East Darfur State was created by Presidential Decree in 2012 when it was carved out of South Darfur. It borders North and South Darfur, North and South Kordofan, the Abyei Area and South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. The dominant tribes in the state are the Rezeigat, the Ma’aliya, the Birgid and the Zaghawa.
Historically, tribal conflict in East Darfur existed before the start of the Darfur conflict in 2003. The main tribal conflict was between the Ma’aliya and Rezeigat tribes dating back to the 1960s. In addition, conflict between nomadic herders and sedentary farming communities, usually over land ownership and use of resources, was also common. There are two internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, two IDP gathering sites, and two camps for South Sudanese refugees in the state. When war broke out in neighbouring South Sudan in midDecember 2013, South Sudanese citizens fled their home country and started arriving in East Darfur, taking refuge in different parts of the state.
Inter-tribal conflict, protracted displacement, the economic crisis, food insecurity, poor basic social services, flash flooding, and the refugee influx are the main drivers of humanitarian needs. There have been longstanding tensions among different community groups in East Darfur.
Communities often live segregated from each other and stereotyping of IDP communities persist, with IDPs and refugees facing discrimination from the host community. In addition, attacks by members of the host community-often nomadic-pastoralist tribes-against IDPs and refugees are common.
The main livelihood activities in the state include agriculture, livestock rearing and trading. About 84 per cent of the population in the state rely on natural resource-dependent livelihoods. The population suffers from low social indicators, insufficient access to basic social services and service delivery, and has limited access to labour markets
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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