"I have visited the Blue Nile region of Sudan and seen for myself the tragic condition of the people who suffer there at the hands of the brutal National Islamic Front Government." Baroness Caroline Cox

Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something!


The Blue Nile is one of the two main courses of the river Nile. The Saharan part of the river is formed by the union at the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, of the White Nile coming from the lacustrine region in Eastern Africa, and the Blue Nile coming from the Ethiopian Highlands. Though with a shorter length, the Blue Nile course amounts to more than 60 % of total Nile water flow. Historically the river was one of the main roads for the contacts between the clay plains of the arid Sahel and the higher volcanic plateau of Abyssinia, yet conflicts and wars raged after the first area came under Islamic rule in the XV century AD (the Funj Sultanate at Sennar). The possibility for the Christian rulers of the Highlands to control its water flow, even if technically impracticable, was always seen as a menace by the northerner states.

Although Western explorers have been drawn to the beauty and mystery of the Blue Nile since Europeans first walked along the shores of Lake Tana centuries ago, the river was never fully mapped until thirty years ago.




Despite the manifest shortcomings of its April 21, 2003 report on
Sudan, the State Department has continued to leave many important
questions about US Sudan policy unanswered. Yet another question has
recently been raised by reports of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
declaring that: "Egypt 'has always stood for achievement of peace and
for maintenance of the territorial integrity of Sudan,' adding that the
United States and his country 'agree on the need for safeguarding the
territorial integrity of Sudan'" (Agence France-Presse, April 30, 2003).
This invoking of US support for Egyptian efforts to undermine the key
feature of the Machakos Protocol---i.e., a true self-determination
referendum for the people of southern Sudan, with the option of
secession---demands a response from the State Department: does the US
still fully support the Machakos Protocol, or not? To be sure, this
question may be more difficult to answer in light of the recently
circulated "road map for peace in the Middle East," in which the US is
obviously looking to Egypt for considerable diplomatic help. This
forces, then, another version of the question: has a deal been cut? Has
Egypt been guaranteed (implicitly or explicitly) that the US won't
support southern self-determination, per the Machakos Protocol, in
return for Egypt's help in realizing the Middle East "road map," an
issue with obviously much greater geopolitical throw-weight? Just how
committed is the State Department to a just peace for Sudan? The
answers implicit in recent statements, the April 21 report, and evident
policy decisions are not encouraging.
Many questions remain from the State Department's April 21, 2003 Sudan
report (fulfilling the requirements of the Sudan Peace Act). No account
has been given as to why the State Department report omitted any mention
of Khartoum's grounding of the Civilian Protection Monitoring Team from
March 7, 2003 through April 11 (despite the regime's agreement in March
2002 to provide "unhindered flight access"). No account has been given
of why the report made no mention of the grounding of critical UN
Operation Lifeline Sudan humanitarian aircraft in February 2003 (even
though one of the central tasks of the report was to assess the degree
to which Khartoum has interfered with humanitarian access).

No effort has been made to correct the various factual errors
concerning the status of the Verification Monitoring Team (negotiated in
the cease-fire "Addendum" of February 4, 2003 but erroneously referred
to as if operational in the White House memorandum that accompanied the
State Department report). Nor has any effort been made to correct the
State Department's erroneous and tendentious linking of the Sudan
People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the recent uprising in
Darfur Province. Nor has there been any effort to provide the full
account necessary of Khartoum's many and ongoing violations of the
October 15, 2002 cease-fire agreement or the February 4,
2003 "Addendum."
In short, the report continues to stand as an inaccurate, tendentious,
and frequently disingenuous account of the situation in Sudan and the
Machakos peace process.

It is in this context that we might well wonder whether the State
Department is likely to clarify the implications of Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak's declaration that, "the United States and his country
'agree on the need for safeguarding the territorial integrity of
Sudan'" (AFP, April 30, 2003). "Territorial integrity" is, of course,
Mubarak's code language for "no southern self-determination referendum
that has any possibility of secession." Since it is precisely such a
referendum that is stipulated by the Machakos Protocol of July 20, 2003,
there is clearly a contradiction between previously declared US support
for the Machakos Protocol and what the President of Egypt has declared
on behalf of the US. It is worth recalling here that the State
Department report of April 21 made no mention of the Machakos Protocol.
The accompanying White House "Memorandum of Certification" (declaring
that Khartoum is negotiating in "good faith" and is not "unreasononably
interfering with humanitarian access") makes only passing reference to
the Machakos Protocol, and pointedly says nothing about Section 2.5 and
the self-determination referendum.

