cultures and nations)(Bulet Hazoury 2011& 2012).

And since its establishment in 2002 the African program that belongs to Peace university is focusing on promoting the African institutes and enforcing its abilities in the fields of peace studies and conflicts. And consistent with the message of the university the program kept continuing this effort through developing teaching activities and learning and research and community services to call up a wider support for peace efforts in Africa. The efforts of the program in its first five years was directed towards developing curriculums about the main subjects and producing educational subjects and establishing short training courses as well as workshops. All this effort is aimed to establish connections with colleges in various African universities and researchers and policy makers and NGOs, as well as promoting peace studies development in Africa. The efforts to develop the research constituent started in the year 2007 with support from the Canadian global center for development research, and through the support of this center, the African program started establishing a program to building research capacities in the field of peace, and the starting point was publishing peace and conflicts African magazine, in addition to research scholarships (Ramy & Yaseen 2012).

3-3 peace studies and conflicts in Sudan:

Sudan is considered one of the most countries that have ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, where it have around 572 tribes 50 of them are big tribal groups, and its people speak more than 115 language and dialect. Many factors played a role in creating conflict in Sudan (Isam 2014) but all of them are due to issues of sharing and distributing wealth and resources, and Sudan has a special location in the midst of tribal and ethnic entities which the colonialists didn’t care in drawing the borders of the African countries ethnically so they divided these entities in its countries, leaving conflict zones. The attention of the global community was toward the war between the government and the armed groups in the south (1955 – 1972) (1983 – 2005) which the civil war in it disfigured the face of the Sudanese history in the last fifty years, these conflicts destroyed much of the Sudanese material and human capital and wasted the opportunity for development (Haggar 2003).

The role of the universities in establishing and promoting peace culture is through producing and distributing knowledge and applying it for the good of society and here it’s remarkable that the Sudanese universities cared about establishing peace studies centers early since the year 2000, and they are two big universities in the centers and the universities that exists in the regions of war in the south. In this part we are going to review the programs of peace and conflicts studies in the Sudanese universities. And in reference to some of the peace studies programs we find that the available peace studies in the meantime we find that these studies are being taught in the above university level in the governmental universities such as:”Khartoum, Sudan, Dalang, Slalm, Elfasher, Nyala, and Zalengy )(Isam2013).

3-4 The Peace and conflicts studies in Darfur:

that the conflict in Darfur is not isolated from the Sudanese problem since independence until the aggravation of the latter problem that has plagued the Sudanese people and the whole world, and that it is not separate from the cultural heritage in ancient times. . As in the preface of Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun, chapter three in the states, the king, the difference, and the royal orders (the many tribes countries are less likely to be controlled by the state) and the reason behind that  is the difference in opinions and tendencies, and that behind every opinion there is bigotry that support it, so the criticism and rebelling against the state increases every time because behind every bigotry there is a force (Adam Ezzain 2005).

3-5 the crises of Darfur:

The crises of Darfur has many reasons, global regional and local, but the absence of development and unemployment and tribal, social, cultural political ecological dimensions and many more reasons led to the crises in Darfur (Adam Ezzain 2009) because the province of Darfur has special human traits, due  to the variation in races, and the different population cultures, of which some are ancient and some are immigrants, so the natural disasters that hit the province had a great affect on the population of which, diseases, hunger and natural oppression (because of droughts) then despair, and maybe most of the regions of Darfur were affected with these variables that leads to conflicts (Rudwan 2012)

From the reasons of conflict in Darfur the internal factors that overlap with external factors, which caused conflict, and they are many but the most important are:( Armed militias - Arms proliferation - Drought and desertification - Demarcation of borders - Problem of tribal elites - The problem of elites who ruled Sudan - Relative underdevelopment - The problem of poverty) (Ali Abu Zaid 2008) and from the external reasons : Darfur feature the borders with the three countries, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Chad, Central Africa in the absence of natural barriers between Sudan and these countries often resorted to by some opposition powers who are chased by their governments or supported by other countries, such as: the forces of sheikh Bin Omar, corps of the Islamic Salvation Front, Alborkan and Frolena , these factions often exchange violence and wars inside the Sudanese lands, this confirms the political instability in neighboring countries and inside Darfur, which made some of the fleeing groups sell weapons to members of the Sudanese tribes (Attijani Mustafa, 2000). The consequences of the crisis secretions consists in (Adam Ezain, 2009):

