Home | Press Releases    Monday 3 September 2007

Intellectuals Beja Congress urge UN chief to support East Sudan cause

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- His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
- 29 August, 2007
- Secretary General of The United Nations,
- One UN Plaza
- New York, NY 10017
- U.S.A.

Elimination of Discrimination and Marginalization of the Indigenous Beja Population of Sudan

Dear Mr. Ban,

The Beja People are the indigenous population of the northeastern Sudan, living there for more than four thousand years. They have been completely neglected by the Sudanese governments in Khartoum since independence in 1956. They have been subjected to racial discrimination, marginalization and neglect.

The government took their land, which contains rich gold mines, oil, natural gas, and precious elements. In spite of the fact that their land is rich in natural resources, the people here suffer more than any other part in Sudan from malnutrition, anemia, tuberculosis, high infancy and maternal mortality rate, illiteracy and poverty.

This is an astonishing phenomena for the mere fact that this part of the country supports the national budget with its huge gold and harbor revenues. In return the Beja receive nothing other than neglect and marginalization.

The region of the Beja is a hilly desert. But the people managed to live here for more than four thousand years. It is apparent that the government of Sudan is going to ruin their existence by distributing their land to foreigners in the pretext of investment. This policy is being executed and implementing systematically even without consulting the people concerned.

It goes without saying that such policies deprive the indigenous population of Eastern Sudan from the main source of their earnings and existence. It is an added destructive blow to the already marginalized and poverty-stricken Beja People. This is true ethnic cleansing and flagrant violation of the basic human rights of the Beja.

From the already existing gold mines, where French and Chinese companies are working, the Beja population earns nothing other than suppression, neglect, pollution of the environment, spread of cancerous elements, miscarriages, and multiplication and increase number of deaths.

The racist policy of the ruling Arab elites in the Central and Regional Governments is destroying the life of the indigenous populations of the eastern Sudan.

In October 2006 a peace agreement was signed between the Sudanese government and the Eastern front, the political organization of the Beja and their nearing Rashaida Tribe. This agreement deprived the Beja of the right of self determination, denied them their land and its resources and a proper share of power as well. The Agreement constitutes a clear violation of the rights of the Beja of northeastern Sudan.

We appeal to you to save the Beja from eminent extinction. Their land should be given back to them and no investment from multilateral companies should take place without their consent and proper sharing of the revenues.

We would like to appeal to your Excellency further to find ways to put an end the silent ethnic cleansing taking place in Eastern Sudan. We may suggest at this crucial stage the UN should send a fact-finding mission to assess for themselves the horrifying situation in the Region, and if it deems it necessary to send UN peace-keeping forces. We believe that this is the only solution left to the Beja to exercise their inalienable right of self determination.

.

We would like to request you to give the Intellectuals Beja Congress a chance to address the UN bodies and international organizations fighting against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, so that they propagate their just cause and obtain the support of the International Community in order to put an end to the marginalization and neglect they are subjected to.

Best regards

Intellectuals Beja Congress

Dr. Abu Amna, Schoeffenstr26
65339 Frankfurt, Germany

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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