The Republic of Sudan has been at war with itself for all but 10 years since its independence in 1956. With the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan lost one third of its territory and most of its natural wealth. Sudan is plagued by extreme poverty, political and intercommunal conflict and civil unrest. The wars in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile continue today along with international efforts to resolve the conflicts and secure lasting peace.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is responding through the Towards Enduring Peace in Sudan (TEPS) project, implemented by AECOM. The goal of TEPS is to strengthen the foundation for democratic and peaceful Sudanese development. TEPS focuses on three strategic objectives: to improve intra and inter-state relations at the community level; to strengthen Sudanese participation in democratic processes; and to improve the resilience of communities to social and economic shocks.
Promoting women’s participation in local peacebuilding, for example, is adding new positive dynamics to traditional community dialogues. Disputes between farmers and pastoralists are common and can turn violent in the semi-arid areas across Sudan. Community representatives, almost always men, lead the reconciliation meetings but agreements are often short lived. Though women are often the biggest victims in local conflicts, they are frequently overlooked for their ability to build peace. TEPS has been working to expand peacebuilding dialogues to include women directly in seeking and implementing solutions.