  • Immigration which led to a noticeable change in the population structure in the regions that received these immigrants, in addition to the living conditions of the emigrants themselves who became waiting for humanitarian support.
  • The obstruction of the agricultural and animal production due to the war.
  • the dissipation in social fabric and  the change in population map and cultural map of the population and more.
  • The rise of the tribe institute, which played a negative role that resulted in loosing trust and good well between tribes, and had a different thinking pattern in regulations and coordination between themselves and other tribes.

3-6 the strategy and goals of peace studies centers in Darfur:

These centers drew the next goals (according to its establishing charters):

  • They aim primarily to promote studies and research in the field of sustainable development in Sudan and the region,
  • Establishing projects that aim to spread the culture of social peace and human rights on the local, regional, and global level.
  • Benefiting from the civilian and humanitarian constituents of Darfur and developing it to serve peace according to methodological and practical basis.
  • Establishing the peaceful living concept between the ethnic groups in the region and raising the rates of knowledge about the dangers of war and conflicts and building trust between the groups around peace and unity.
  • Studying the reasons behind ethnic and regional conflicts and armed robbery and suggesting practical solutions to it.
  • Promoting the role of religion as a factor of unification between Darfur community sectors and promoting its values of brotherhood and togetherness and rejecting injustice and violation.
  • Creating a suitable environment for children rights.
  • Working on publishing peace culture.
  • Activating the role of women in peace.
  • Developing the tools and means to spread the culture of human rights.
  • Training and providing support in the field of human rights.
  • Helping in resolving tribal conflicts and building the peace culture.
  • Conducting researches and studies about the tribal conflicts and its development in Sudan.
  • The work in establishing a suitable environment to serve human rights such as justice, democracy and honorable living.
  • Supporting and developing the means that leads to the progress and development of society through attention to the causes of women and children.
  • Conducting the programs of higher education in the field of peace and development studies and conducting studies and scientific researches.

4- the roles of peace study centers in Darfur universities in supporting peace in the province:

4-1  reviewing the results (field study):

In this chapter we review the opinion of the studied sample about the roles of these centers. And according to the case studies we stand with the peace studies centers in Darfur, because Darfur and due to its location near south Sudan and the emigration of many of the citizens to it, in addition to the conflicts and tribal conflicts many research centers were established to do studies about peace and women and human rights in the frame cooperation with the UNICEF and the higher education ministry, the university of Elfasher established a  center called peace studies, development and human rights center in December 200, and the university of Nyala established in 28/5/2000 a center called peace studies and women and human rights center then was changed to peace and development studies then in 2003 it was changed to be peace studies and researches center, and in the university of Zalengy there was established peace and development studies center in the year 2000 then the administration of the center was moved to Elgenaina in the year 2005 and then moved back to Zalegy in 2015.

200 questionnaire were distributed in the study region (Darfur) according to the following cities: El-Fasher (61) Nyala (40) Zalinji (50) Geneina (49). And this sample selected with a view to who benefited directly from the services of the university centers under study. And according to gender it came as follows: (134) %67.0 males (56) or 28.0 females, and  in terms of age the sample included: less than 30 years (%23.2) 31-40 (48.9%)41-50 (%19.5) (51 years and over)(%8.4). and in terms of scientific qualification were as follows: primary (%8.5) secondary (8.0%), University (42.5%) above university (41.0%%), where the study was meant to be amid several sectors such as: students who are now studying at these centers, graduates, politicians, emigrants, civil society, the joint mission ( UNAMID), the decision makers in the government, the movements signatory to the Doha agreement, and ranging from their jobs between: Employees (%69.0) free jobs (%10.0) housewife (%2.5) other (18.5%).

