MASS PROTEST MEETINGS IN THE NUBA MOUNTAINS – January 15th, 2011, Kauda, Nuba Mountains
Today there were protest meetings in all larger settlements in the Nuba Mountains: Kadugli, Diling, Abu Gobeih and Kauda. People demanded the Sudanese government carries out the promised and already twice postponed registration for open voting and thus enabling them their basic right – the right to vote for the governor of the their South Kordofan Province.
In Kauda – in the area completely controlled by the SPLM/A rebels (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army) – a mass of a few thousand people of which some were carrying quickly made protest signs and shouting out slogans against the Sudanese dictator Omar Bashir and his present governor of the province, Mohamad Haroun. The crowd gathered at the airport’s entrance at the portrait of the legendary Nubian leader Yousif Kuwa and ripped the Sudanese flag from the pole and burned it.
Protest march, in which also took part all the motor bikes and terrain vehicles in the area with only one single road, then turned towards UN base where the SPLM/A leaders in the Nuba Mountains (who enjoy the utmost support of the people) told the startled UN staff (whose army looks after its interest and lives separately in isolation behind concrete bunkers and barbed wire) over the megaphones that they will no longer submissively accept the role of slaves. They have also asked the commanders, among which there were many faces of Egyptian and Chinese genes, to convey their message to those who are getting paid in Khartoum and New York.
‘We don’t want Mohamed Haroun – we want Abdel Aziza,’ asserted the young and the old healthy faces.
The International Court of Justice in Hague is charging Mohamed Haroun that he has together with Omar Bashir, as a Justice Minister organized the mass murders in Darfur in 2003 – 2008. People in the Nuba Mountains are afraid that Bashir appointed him governor so that he could now kill people in the Nuba Mountains. International human rights organizations have still not received an official answer from the UN offices to the question how is it possible that the UN agencies are transporting Haroun on their flights across Sudan on a regular basis.
Abdel Aziz is an SPLM/A commander in the Nuba Mountains that the people in villages and markets in the Nuba Mountains embraced as one of their own even though he is from the Mesalit tribe in Darfur just like Harun. People accepted Aziz in this role after the death of the legendary initiator of the slaves’ rebellion in the Nuba Mountains, Youssif Kuwa. Nubian Youssif Kuwa helped John Garang establish SPLA in Southern Sudan before Garang sent him with a group of Nubian fighters in 1986 to this place, over the demarcation line between both parts of Sudan.
To most of the ninety-nine Nubian tribes (which are different in culture) Youssif Kuwa was not only a local teacher and a soldier but also a spiritual renovator who protected them with his natural wisdom against Islamic fundamentalism and the expansion of the Arabic tribes from the Nile. Now they see much of his virtues in Abdel Aziz who has proven himself not only as a successful leader against Arabic invaders but also in time after the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and SPLM/A which he signed (with Garang’s consent and his personal faith in new uniform Sudan) under US conductor’s baton in January 2002 in a castle near Lucerne, Switzerland. The peace agreement was supposed to respect basic human rights and equality of all citizens, not end up with separation of the south.
Aziz winning the election for the South Kordofan Province governor is in Nuba’s opinion their last chance to peacefully avoid forced arabization the dictator Omar Bashir is forecasting after the South Sudan’s separation. The Hague International Court is also charging Omar Bashir (like Haroun) with the biggest crimes against humanity, including genocide.
‘We want peace – not war!’ protest signs are saying. ‘But this time we are well armed. Not like ten years ago when we had to take the weapons from the Arabs first,’ splendid young men and radiant girls are telling me while the goats are bleating around straw-covered huts, a scene that reminds me of the crib. ‘Please, tell the world that we are ready.’
To gather in protest was a decision they made last night, after the Bashir men informed them at yesterday’s meeting that the registration which should have taken place on January 8th (i.e. a day before South Sudan Independence referendum poles would open) but was postponed to today, January 15th, will not be performed nor tomorrow nor the day after. And that the elections – will not happen.
Regarding how many people protested in the Nuba Mountains and the support they got from mass Nubian protests in Khartoum, one can say that the Nubas are really well organized this time.
But the problem is the international community which is not ready. There are only three reporters in Kauda, all French. Most of western media janissaries continue to celebrate the victory of wine, bread and circuses in the south of Sudan.
Tomo Kriznar, Kauda, January 15th, 2011