The efforts of the international community to build peace in Sudan have been frustrated by the failure to stop the violence in Darfur, continuous setbacks in the implementation of the 2005 peace agreement, and a failure to remain sufficiently engaged with processes at the root of the violence. This applies particularly to local conflicts and the ways in which they interlock with national and regional conflicts. This paper highlights the role that land issues have played both in poverty generation and in driving and sustaining protracted conflict. The challenge is to take the current complexity into account, not by perceiving local conflict dynamics as merely a manifestation of macro-political cleavages, but as being motivated by both top-down and bottom-up agendas. As Sudan is drifting towards increasing fragmentation, an approach to peace-building is required that can address multiple arenas and sources of conflict in a much more integrated way than has been the case so far.