The themes covered by the questionnaire included the roles of the centers of peace studies at universities in Darfur in support of the peace process in the region as follows: (the role of the centers in solving Darfur crisis - the role of the centers in the negotiations - the role of the centers in achieving peace and install it in Darfur - the role of the centers in contributing to the diagnosis of the crises in the region - the role of the centers in the completion of the draft peace-building - the role of the centers the sustainability of peace - the role of the centers in addressing the corollaries of civil wars - the role of the centers in the solution of the issues of the displaced - the role of the centers in projects for the development and reconstruction of what the war destroyed - the role of the centers in the voluntary return - the role of the centers in the training and education of peace studies) we will discuss in the next part the vewis of the Sample discussed on the roles of these centers.

4-1-1 the idea of establishing the centers:

When the sample questioned discussed in the questionnaire for the idea of the establishment of such centers and goals and vision and the message 54 % saw the sample excellent and 20% of the sample they deem very good condition and 19% in good condition. This is because the clarity and the vagueness of the message since the establishment of these centers to deal positively with the society issues around and may be due to several reasons, the foremost of which are:

1. The clarity of the idea and objectives and vision of the message since the establishment of such centers.

2. There is an academic framework, institutional that contributed to the success of the idea.

5.1.2 the role of the centers in the service of society:

Despite the slight difference in the objectives of these centers, the main factor is the dissemination of the culture of peace and peaceful coexistence and to work on improving the status of women and children and the dissemination of a culture of respect for human rights. These centers such as all their counterparts produce  knowledge and disseminate knowledge and applications of this knowledge in the community service and the activities of these centers range between:

* Research and Studies

* development of equipment and means for the dissemination of a culture of peace and human rights and the promotion of the status of women and children

* Direct contribution in the training of various sectors of society

* interference with other interested parties to mediate and facilitate the resolution of conflicts.

The following table shows what the center provided to actualize its objectives:




Postgraduate studies up to 2014

Published researches up to 2014

Conferences, short courses and workshops up to 2014 

Taking part in negotiations or resolutions up to 2014

Al-Fashir university





Neyala university





Zalenji university










                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Table no. (1) shows the activities and programs of the centers - Source: reports of the centers

4– 1 – 3 the activities and the programs related to Darfur crises:

While about the activities and programs to deal with Darfur crises, generally the sample saw what in the following table:





Percentage %

Percentage % repetition






Very good

























                                                                                  Table number ( 2): prepared by the researcher.


A. the activities provided, as we saw previously, complied with what the community wanted under the conflict in information around the real reasons behind the problem of Darfur.

B. also, there is a neutral academic and scientific output  that helped in accepting the activities and programs.

4-1-4 the role of the centers in producing and disseminating knowledge about peace matters:

In details, and according to the goals of these centers and its benefits of producing knowledge and disseminating it and applying it in service of society  the results were the following:

  • Producing knowledge about peace:

When asked about if:

a. these centers helped in finding the roots of the problem.

b. these centers helped in the issues of the war redden displaced people in Darfur’s camps.

c. these centers helped in the issues of the war redden youth in Darfur.

From the answer to the three above question we see that 71% of the surveyed sample agree that these centers touched the roots of the crises with proper analysis and diagnosis. While about the issues of the people who were affected directly by the conflict, 60% of the sample agree that these centers touched the issues of the displaced and 59% of the sample see that these centers touched the issues of the war redden youth in Darfur.

And the reason behind this satisfaction with the performance of these centers in producing knowledge about this war, according to the surveyed sample, is for the following reasons:

1. Dependence on scientific research and specialists in addressing the issues of peace and development and free from personal desires and narrow affiliations

2. The audacity to deal with the topics and neutrality in putting solutions to the problem and the logical analysis

3. The study of the problem of Darfur scientifically and the putting the appropriate solutions through students researches and work papers and following the scientific methodology used in studies and understanding of the deep knowledge.

Those who saw otherwise justified it with the weak infrastructure summarized in the absence of a library with references needed from many areas of peace research and conflict resolution.

