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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Local peace processes in Sudan

Aims of the Project

This project aimed to provide a baseline record and preliminary contextual analysis of “people-to-people” peace processes in Sudan. and contribute to a growing body of literature on indigenous approaches to peacemaking in Africa.


In the lead-up to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement—and in response to the earlier signing of the Machakos Protocol (2002)—an increasing number of ethnic and regionally based groups in north and south Sudan began to make claims for political representation and a share of development resources. Local conflicts that had been obscured by the wider civil war became more visible, leading to an increasing number of local peace negotiations. These negotiations became known as “people-to-people” processes, characterised as they were by an absence of international mediation, a greater level of public participation, and a concern with local rather than national issues. Agreements reached through these processes led, in some cases, to reductions in violence, the resettlement of displaced communities, the opening up of grazing lands, markets and trade routes, the return of abducted civilians and agreements on restitution for human and economic casualties of war.


The report on this project, Local Peace Processes in Sudanwritten by Mark BradburyJohn RyleMichael Medley and Kwesi Sansculotte-Greenidge (2006) provides an analytical account of the growth of “people-to-people” peace meetings in Sudan and its borderlands, with a comprehensive bibliography and time-chart of peace meetings over two decades in Southern and northern Sudan (including Darfur and the transitional zone between North and South). Full-text versions of reports cited in the bibliography are incorporated into the Sudan Open Archive.

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