Grabbing of pastoralists’ traditional land to put it under the commercial farming system, which has widely been adopted as a development and investment strategy in Sudan, is creating a cruel dilemma of increasing both resource conflict and environmental degradation. This is one of the fundamental reasons that the country has earned the reputation as a home of bloody civil wars and the country is unlikely to see lasting peace until such issues have been addressed. My aim in this research is to provide evidence-based information by mapping out the encroachment of large-scale agriculture into transhumance migration routes in Gadarif State (eastern Sudan), with a two-fold approach. First, I tracked the land-use/land-cover (LULC) change using satellite imagery. Second, I interviewed transhumant pastoralists to obtain information about their perspectives on major problems facing them along the routes in their seasonal journey. It is clear that state policy has failed to provide support to pastoralists. Animal mobility in space and time are severely constrained. The average of the annual encroachment of mechanized farming along the routes is 3 percent. The most substantial LULC change occurred after 1999. Other challenges facing the routes are: lack of water resources, design of the routes and degradation of rest places. Due to the abolition of their native administrative system and lack of education, pastoralists have no way of influencing any decisions that impacted their system.
Sulieman, H.M. LDPI Working Paper 19. Land Grabbing along Livestock Migration Routes in Gadarif State, Sudan: Impacts on Pastoralism and the Environment. The Land Deal Politics Initiative, (2013) 25 pp.