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SOS Save the Nubians : The Nubian Tsunami

The Nubian who strived hard over several centuries to maintain identity, culture and heritage as descendents of great African Civilzations are always subject to well orchestrated , manipulated and systematic ethnic cleansing. This cleansing process took different shapes: -inundation of Nubian land “Aswan Dam –High Dam—Meroi Dam”, deprivation from all central governments care (no Medicare or education), marginalization (overlooking of Nubians as active and existing minority) and make their land as such rejecting to force Nubians to abandon it…

Since the construction of the High Dam in 1964, the Nubians have sacrificed their heritage and land for the welfare of Egypt and Sudan. The Nubians were dispersed all over the Sudan and Egypt as well as in many countries around the globe. Some who strived and struggled to return to the shores of Lake Nubian have made the resurrection of Wade Half a forced reality.

Those who were forcefully relocated in Butana plains in eastern Sudan suffered as the New Halfa Project collapsed gradually for many reasons of mismanagement, poor drainage, and invasion of shrubs and weeds. Now most of them are scattered all over the outskirts of Sudanese towns and cities. The whole Nubian land in Wadi Halfa, Sikkout and Mahas have suffered from marginalization , overlooking and neglect. In spite of the suffering the Nubians did not spare an opportunity or an effort to reconstruct the land of their ancestors and have submitted several proposals to the authorities which were , unfortunately, ignored.

On the other hand several of those who were relocated (e.g. those from Argin ) have returned in large numbers and tried hard to establish a decent life on the western shores of the Nile where old Argin existed. They built houses and developed a number of agricultural projects on their own initiatives without any support from the government of Sudan. Instead of helping Nubian people, by rebuilding Wadi Halfa and supporting Argin projects, the government decided to sell 6.1 million feddans( 1.6 m announced to fake reality) of the Nubian land to Egypt for irrigation with waters extracted from the Nubian Aquifer . All this took place in full exclusion of the Nubians who have in the past built a civilization which is still echoing its flavour and pride all over the world.

The Nubians as one of several other marginalized and overlooked indigenous minorities of Sudan hoped, while Sudan is advancing towards the dawn Peace following the sign of Peace at Nivasha (Kenya between Government of Sudan and the SPLA/M of South Sudan), that the government would have handled this matter with what it deserves from transparency and have strived to allow the Sudanese people in general and the Nubians in particular to participate in shaping their future in a participatory fashion. Alternatively what is happening is that such important decisions as using the water from the Nubian Aquifer and land are being handled in secrecy and without the involvement of the people who own this wealth historically. Several of the members of the ruling party has been allocated hundreds of thousands of feddans from Nubian land for their own use and benefit!!

We plead to the international community to share with the Nubians the concern that these resources are not only for the Nubians but for all the future generations of the Sudan in the south, the north, the west and the east. The Nubian Aquifer is the natural reservoir of water supplies for coming generations of the Sudanese. It is worth noting also that the current century have been declared the "water century " pointing to the importance of judicial and wise use of this precious resource in a sustainable way. This is a calamity that exceeds all sufferings the Nubians went through in their history and could be compared in its damaging scale and magnitude to the recent Tsunami crisis in the Far East and South Asia waters.. .

In consideration of the above the Nubian voice their strong objection to what is being done in breach and violation of the right of Nubians in their lands and ground water. Indeed, the Nubians support proper investment and prosperity of the people living in the Nile Valley . However, this investment should observe the legal and historic rights of the Nubian People who live in these areas As well as the concerns of the future generations of the whole Sudanese People. We appeal to the free and concerned world to address the Government of Sudan to:

1. to develop a legal document which conserves the common property rights of the Nubian People to the water and land resources in this area

2. To speed up the formation of the Land Authority in the Northern State . The Authority should be given legal jurisdictions for any investment in the area

3. Provide enough water for the agricultural schemes in the Nubian Lands from Wadi Halfa to Dongola

4. To establish Authority for the development of all Agricultural Schemes in the Northern States. This authority should be the only legal body with jurisdiction over any future use of land and water resources in Nubian Land. The authority should have the power to oversee and provide governance to all investment and development issues related to irrigation, cropping and natural resource management. All private and public investors should get permission to undertake any development activities from this agency