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Conflict with Others at a Bleeding Frontier: The Case of Tagoi in the Northeastern Nuba Mountains – Sudan

Osman Mohamed Osman Ali
p. 113-136


This article looks at the escalating conflict between the Tagoi and Hawazma and their allies over natural resources and political authority in the north-eastern Nuba Mountains, from the Tagoi’s perspective. It explains why and how the Tagoi Area has become a free zone for settlement by the Hawazma and their allies, who have succeeded in developing an independent native administration in the area and have begun to contest the Tagoi’s rights to political authority and land. It illustrates how security concerns associated with the Second Civil War between the government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) first and the Sudan/South Sudan international border after the secession of South Sudan in 2011 have contributed to the escalation of this conflict. It also shows how this conflict has recently become entangled with the armed conflict between the GoS and the SPLM/A-North, thus attaining a new dimension.

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The Tagoi: an historical background
The Modern History of the Tagoi
The Tagoi in the 20th Century
A Basic Perspective
Controlling the Movement of Outsiders
Repeated Evacuation and Land Grabs
Latest Developments
Concluding Remark

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The subject of this article is the Tagoi tribe, who have not received a great deal of attention from social scientists. It deals with the disputes over natural resources and political authority between the Tagoi, who claim prior access to the north-eastern Nuba Mountains, and the Hawazma Baggara (or simply the Hawazma) and their allies, who have arrived in the region recently in response to a variety of interests and attractions. It studies the arguments from the Tagoi’s perspective.

The article is based on material collected during fieldwork carried out from November 2012 to March 2015 among Tagoi migrants in Khartoum State. The concentration of fieldwork in Khartoum State was due to security threats in the Tagoi Area and the recent presence of the largest group of Tagoi migrants in Khartoum, mostly on the outskirts of the three towns. Only one short field trip to the Tagoi Area, which focused on corrective and additional data, was organized in March 2015 as a finale to the fieldwor...

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Electronic reference

Osman Mohamed Osman Ali, « Conflict with Others at a Bleeding Frontier: The Case of Tagoi in the Northeastern Nuba Mountains – Sudan », Égypte/Monde arabe,Troisième série, 14 | 2016, Online since 21 October 2018, connection on 16 December 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/ema.3634

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About the author

Osman Mohamed Osman Ali

Osman Mohamed Osman Ali is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Faculty of Economic and Social Studies of the University of Khartoum. He has published around 21 books, chapters, articles in journals, and reports on sociological and anthropological theories, juvenile and youth violence, Muslim diversity, non-Muslims in northern Sudan, Jama‘at Attabligh wa Adda‘wa, faith-based peace-building in Sudan, safety on paved highways, gender relations and the position of women in Sudan, and other issues. He also has considerable two-decade long research experience through his involvement in a number of feasibility studies, research projects and surveys on various topics. He has also presented scientific papers at numerous international conferences.

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