IGAD: What Peace for the Nuba and other Marginalised people?
Gen. Lazaro Sumbeiywo
Secretariat on Peace in the Sudan
9`th August 2002
Survival, the London-based human rights groups campaigning on behalf of the Nuba
and other marginalised people in Northern Sudan would like to express its full
support for the Machakos Agreement, which was a good step forward for achieving
a just and lasting peace in the Sudan. We support this agreement because by
resolving the two contentious issues, the state and the religion and the right
of self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan had paved the way for a
peace settlement in the Sudan.
While many Sudanese people have welcomed the agreement, the people of the Nuba Mountains and other marginalised areas in northern Sudan are deeply concerned that the Machakos Protocol did not discuss or settle their problems and thus cannot achieve the justice and stability that Sudan needs. A peace that provides for a perpetuation of justice for the marginalised people, who collectively constitute a majority of northern Sudanese’s population, may well be a recipe for future conflict. These marginalised groups in the Sudan resorted to armed struggle for nearly two decades now. Some have been fighting alongside the SPLA for the same reasons that the Southerners took up the armed struggle 19 years ago. Therefore there is no logic
recognising Southerner’s right to self-determination whilst denying it to the
Nuba and South Blue Nile people who are demanding it.
Nuba demand the right to self-determination in full because they have a strong
case which is based on their long historical record of suffering from abuses,
and marginalisation. They have sharp cultural, linguistic and other
with their neighbouring Arab tribes and they live in a well-defined territory
according to the borders of 1925 Province Act, which show clearly that the
region was a separate entity. The Nuba people are staunch unionists and they
call for self-determination within a united Sudan.
claim - which is usually made by both the government and the SPLA at the IGAD
peace process - that the Nuba Mountains are part and parcel of either of the
north or of the south is not acceptable. This is now one of the Nuba concern as
the two parties are fighting over who should control the Nuba Mountains and yet
the people of the Nuba Mountains have not been consulted over this issue. The
Nuba people should have the right to decide their political future by themselves
and freely form any internal or external influence. Their options should be
clearly stated, and should there be insufficient guarantees for their rights
within the united Sudan, then the people of Nuba Mountains shall have the right
to determine their future.
is important that during the Transitional Period the Nuba Mountains region
should be administered separately from the north and the south and under
Also during the Transitional Period the Nuba should be represented in the Broad
National Government and they should also have an equal share of national wealth
and revenues from national resources.
the end of the Transitional Period, the people of the Nuba Mountains should have
the right to choose freely and
immediately from the following options after the Southerners had carried out
To choose to join a Southern Sudan state but with certain guarantees;
To choose to join a Northern Sudan state but with certain guarantees;
To choose to become an independent nation state in the same way as the
has been so much effort following the Burgenstock cease-fire for the Nuba
Mountains and it is hoped that the Nuba case should become a model for peace for
the rest of the country. It is therefore crucial after the Machakos agreement
that there should be a satisfactorily negotiated political settlement for the
Nuba people. Any outcome which does not reflect the wishes of the Nuba and the
marginalised people will jeopardise any chance of a lasting peace. The idea to
re-impose sharia law and prohibit
local traditions and customs will certainly guarantee a return to fighting and
undermine any progress made in other areas.
we wish you every success in your endeavour to bring about a just and a workable
peace for Sudan, and this will need the consensus of all Sudanese people, and
that the issue of the Nuba Mountains and other marginalised areas in northern
are redressed in the next round of peace talks at Machakos. Because we believe
that a workable peace can not be built on injustices.
M Rahhal, FIBMS
of Nuba Survival
GOS – Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin
SPLA – Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit
US Government – Senator John Danforth
UK Government – Alan Goulty
Norway Government – Hilde Johnson
Italy Government – Silviober Lucsconi
Swiss Government- Josef Bucher