Nuba Civil Society Inter-Group in Diaspora

H.E Lt. Gen. Lazaro Sumbeiywo

IGAD Secretariat on Peace in Sudan
IGAD
Nairobi
Kenya

Date 10th August  2003

 

Dear H.E Gen. Lazaro Sumbeiywo 

We the undersigned on behalf of Nuba Civil Societies in Diaspora would like to express our gratitude to your Excellency, the Government of Kenya and the Mediators for the immense efforts you have made towards ending the long war and bringing a just and lasting peace for Sudan.  We have previously written to your Excellency expressing our concern for the Nubasí political future and what the Nuba people want from the IGAD mediators and troika.  We would still like to reiterate the same demands.

Having read carefully your Draft Framework for the resolution of the Three Conflict Areas and Draft Framework for Resolution of outstanding issues arising out of the elaboration of the Machakos Protocol we decided to give our views on this and to draw your attention the following important points on the resolution of the Nuba Mountains issue. These are:
 

1.  We believe that the Draft Framework you presented to the Parties is logical and is a good basis for discussions to resolve the core outstanding issues, which the Parties should accept and show their sincerity and commitment for achieving peace in Sudan.

2.  The Nuba Mountains is a historical name for the region and should remain as the  "Nuba Mountains Region", as defined in the 1956 Provincial Act. During the British Rule in Sudan the Region was a Closed District Administration and it includes Lagawa province, Sunod, Jibal al-Dair and other areas which were recently annexed by the present government and given to the newly established Western Kordofan state and parts to the Northern Kordofan.
 

3.  The Draft Framework for resolution of the Three Conflict Areas  gave the people of Abyei the right to self-determination to choose to be either part of Bahr el-Ghazal or to be part of Western Kordofan. But it did not give that right to the people of the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile, and instead the Draft Framework refers to the other two contested central regions as part of the Northern state, which can not be acceptable. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Abyei area historically and geographically is part of the Nuba Mountains Region which was until recently used to be administered from Kadugli, the principal town in the Nuba Mountains. Today, there are a substantial number of Nuba citizens living in Abyei and we would like to see that their rights are taken into account.

4.  The people of Nuba Mountains Region have an irrefutable claim to self-determination, which they have been demanding for more than six years, therefore the Parties should respect this fundamental right. Despite the fact that most Nuba are staunch unionists and their best interest is in a secular, democratic united Sudan which award them considerable regional autonomy, yet they are entitled to exercise their right to self-determination at the end of the interim period should the country be divided into two independent states - North and South (this of course if the people of the South opt for secession). This right of self-determination refers to the right of the Nuba to choose freely and democratically from the three options open to them:
 

A.    Join a northern state with guarantees of self-rule for the Nuba;   

B.        Join a southern state with the same guarantees;

C.    Become an independent state 

5.  The Draft Framework Resolution pointed to self-governing rule for the Nuba Mountains and that the Region should have its own legislature and state Council. But, it surrendered the power of selection of the governor to the President. We demand that the Governor for the Nuba Mountains should be elected freely by the Legislative Council without interference by the President or any other body to represent the people of the Nuba Mountains. 

6.  Election and referendum in the Nuba Mountains region should be under the supervision of an Independent Commission and monitored by international bodies including observers form IGAD and UN.  All Nuba people and other Sudanese citizens resident in the Nuba Mountains Region before 30th June 1989 will be regarded as residents of the Nuba Mountains Region and have the
right to vote. All Nuba people currently outside Nuba Mountains will be entitled to return to the region or if absent to register and vote in the election and referendum.
 

7.  Clause 2.1.4 entitles the Nuba Mountains Region to a fair and equitable share of national revenue. Since the Nuba Mountains Region has suffered enormously from the effect of long civil war, we demand that their share of the national revenue should be substantial  and to be allocated separately from the South and the North budget. 

8.  Clause 2.1.5 it will be entitled to a proportionate share from the total allocation to the North. We demand that Nuba allocation of power sharing should be completely separate. It should not be part of the allocated share of either North or South and the Ministerial posts allocated for the Nuba Mountains should  clearly be defined.   

9.  The economy and natural resources that are found in the Nuba Mountains Region or in adjacent areas, particularly oil, which is now passing through vast areas of the Region should be considered part of Nuba Mountains natural resources. Therefore, the Region should have a say in these resources.  We demand that the Nuba Mountain Region should be one of the permanent members of the Petroleum Commission. 

10.  The Draft Framework did not refer to creation of a central bank for the Nuba Mountains Region. It is important that the region should have its own central bank as proposed for the South and to be run on similar conditions. 

11.     Since the land is one of the main issues that has contributed to this long civil war of Sudan, we demand that Nuba Mountains Region should have Land Commissioner with a strong power to set land polices and investigate and make recommendations on:

       a)  the incorporation of customary land law into land statutes;

      b)     review of post-1989 rural land registrations with a view to identify which are legitimate and which are not. 

      c)     the redistribution of land seized illegitimately during the post- 1989

      d)    a policy on pastoral land rights; and

       e)    gender equality in land rights.

 12. Clause 2.8 the state may draft its own state constitution, subject to its compliance with the Interim National constitution. Because of the special characteristic of Nuba Mountains Region in terms of religious tolerance that has existed for many centuries, the Nuba would adopt a liberal constitution which means our constitution will be secular constitution, similar to that to be implemented in the South state.  

Finally, we would like you to consider our views on the Draft framework and to be included in your final peace agreement. We wish you every success in your endeavour to bring a just and last peace for Sudan. 

Yours truly 

Signed by

Name of Organisation                                           Signed by

Nuba Survival Foundation - UK                          Suleiman Musa Rahhal
Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad                     Magoub Tawer
Nuba Mountains International Develop.
and Rehabilitation Fund -USA                            El-Sir T. Abu-Ras


Cc  US Special Envoy for Peace - Senator Danforth
Cc  British Special Envoy for Peace - Alan Goulty
Cc  Norwegian Special Envoy for Peace - Kjell Hodnebo
Cc  Norwegian Government - Hilde Johnson
Cc  Italian Government - Silvio BerLucsconi
Cc  Swiss Government-Josef  Bucher
Cc  Sudan Government- Ghazi Salah el-Dein Atabani
Cc  SPLA - Silva Kiir