But any final success for the Machakos peace process entails fully
respecting its underpinning, the Machakos Protocol. This seems to
becoming an increasingly discomfiting fact for the State Department, and
its Africa Bureau in particular. For Egypt has, coincident with the US
release of the "road map for peace in the Middle East," weighed in on
what it considers its most strategically significant regional issue,
viz. the fate of Sudan. Surely Cairo has communicated its strong views
about the Machakos Protocol to the State Department. Indeed, such
communication is hardly necessary: we have only to recall the vehement
objection with which the Egyptian press and government commentators
greeted the Machakos Protocol last summer. There was a crescendo of
harsh criticism, which culminated in thoroughly unaccommodating remarks
by Mubarak himself. Egypt cannot have been more explicit.

No, the interesting question is not what Egypt wants---that's obviously
a scuttling of the Machakos Protocol---but what it is demanding of the
US on the issue. With the immense leverage provided by its role as the
"indispensable Arab partner" for Middle East peace, Egypt has surely
felt in a position of strength in making its demands of the US. What
are those demands? And how much in recent developments can be accepted
as simply coincidences of the moment? The roster here is significant:
[1] the silence of the State Department on the Machakos Protocol in its
recent report; [2] the perfunctory mention of the Machakos Protocol in
the President's accompanying "Memorandum of Certification"; [3] formal
release by the US of the "road map for peace in the Middle East"; [4] a
highly presumptuous statement about US Sudan policy by Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak, in a declaration that reiterates Egypt's
hostility to one of the key terms of the Machakos Protocol.

The Machakos peace process has not made substantial progress on any of
the key issues since the signing last July of the Machakos Protocol.
There has been no progress on security issues; no progress on the three
contested areas (Abyei, Nuba, Southern Blue Nile); there remain many
major sticking points on interim governance issues; there is a world of
difference on views of oil revenue-sharing percentages. Moreover,
despite the silence of the State Department report, major violations by
Khartoum of the cease-fire agreements continue, most consequentially the
agreement to "cease supplying all areas with weapons and ammunition"
(Section 3 of the October 15, 2002 cease-fire "Memorandum"). This is
the context in which we must try to understand the State Department's
silence on Mubarak's declaration about US "agreement" with Egypt on the
issue of a southern self-determination referendum.

The essential question here might take the following form: how can a
peace deal emerge from the Machakos process if the US quietly abandons
the agreement on which that process is predicated? Perhaps the State
Department and its Africa Bureau think that no one is asking.


Report of the public meeting on the future reconstruction of the Sudan

held on Friday April 4, 2003, at the ISS.

From April 1-3, 2003, delegations of the two parties to the Sudan
conflict had a meeting in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, with
representatives of the international donor community to discuss the
reconstruction of the Sudan after a peace agreement has been signed. The
conference was organised and hosted by the Government of the
Netherlands. On April 4, the conference was followed by a public meeting
in The Hague, organised by the International Dialogues Foundation (IDF)
and the Institute for Social Studies (ISS). In what follows, the
proceedings of this public meeting will be briefly summarised.