* The dissemination of knowledge about peace:

The role of the centers in the dissemination of knowledge of rights and duties and the issues of peace in the region, the sample discussed is of the view that the symposia and lectures and workshops and training programs established (see table 1) had an essential role in raising public awareness on the issues of the conflict and peace in Darfur and the answers were as follows:




Actual percentage %

Repetition of percentage %




Strongly agree



Don’t agree



Strongly don’t agree









Table (3), the role of the centers in the dissemination of knowledge of rights and duties, the source, the preparation of the researcher,

68% of respondents who agree that the centers had played a prominent role relied on:

1. The centers carried out many workshops with the civil administration and the women and youth in the peaceful coexistence and renounce violence and social peace

2. The dissemination of the culture of peace and peaceful coexistence among the members of society

3. The workshops organized by the centers directly assist in the dissemination of a culture of peace in society

4. The centers are linked to issues in the region and their attempts to carry out activities that help to dialog and consensus and enrich the literature of the difference toward the solution of the problems of the region.

5. Were able to provide the community with knowledge and raising awareness of the rights and duties toward the issues of displacement and conflict and ways of bringing peace and participation in negotiations.

While the 32% who saw otherwise stated that:

* there are traditional framework programs and there is no renewal of the materials.

* not to compartmentalized conflict experiences in other regions.

*the centers discuss the problem in workshops targeting staff and civil society, but it did not discuss the roots of the problem with the its real owners in the camps.

* inability to communicate their views to decision makers and thus remain inside drawers

* focus on certain categories, they expand the circle of the target groups.

Regarding the training of specialists in the fields of peace studies specifically, when the question of the role of the centers in the rehabilitation of cadres in the area of peace and development, 34 % of the respondents felt that it was excellent and 20% very good and 18% good 14.5 %  deemed it acceptable and 13% as less than that. This high proportion are back to several reasons the foremost of which are:

* entering peace studies programs and development within the postgraduate programs in those universities.

* There is an academic curriculum that goes with the needs of the region

* students conduct their research on topics related to the crisis.

4-1- 5 Role of the centers in contributing to solve Darfur crisis:

While about the direct role of the centers toward Darfur crisis, so when the question of: there is a clear role to the centers for peace studies at universities in Darfur toward the crisis, the answers came as shown in table 4 below:



Actual percentage %

Repetition of percentage %




Strongly agree



Don’t agree



Strongly don’t agree









Table 4 there is a clear role of the centers for peace studies at universities in Darfur toward the crisis, prepared by the researcher

and one living model of the direct intervention of the centers to serve the cause of peace in Darfur, these centers to assisted in the deployment of the Doha peace agreement in Darfur. And has already made a number of activities to spread the knowledge about this agreement and that is evident when questioning the sample about evaluating of the role of the centers in the publication of the Doha agreement, they replied with:



Percentage %

Percentage % repetition




Very good















Table 5 assessment of the role of the centers in disseminating the Doha agreement, prepared by the researcher.

According to the table above on the evaluation of the role of the center in the publication of the Doha Agreement, its observable that the strength of role of the center in that because only 65.6% of the respondents believe that the Center contributed to the excellence in the dissemination of the Doha agreement in the other hand 34.4 % believe that the good role is in the publication of the document. If there is a good role to the centers in the dissemination of the treaty of Doha, because the results indicate compared to the opinions of the surveyed on the evaluation of the role of the centers in the dissemination of the Convention on the Doha (Al Fashir - Nyala - Zalingei) from figure (5), it is clear that the evaluation is excellent ( El Fasher (32.8%) (Nyala 30.0%) (Zalinji42.9%) against less proportion of those who said less than that (Al Fashir 16.4%) (Nyala 10.0%) (Zalinji 10.2%). And that high proportion among the various estimates is due to several reasons the foremost of which are:

1. some of the actors in Darfur adopted the dissemination of the agreement and took the help of centers for the implementation.

2. There are academic cadres that have the ability to explain the document rules.

In the future if given the opportunity for such centers in the negotiations, they could play an effective role in peace, the confidence of the sample discussed these centers is very high since 41% agree and 40 strongly agree which means 81%. And again when asked about the possibility to play an influential role in the center among the movements who did not sign because of its neutrality 21% of them approved strongly and 38% agreed which means that the agreeing are 59%.

