"This paper is based primarily on the findings of the Red Sea Area research Programme (RESAP) and it actually highlights some of those findings. It attempts to trace some of the social changes that occurred among the Beja nomadic communities of the Red Sea Area in eastern Sudan as a result of the drought and famine conditions that hit their region during the 1980s. Emphasis will be on the influence of external factors on the indigenous system of resource use and management and how those processes have reflected on or have been reflected upon by the power shifts that occurred both within the local setting and in the wider context of the country."