If you are in the NYC area please come out to our play Karima-Where Have You Been? which opened tonight and is playing October 28th and 29th @8 pm at the WOW Cafe Theater 59 East 4th Street, 4th floor! The play is set in Jamaica and Sudan. We are a group of people from or interested in Sudan, who wanted to bring you a slice of what Sudan is like, from our perspectives. I guarantee you will be entertained….see details below.
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Urgent Press Release: Girifna movement
Kassala University Students in Need of Urgent Medical Assistance Following Clash with Regime
Khartoum—(October 23, 2011) On October 20, and for the third consecutive day, students in Kassala University protested the academic, economic and political situation in the country. They were met with excessive violence from the regime including live ammunition and tear gas. The worse came when a car (government Land Cruiser) ran over 8 students critically injuring four students, two of them are in urgent need of medical attention. The students are:
1. Abdulqadir Mohamed Adam (physics department): this student has been transported to Khartoum for medical attention.
2. Idrees Mohemed Ali (department of education): has suffered a fracture in his spinal cord and is grave danger. His critical situation has made it impossible to transport him by car to Khartoum due to the condition of the roads. He needs a helicopter in order to be transported to a Khartoum hospital.
3. Abdul al salam Osman Naseeb (department of economics): he has been released from hospital and his situation is stable after being treated from injuries.
4. Ahmed Hamid Qardiya (computer science department): has also been released from hospital and his situation is stable after being treated from injuries.
We call upon all humanitarian organizations and upon the Sudanese diaspora abroad to urgently mobilize efforts to get these students, who sacrificed their safety and lives to call for a life of dignity for all Sudanese, the necessary medical care they deserve and as soon as possible. As well as to publicize the atrocities and human rights violations committed against these civilians by the National Congress Party (NCP).
Moreover, there has been arrests of activists in Kassala and continued persecution of others by the NCP.
For media inquiries please contact us at:
Please check out a recent article I wrote summarizing and contextualizing
some of the excellent research that has been done on land grabs in South
Sudan by the Oakland Institute http://media.oaklandinstitute.org/special-investigation-understanding-land-investment-deals-africa and the Norwegian People’s Aid Report by David Deng . Its a short commentary piece.
I would love your thoughts on the issue or commentary.
Here is the link:
Here is a link to a condensed version of the article on Okayplayer Africa:
Also check out an interesting report on land grabs in Tanzania:
Thank you so much!
As the United States celebrates Columbus Day and the legacy of one of the biggest land grabs in history, another massive land grab is unfolding on the African continent,mired in secrecy and spearheaded by hedge funds, financial speculators and foreign companies. Southern Sudan has simply become one of the latest investment frontiers for foreign investors, prompted in large part by its newly found independence.
More reflections coming soon on why foreign investors are scrambling for land in South Sudan. In the meantime, check out this excellent report by the Oakland Institute on Land deals in South Sudan.
I recently had the honor of participating in an artistic project created by the beautiful and brilliant Palestinian-American poet Suheir Hammad and directed by the wonderfully creative Director Waleed Zaiter. The visual rendition of Suheir’s poem speaks to the courage and resilience not just of the Egyptians, who took to the streets to demand change but to that of all of our brothers and sisters on the continent, who day in and day out risk their lives and livelihoods to fight for a better tomorrow and future for their children and children’s children. Into Egypt makes me think of the Safia Ishaq’s, Mohamed Bouazizi’s and Ken Saro-wiwa’s of this world and of the resilience and courage of their loved ones and allies as well…
love and courage
As Southern Sudanese people celebrate their impending self-determination and sovereignty a big task lies ahead to develop a country devastated by decades of war. Tackling issues of access to safe water and education are going to be key in this process. In celebration of this historic moment and to show your solidarity with the people of Southern Sudan please consider supporting the following two efforts with links to the Sudanese diaspora in the United States.
1. Water for Sudan an agency founded by Salva Dut which builds wells and helps people get access to safe drinking water throughout Southern Sudan.
2. Kunyuk School for Girls and the Women’s Peace School in Southern Sudan are providing 500+ girls with a free education and 200 women with adult literacy classes respectively. You can support them by making a donation today here:
As Southern Sudanese people turn out to the polls today to vote on whether they will remain united with Northern Sudan or become Africa’s newest independent nation, hope is on the horizon. The overwhelming voter turnout and jubilation at the polls, is a reflection of people’s strong desire to become first-class citizens of their own sovereign nation and to free themselves from decades of oppression and marginalization by successive Northern regimes. As a Northern Sudanese, I cannot help but feel hopeful and jubilant about the self-determination of a people, who are inching closer towards a dream for which millions of lives have been sacrificed. The fulfillment of their dream gives us as Northern Sudanese hope that we can continue carrying forward the demands of a liberation struggle that envisioned a Sudan in which wealth and power is more equitably distributed and where everyone regardless of ethnicity, faith or gender is treated with respect and dignity.