5.2 The summary of conclusions and discussion:

• The clarity of the idea and objectives and vision and message since the establishment of such centers and that there is an academic framework and institutional framework helped to the success of the idea. and it’s an innovative idea that links universities to the issues of their societies and that’s through the results of the analysis of the questionnaire, where 54 % of the sample saw that its excellent and 20% of the sample deemed it very good condition and 19% good.

* The results of the study showed that the role of the centers touching the roots of the crisis and to deal positively with it, where we find that 71% of the sample discussed, agree that these centers are seeking the roots of the crisis with proper analysis and diagnosis.

* while for the classes affected directly by the conflict, 60% of the sample agree that these centers have received the issues of the displaced and that 59% of the sample believes that these centers had been seeking the causes of young people affected by the war in Darfur.

* These centers had an essential role in raising public awareness on the issues of the conflict and peace in Darfur and the answers were as follows: 68% of the sample agree that the centers had played a prominent role and as for the 32% who saw otherwise.

* the centers contributed in the training of specialists in the fields of peace studies specifically, since 34 % of the sample sees that its excellent and 20% very good and 18% good  while 14.5 % they deemed it acceptable and 13% of it sees its less than that. This high proportion are due to several reasons, the foremost of which are: the introduction of peace studies programs and development among the academic curriculum according to the needs of the region, in addition to the fact that the students conduct their research in subjects related to the crises.

* the results of the comparison between the opinions of the studied about the peace centers in the universities of ( Al Fashir - Nyala - Zalinji ) in solving the crisis of the region and it is clear that the role is little in their opinion, where the highest percentages in the assessment acceptable as follows (Al Fashir, 36.1%) (Nyala 32.5%) (Zalinji 28.5%) against the lesser proportion of those who said excellent (Al Fashir, 8.2%) (Nyala 12.5%) (Zalinji 16.3%).

  • According to what came in the table above, that was about the role of the center in disseminating the treaty of Doha, we notice the weakness of the role of the center in that because only 65.6% of the sample see that the center has contributed greatly in disseminating and publishing the agreement, versus 34.4 % who see that the good role in disseminating the document.
  • While in the future if these centers had the opportunity in the negotiations then it could play a vital role in peace, the trust of the surveyed sample at these centers is so high, where 41% agrees and 40% strongly agree which means 81%.
  • Again when asked about the ability of these centers to play a vital role among the unsigned movements due to its neutrality, 21% agreed strongly and 38% agreed which means 59 %.
  • The relation of the center with the similar working organizations inside and outside Sudan, the results refer to that it’s a good relation, at least with the similar centers in the three Darfur universities, but the relation is absent with the external and national centers.

5-3 Recommendations:

1. Keep up with the evolution in the field of peace studies and development.

2. The creation of permanent contact with the community to know their opinions toward peace and solving the crisis

3. The preparation of the more scientific studies and research on peace, development and human rights in Darfur.

4. The promotion of peaceful dialog and work in local communities to spread peace

5. Create strong relations with the government and national and foreign companies working in the area of peace and development.

6. To provide many workshops that foresight the impact of conflict on the region and the role of peace and development

7. The dissemination of the culture of peace in society and their importance in its cohesion.

8. To contribute to the education of peace and the risks of war.

9. The preparation of a training program to contribute to the rehabilitation of intermediate cadres to solve the crisis.

10. The involvement of other relevant peace studies and development and expanding the circle of participation.

11. The centers to penetrate inside the displacement camps promising peace and to discuss the root of the problem.

12. Focus on resolving the conflict to benefit from social and cultural heritage.

13. stitching the social fabric through radio programs with stakeholders

14. Developing programs to fight the tribalism.

15. developing programs to increase awareness of women’s issues because they are the key to the solution sometimes

16. The training of Imams and preachers in ways of spreading the culture of peace, according to the latest incidents

17. The adoption of the various mechanisms for peace such as (Judeyat) and mediations

18. Promote research and scientific studies on Darfur problem

19. To intensify the program of training of volunteer youths for peace and development in Darfur

20. The issuance of scientific journals and periodic bulletins on the developments of the situation in Darfur.

21. Programs that focus on the lessons learned in the areas that witnessed disputes.

5- epilogue:

