I CAN ONLY HOPE THERE WILL BE NO RECORDINGS
I can only hope that there will be no recordings from the mini cameras we distributed on the border between new Sudan and what is left of the old Sudan. Otherwise, the worst has happened. The things we have feared the most.
The thing that we – us, who observe the situation unfolding alongside the longest river in the world and in the land abundant with oil reserves and most fertile soil resting under the feet of the most aboriginal people still living on this planet - fear the most is an aggressive reaction of the Arabs, from whom the international west-based corporations have finally looted half of the richest African colony with the January independence referendum. What we fear most is the revenge of the Arabs over the aboriginal African tribes that our peace activists have forgotten about or intentionally bargained in exchange for their own benefits in the south of Sudan. Those of us, who care about the basic rights of the most innocent indigenous people, fear that our efforts, including all the campaigns in the last twenty years, have accomplished nothing at all.
The local people in Darfur in the west at the Chad frontier line, in Abyei province, in the Nuba Mountains in the middle of Sudan and in the Blue Nile province at the eastern Ethiopian frontier have shared similar feelings of insecurity visiting each other over the last two months. The native people in these enclaves (who represent most of the country’s population), who stayed above colonial demarcation line established in 1956 between North and South Sudan and confirmed also with the peace agreement after the longest African war in 2005, fear of a new strike of war.
Their co-fighters from the African tribes in the south of Sudan, with whom they fought for decades shoulder to shoulder against the former slave hunters, exploitation, marginalization and extermination, have now - as they have reached their goal – left them in the lurch. And so did their former sponsors - hiding behind the most famous names of the world humanitarian industry, who are now victoriously gathering in the new capital of the new African country, a land flowing with water and oil - and the corrupted leaders of the rebellion, who replaced uniforms for business suits and are taking over the best businesses. Of all the big media and the most powerful creators of the planet's public opinion, Al Jazeera was the only one to prepare a footage in which it somewhat depicted the circumstances in which the Nubas from South Kordofan found themselves in without their co-workers after they beeing abandoned by most humanitarian organizations.
The world media don't report to their mislead audience that the Sudan government army has regularly bombarded the rebels in South Kordofan also at the time of the January referendum, banning the new refugees across the tri-border where Sudan, Central African Republic and Chad intersect. Nor do they report that this tri-border is in the hands of Uganda’s LRA rebels (Lord's Resistance Army) known for their most horrifying acts of violence. Nor have they reported that the military and security intelligence of the Arab government in Khartoum accused of the biggest crimes against humanity, is moving more and more Arabs to the Nuba Mountains and is again distributing weapons to them. There wasn't one word in the media about the mass protest meetings where the Nubas have demanded the registration for province governor elections and public consultation written in the CPA peace agreement that would allow their voices to be heard. There is no mention of the oublics consultation that finally did happen in the Blue Nile province last week. They didn't report about the fact that most of the Ingassana and Uduk people as well as other native tribes have demanded their autonomy from the Arabs. They haven't revealed that the autonomy will never happen because the public consultation is only eyewash for the natives as the Blue Nile province was long ago sold to the Arabs by the international speculators in exchange for the most oil rich province of Abyei. At the time of the referendum the number of victims here ranked high because the Arabs instigated marginalized Arabic nomadic shepherds of the Myseria tribe that the African Dinka will not let them flock their herds on the traditional paths to the green meadows south of the demarcation line anymore, and thus the Arabs were creating war.
In his speeches the Sudanese dictator Omar al Bashir is promising that after the separation of the south he will change the legislation and enforce Sharia Law in all the remaining parts of once the biggest African country. »There will be no time to discuss cultural and ethnical differences… Sharia Law and Islam will be the foundation of the new legislation, Islam will be the official religion and Arabic will be the only official language.« There will be no benevolence for ethnic minorities and other religions.
»Ein Land, Ein Volk, Ein Führer!«
This is the politics which the aboriginal African tribes fear, the tribes that are left exposed at the mercy of the Arabs beyond demarcation line.
I can testify that between the rebels in Darfur who were counting on the support of the south and the south SPLA/M army there really aren't that many connections that would help me get to the Jebel Marra Mountains in central Darfur, where in 2006 – right before the soldiers of the African Union betrayed me and handed me over to the Sudanese military security intelligence service – I have left the Fur controlled by the SLA commandant (Sudan Liberation Army), Abdel Wahid. Of all the people of Sudan the Fur have been besieged the most by different armies and therefore cut from the rest of the world and practically inaccessible for all reporters. I can testify that the SPLA in the Nuba Mountains doesn't even pay the teachers. I can testify that Abdel Aziz, the SPLA/M commandant in the Nuba Mountains and the deputy governor of South Kordofan is quickly losing power in comparison to his superior, the infamous governor Mohamed Harun, known for the biggest crimes in Darfur. I can testify that Malik Agar Ero, the SPLA commandant and governor in the Blue Nile province is doing everything he can so the Arabs would not banish his army form the province even though according to the CPA peace agreement it should be the other way around – it is the Sudanese government army who is supposed to leave the Blue Nile province.