At the same time, I am wary of what an independent Southern Sudan may mean for the rest of Sudan, going forward. A referendum to determine the future of Abyei, a small disputed area between the north and south, was tabled partly because the Sudanese government is not quite ready to part with what lies underneath its soil. A vote for secession will give the south control of about 80 % of Sudan’s current oil production of 490,000 barrels a day. This will represent a drastic shift from the 50:50 share agreed upon during the comprehensive peace agreement in 2005, which ended the 22 year civil war between the north and south. Because much of the oil is along the border however, and northern Sudan controls both the pipelines and technology to transport and export the oil, the fate of Abyei remains unclear.
In the meantime, the burden of these potential losses is likely to be carried by those already marginalized and disenfranchised in Northern Sudan (which includes Darfur). In the days leading up to this historic referendum for instance, the Sudanese government raised the price of fuel and sugar as part of a new policy of bolstering a budget that will be heavily hit by the nearly 70% oil revenue losses, expected once the South secedes. According to economic experts, the new increases reflect the “price of separation” from the country’s south. These price increases, have already caused suffering in the war-torn region of Darfur, where basic food items such as grains and vegetables are becoming more expensive as transportation costs rise. For the millions of displaced Darfurians still living in the squalor of camps and dependent on food aid an increase in fuel prices also has implications on food delivery and access to water as fuel to run water pumps becomes scarce.
Sudan is currently sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer, behind Nigeria and Angola, providing China alone with 30% of the oil that fuels its factories. And yet very little of Sudan’s oil profits have benefited its people. Instead, oil companies primarily from China and Malaysia have been providing the technology and infrastructure to explore, exploit and export the oil while sharing the profits with the elites in power. Khartoum’s regime is said to have siphoned off as much as 40% of total oil revenue through various forms of mis-pricing, essentially lining its pockets, instead of taking on the task of developing vast regions of the country that have been neglected and underdeveloped for decades.
When a regime driven by such greed loses its grip on power, it tends to tighten its grip before fully losing control. President Omar Al-Bashir’s latest remarks on the eve of this referendum, demonstrate this tendency quite poignantly. In the days leading up to the vote, he announced that were the South to secede, he would change the constitution in the North to impose Sharia law and ensure that Islam and Arabic are the official religion and language, respectively. In addition, he declared that the 1.5 million Southern Sudanese living in the north would lose citizenship rights, and that those working in the public service sector, would be removed from their positions. These policies mirror the type of marginalization and exclusion Southern Sudanese people have been fighting against for decades. The people of Sudan belong to over 597 ethnic groups and speak over 200 languages and dialects. Of those ethnic groups over half identify as indigenous African, 39% identify as Afro-Arab, 70% are Muslim, 25% follow indigenous traditions and 5% are Christian. If the South secedes, these demographics will shift but the cultural diversity and religious pluralism of the country will remain intact. Africans, who do not speak Arabic as their first language will continue to constitute a majority in the north. And while most are muslim, many do not adhere to the practices and interpretation of Islam put forth by the ruling elite. Forcefully imposing a mono-cultural, national identity on a majority which is already marginalized is a dangerous project, which could potentially lead to future demands for secession.
As we witness our Southern Sudanese brothers and sisters cast their votes and exercise their right to self-determination, it is therefore, my hope that we in the north will take it upon ourselves to organize at the grassroots level and in the diaspora, around an alternative project which recognizes our people’s diversity as its strength. This historic referendum represents a failure on our government’s behalf to make unity a viable option. It also however, represents our own complicity and silence around a project that could ultimately lead to the fracturing of our nation, if left unchallenged. More importantly perhaps, we cannot rely on outsiders with a variety of motives and agendas, to challenge this project for us. It has to come from within, with the support and solidarity of those, who respect Sudanese sovereignity and leadership and have the best interest of all Sudanese people at heart.
To get up to date information on what is happening in Southern Sudan here are a few new sources:
Here is also a link to a documentary done by Al Jazeera English chronicling the modern history of Sudan as well as a variety of perspectives on the current situation.