The study concluded to clarifying the efforts of the academics and the stakeholders of peace in Sudan in general and specially Darfur, in addition to discovering the best ways to include peace studies and conflict resolution in supporting the peace in Sudan. And that’s through knowing the roles of peace studies centers in solving the problem of Darfur, and those roles could be summarized in the following:( The negotiations - the achievement of peace and install it in Darfur - contributing in the diagnosis of the crises in the region - the completion of the peace-building project - the sustainability of peace – addressing the secretions civil wars - a solution to the issues of the displaced - projects for the development and reconstruction of what the war destroyed - voluntary return - Training and Education of Peace Studies).

Many entities has done an estimated efforts, of these are :( he Sudanese government, the regional neighboring countries, the State of Qatar and the UN organizations and international and national civil society and stakeholders and to the joint mission – UNAMID- Regional Authority and others) which all shared one goal which is peace, for that and other reasons there has been a huge interest in pace and its studies and its researches in all the formal and popular sectors above them all the Sudanese universities in Darfur.

And lastly: the challenges of designing peace studies will stay and the conflict will form subject of discussions among academics and politicians and civil society organizations and activists and consultants, it may be affected with these discussions and small and big causes in all the levels of global and local community. And on the national level the discussion about establishing peace and conflict studies in Sudan will be affected by the civil conflicts and the peace processes, it became necessary for people to see peace studies as a living reality in their conflicts.

6. Sources and references:

7-1 List of references in Arabic:

1) Gaston Botol, the phenomenon of war. Translated by Elie Nassar. Dar Al Tanweer for Printing, Publishing and Distribution, Beirut - Lebanon. First Edition.

2) Bulit Hazuri, Development and Peacebuilding. website: Together to build peace.

3) Bulit Hazuri, The Impact of the Cultural Dimension in Negotiation. 2011. website: Together to build peace.

4) Rami & yassin Hashim Yassin, Methodology of Teaching Peace building in Institutions of Higher Education, Institute for the Development of Civil Society. 2012.

5) Issam Mohammed Ibrahim and Mahmoud Adam Daoud: Land and people in Darfur, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, Al-Fasher University, Al-Dar Engineering Press, Cairo, 2014.

6) Adam El Zein Mohamed: Towards a situation of conflict in Darfur: Development key to peace in Darfur, Sudan Printing Press Company, 2003.

7) Tijani Mostafa Mohammed Saleh, Tribal Conflict in Darfur, Sudan Printing Press Company Limited, 2000.

8) Ali Ahmed Hakkar, The Political Dimension of Tribal Conflict in Darfur, 2003.

9) Radwan Idris Abdullah, The Social Dimensions of the Conflict in Darfur, unpublished Master Thesis in Peace and Development Studies, Al-Fashir University 2012.

10) Adam Al-Zein Mohammed, Darfur from insecurity to social peace, Institute of Studies of Public Administration and Federal Government - University of Khartoum 2009.

11) Zaki al-Beheiri, The problem of Darfur, the origins of the crisis and the repercussions of the International Criminal Court, Egyptian General Book Authority 2010.

12) Adam Al-Zain Muhammad and Al-Tayeb Ibrahim Wadi, Views on Tribal Conflicts in Sudan, Institute of African and Asian Studies, 1998.

13) Ali Abu Zeid Ali, River of Blood and Fire of the Tribes (Darfur War), Sudan Printing Press Company Limited 2008.

14) Mousi Doudin Free Maman, splits amid the armed movements in Darfur and its impact on the chances of achieving peace, Khartoum: S. Murtif, 2012.

7.2 List of references in foreign language

1) Oliver Dekens: projet de la paix perpétuelle de kant . Bréal 2002.

2) Isam Mohamed Ibrahim, " The traditional mechanisms of conflict resolution & peace building in Darfur : from an anthropological perspective", Mediterranean  journal of social sciences, Vol,9, October 2013, MCSER Publishing, Rome, Italy.




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