The Nuba Vision
Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2001
In recent years we have been voicing our concern internationally, demanding acknowledgement of the Nuba right to self-determination. Because we believe the long historical record of neglect, discrimination and marginalisation of the people of the Nuba Mountains give them a right to decide for themselves, that they have an irrefutable claim to self-determination. They should have the full right to exercise their right to self-determination similar to that being acknowledged for the people of Southern Sudan by the NDA, GoS and IGAD. That is because a fair and a lasting peace for Sudan can never be achieved while the great majority of the Sudanese people still continue to feel the pinch of injustice.
We do not want to see our people being used as tool to fight other peoples' wars as they have in the past. Many thousands have died and their contribution to the Sudanese struggle has been enormous, yet Nuba civil rights have yet to be acknowledged. They have been fighting on all fronts where the SPLA have been active, which we believe earn them the right to a say in their own destiny, deciding for themselves by themselves. It is important that there should be no compromise over Nuba and others' political rights in order to reach some hazy peace settlement.
Under the leadership of the late Yusif Kuwer, the Nuba have been governed by consensus and fighting with consent. We believe that our brothers and sisters have fought and died for a just cause. Now it is time more than ever for all Nuba to stand up and speak, for their voice to be heard. Their right to self-determination and their right to be Nuba must be respected by all Sudanese political leaders and politicians.
Let us all understand that we are proud to be Nuba and certainly too proud to be silenced. The Nuba voice for justice and peace will not be quietened. Those who think that they can silence an independent Nuba voice are seriously disillusioned. They must understand not only that the Nuba have changed but also have made a significant progress in their political thinking. We do not, therefore, need any one or body to undermine the power, the vision and the intelligence of our people. We are capable of articulating our position and governing ourselves.
One of the major issues of the day we would like to know is the political significance of what is called “New Sudan”. A map of the New Sudan has been drawn up which encompasses the entire Nuba Mountains region. Does this mean that the Nuba region will become part of the South? The SPLA Leadership at the 1997 IGAD peace talks proposed a solution to the war based on two confederal states: a Southern Confederal State which would encompass Southern Sudan within its 1956 borders, plus Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile. The Northern Confederal State would encompass the rest of the country.
We would like to ask this simple question: have the Nuba people been consulted on this issue? Fighting alongside SPLA does not mean that Nuba Mountains is part of the South. Why should the Nuba Mountains region remains under the auspices of the Southern Sudan State during the Interim Arrangement Period as is proposed?
We believe that during the Interim Period the people of the Nuba Mountains should be considered as a separate entity and under the control of an international monitoring body. They should be free to consider their future without pressure from either the South or the North. It will be the Nuba people who would make the decision to join with the Northern or Southern State or to create a state of their own. For sure it will not be purely the prerogative of the military leadership. Currently the international community is putting its heavy weight behind IGAD to end the war in Sudan and what is clear that the Sudanese Government is continuing to refuse separation of religion from the state which is the core of the long standing Sudanese conflict. This means that in the next coming IGAD meeting if the government remains rigid in its position and holding on to its Islamic programme and principles, then a solution is likely to be imposed on us by force. This means the people of Southern Sudan will be given the right to opt for independent state. The question remains what will happen to the people of the Nuba Mountains and other marginalized areas.