Kurmuk, Blue Nile Province, Sudan – Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
In a large golden tent, set up in a rush on a football field among five hundred years old breadfruit trees in the centre of Kurmuk, in the Blue Nile Province by the Ethiopian frontier, loud speakers have been crackling for the second day already. Dark-skinned men of all shades of black in their traditional jelabias and European trousers, shirts and ties and most colourfully dressed women and girls are stepping behind the microphone one after another with numbered pieces of cardboard in their hands. They are stating loudly and clearly that what the Arabic Sudanese government in Khartoum had promised in the peace agreement with SPLA/M in 2005 was not realized as far as they are concerned.
‘They had five years but they did nothing!’ translates Hassan from Uduk language, the majority tribe’s tongue, to Arabic. Hassan was the designated guide assigned by the organization board of the so-called Public Consultation to the only foreigner who wants to inform the world about their situation.
‘Omar Bashir did not give us any roads, no hospital, no school...!’ the well fed and shiny oiled faces are repeating on this second day.
And they will presumably be repeating it for the whole of next week.
They finished the consultation with number 725 yesterday.
725 identical and similar statements of similar people. None of them has yet spoken for the right to be different. For the rights of the native aborigines. For those who have stayed in the mountains even after CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement)...