Over the last two months on the edge of Darfur, in Abyei province, in the Nuba mountains and in the Blue Nile province I wasn't only checking to see if the ending of my book Oil and Water came to the right conclusion (the book was published in Slovenian in December 2010) nor was I filming a new documentary on the same victims at the new sacrificial altar on the border between the new African country and what is left of Sudan. I have, in collaboration with the new non-government organization called HOPE, which was established by Klemen Mihelcic and his adherents last year after he returned from Darfur (not to make a career out of it and benefit from the humanitarian contributions - we all cover our own expenses - but to help the body of humanity to see and hear and feel the pain and prevent the worst suffering), tried to find the right way and the right people to entrust them with the mini video cameras and devices for accessing the world wide web.
This idea is not a new one. It came to me in 2006, right before the then Slovenian president Janez Drnovšek sent me as his personal emissary to Darfur. What we have experienced in the campaign for preventing genocide over the Nuba people was again confirmed with the new genocide situation among African natives in Darfur. What the Arab exterminators and rapist mercenaries fear most is getting caught on tape and their actions being publicly exposed. That is why I suggested to president Drnovšek to introduce a system that would enable an observation from the sky and on land and prevent evil in the heart of darkness with a little light which no criminal appreciates, and at the same time help bring the criminals to justice at the International Criminal Court in Haag. During his visit in Washington in January 2006, president Drnovsek asked the American administration for help but since he had been present at the inauguration of the first democratically elected Indian after 500 years of the conquista, Evo Morales, in Bolivia, his notion was not supported.
That is why - in spite of the natives on the vulnerable border between the North and South Sudan suspecting George Clooney, (the Hollywood actor and co-founder of ‘Not on Our Watch« team) and other activist organizations, which in January, right before the referendum, started the 750.000$ satellite control action in Sudan, of only doing this to gain control of the Sudanese oil fields – I am still in favour of taking the risk. It is possible that the American activists who are connected to the most advanced security services might above all things spy on the activities of the Arab and other Asian military forces and use this in favour of international corporations. Only the results and analysis will show the true effect of satellite control – its effect on current politics, which has already lost its pride and dignity, and its effect on the natives who have now with the satellite control been deprived of their last right to privacy – even so I am up for it now.
Two weeks ago we were told that there was a pregnant woman in the south border of the Nuba Mountains who got her embryo cut out of her belly which they then used as a target, throwing it up in the air and playing with it…
The mother, who had to look at the death of her child as the last scene of her life, probably couldn't care less for privacy if she still had this option.
The satellite control is clearly not enough. We need to monitor what is happening at the altar of the world also from the mole hole. We need to get the cameras to the people in enclosed spaces where there are extortion, corruption, rape and conflicts going on and are instigating people into war…
Such atrocities can be prevented using video cameras on land.
That is why we are placing the smallest video cameras in the world that can be hidden and are not a danger to those who use them as a preventative measure and as a way to document what is happening to them.
For the first time in history we have this opportunity. Never before did our ancestors have the kind of technology that would enable the victims to cry for help by themselves and hope to be heard and seen by the still sensitive people that co-inhabit the planet.
This is the best way to use the cameras. In no other situation could the cameras be implemented more justifiably. This is the most beneficial way to use them for human good. Instead of using them for misleading and stultifying the masses, the cameras can now serve as miniature spying eyes and ears of the public.
We no longer have to wait for their feedback. We have our first experiences from 2006 when the women in the areas controlled by Darfurian rebels asked me to stay with them because if the Janjaweeds know that my cameras are there they will not attack. In 2008 when I personally delivered the first cameras, computers and satellite phones – for which the Slovenian and African musicians raised money at the charity concert in the “Festivalna dvorana” in Ljubljana, Slovenia – the humanitarian coordinator Suleiman Jammous told me a month later that there were no more reports of rapes in places where his people spread the news of mini cameras being distributed.
The locals trust us. In Darfur, Abyei province, Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile province the cameras were accepted by the rebel leaders and the people who need them most. The SPLA/M commandant and deputy governor of the Nuba Mountains, Abdel Aziz, and SPLA/M commandant and Blue Nile province governor, Malik Agar Ero, each took one. Those who are directly under threat understand the most and in spite all that is happening to them and to the rest of us they continue to have faith that this time we will not let them die alone with their children.
Yes, of course there is fear that we and our cameras and satellite connections will be ill-used by those who abuse the truth and manipulate the humanitarian initiatives for their own benefit. I truly fear that we, the enthusiasts in the HOPE organization and Tomo Kriznar Foundation, will be exploited for their own selfish interests on the Sudan’s soil. In the past they have managed to colonize Africa through the well-intentioned Livingstons, who succeeded in gaining people’s trust and affection, but were later replaced by pragmatists.
But in spite of all this I still think we should take the risk!
What about you?
Tomo Kriznar, Juba, South Sudan, February 7th, 2011