On November 10 an Antonov military aircraft coming from Sudan has entered the South Sudan air space for about 15 kilometres and bombed Yida, a place where Nuba people – mostly women, children and elders from the Southern Kordofan province of Sudan – had taken refuge to escape the ferocious repression in their homeland. At least 12 persons were killed by the bombs, and more than 20 injured. United Nations agencies were just beginning to help these refugees so that they could survive in a new and hostile environment. This action, done in complete disrespect of the international law, breaking several international conventions – we must not forget that now Sudan and South Sudan are two different sovereign states – is the latest crime of the Khartoum regime against the Nuba people and a further demonstration it will not stop in front of anything in its attempt to break the will of the Nuba people to affirm their right to self-determination. Even to the extent of restarting the cultural and physical genocide of the Nuba people that was temporarily stopped by the ceasefire of 2002 and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAP) of 9 January 2005, and further on to the extent of provoking a new war between Sudan and South Sudan.
We, Nuba of the Diaspora and friends of the Nuba from all over the world – look with great concern to conflict that has erupted again in June 2011 and these new acts of barbaric repression. The Peoples of Darfur, Southern Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan are victims of historical as well as present malpractice of a dictatorial and oppressive regime which amounts to the negations of their basic rights as well of their humanity.
Historically these territories have witnessed the successive tragedies and traumas of slavery, colonization, and complete closure and non participation in access to proper and appropriate education, health system, and ownership and management of their natural resources.
In particular the Nuba have suffered invasions of slave traders, forced arabization and forced faith conversions. They have been forcefully recruited to fight in conflicts that were not for their defense but for the benefit of external regimes. Despite these injustice, the Nuba have managed to cope with the dire conditions and developed an extraordinary resilience together with a strong sense of identity. The regime in Khartoum has so far managed to control them through economical, social, environmental, political, cultural, and communication mechanisms combined but has not succeeded in breaking their will.
Economically, the regime is empowering all those who are allied to its orientation and servings its apparatus, through fiscal as well as financial instruments. Socially, the regime is using a belittling mechanism and diffusion of moral oppression and glorification of external and imported social norms, tradition and customs, mostly expressed or penetrating through the marriage and religious practices. Environmentally, the regime is mismanaging the environment in order to have the command and control of the means of subsistence in terms of food and nutrition security. Politically a discriminative policy has impeded the participation of the Nuba in the local, national and international political arena. Culturally the people has witnessed major cultural invasions which operated in promotion of alternative languages and religions and dances, customs and traditions. Most of the imported cultures attempted to create the sentiment that the local cultural manifestations as inferior and regressive. The mass media was and is still monopolized by those who are in power and control the wealth of the nation, Radio and TV in particular.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA 2005) has not well addressed the challenges and causes of conflict for the Nuba and the peoples of the others marginalized areas of the Sudan, and this is the major reason behind the return to violence and the menace of a new civil war and possibly an international conflict. The regime insists in killing this vulnerable groups, even if they have escaped the war and armed conflict areas, and they are persecuted even in the refugee camps. The killing continues…
What should be done to halt the war? We dare to ask the contribution of many, in particular: we appeal to:
– All the Nuba in the Diaspora to support their people, by using all possible means to make known their suffering and their struggle. Mobilize the media in the areas and in the nations where you live so that the Khartoum regime cannot act secretly and with impunity
– The international and local NGOs to organize fact finding missions in the area, produce reliable documentation and provide funds to support the civilians
– The international powers and the UN Agencies to pressurize Khartoum government to allow free access to the area and to promote a political dialogue now, when a fully blown genocide and another war can still be avoided.
Nuba Diaspora Association
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