For most of its history since independence in 1956, the Sudan has
suffered a devastating civil war between the predominantly Muslim North
and the non-Muslim South of the country. In 1994, a process of
negotiations was started in Nairobi between the Sudanese government and
the Southern liberation movement SPLA/M, under supervision of the
East-African organisation Intergovernmental Authority on Development
(IGAD). From the beginning the major focus of the negotiations were
constitutional issues related to the sharing of wealth and power and the
religious or secular nature of the state.
In July 2002, a breakthrough in the negotiations was reached in
Machakos, Kenya, with the signing of a framework peace-agreement.
Building on previous agreements, the 'Machakos Protocol' included an
agreement on basic principles of sharing economic resources and
political power as well as on the principle that citizenship in a
unitary Sudan should be based on rights and duties and not on religious
affiliation. Important issues, however, remained to be specified in a
future peace agreement, such as the constitutional status and regional
application of shari'a law, the isssue of oil production and revenues,
and the status of other marginalized areas beyond the Southern Sudan
proper. The most important achievement of the Machakos Protocol was that
it re-affirmed the right of self-determination for the Southern Sudanese
and included a consensus that the signing of a final agreement will be
followed by a six-year interim period, after which the Southern Sudanese
will choose by referendum whether or not to remain part of a united
Sudan. Although the achievement reached in Machakos can only be measured
by the practical commitment of both parties to its principles in the
future, the agreement has indeed been the most hopeful sign in years.
While in the following months the remaining obstacles to a final
agreement were reduced, the international donor community started to
prepare for the post-war reconstruction of the Sudan. On Jan. 9-10,
2003, a donor meeting took place in Oslo, in which it was decided that a
co-ordination conference should be held which included the Sudanese
parties. The Netherlands offered to host the meeting.
The DONOR co-ordination conference was held on April 1-3 in Noordwijk,
the Netherlands. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs and in particular
the State Minister of Development Co-operation, Ms Agnes van Ardenne,
played a leading role in the organisation. The Noordwijk conference
coincided with a summit, on April 2 in Nairobi, between the Sudanese
President al-Bashir and SPLA/M leader John Garang in which both leaders
expressed their intention to reach a final peace-agreement by the end of
June 2003.
The aim of the Noordwijk conference was to devise a coherent and
effective plan for reconstruction - in particular for what came to be
termed the 'pre-interim period', the first six months after the signing
of a peace agreement. The conference was attended by delegations of the
Government of Sudan and the SPLA/M, in addition to representatives of
civil society organisations from both North and South Sudan. The
community of international donors and facilitators was represented,
among others, by the IGAD Secretariat for Peace in Sudan, the Arab
League, the IMF, the ADB, the US, UK and Norway and a whole range of
other countries from the EU and beyond.
In connection with the closed conference in Noordwijk, a public meeting
was organised by the International Dialogues Foundation (IDF) in
co-operation with the Institute for Social Studies (ISS) on April 4 in
The Hague. The aim of this public meeting was to involve a larger circle
of concerned individuals and organisations in discussions about the
future reconstruction of the Sudan. Among those invited were Dutch
politicians, representatives of NGO's and the private sector, academics,
journalists and members of the Sudanese community in the Netherlands.
The meeting consisted of two sessions chaired by ISS professor Richard
Robison, in which participants to the co-ordination conference discussed
the outcome of the three-day meeting, process of peace-building and
reconstruction and the role envisaged for Sudanese civil society in this
process. After the two sessions, a forum-discussion with the audience
took place, chaired by Mr Jos van Beurden.

After the the meeting was opened by Mr David Dunham, the deputy director
of the ISS, Ms Agnes van Ardenne, the Dutch State Minister of
Development Co-operation, gave an introductory talk in which she
summarised the conclusions reached in the Noordwijk conference.
The results of the conference, Ms van Ardenne said, were encouraging and
in fact remarkable progress had been made. The Sudanese delegations as
well as donor responses indicated that there is considerable consensus
on what to do in the pre-interim and interim periods.
An important principle that emerged during the talks was that of
'ownership' of the peace-process. As only a peace that is supported,
carried and led by the whole population will be sustainable, the
Sudanese people should be informed about the peace-process and empowered
to fully engage in its preparation and implementation. In connection
with the importance of involving the Sudanese people, participants
agreed to establish, within the shortest possible time-frame, a
quick-impact programme for the 'pre-interim-period, the first six months
after the signing of a peace agreement. The quick-impact programme will
aim at building public confidence by providing tangible results at the
community level; the programme will be based on the existing
humanitarian and development assistance and prepare the ground for
longer term recovery and development efforts. Priorities formulated for
the quick impact programme and beyond include: capacity-building; return
and re-integration of displaced people and refugees; development of the
economy and infrastructure and rehabilitation of basic services such as
health, education, water and food security. A major priority that
demands immediate action is capacity building for all levels of the
authorities in the Sudan to prepare for peace, esp. for the emerging
civil administration in the South. Sudanese civil society, including
NGO's, should be fully empowered to engage in the quick impact programme
and in planning for longer term development.
Coming to the role of the international community, State Minister van
Ardenne underlined that Sudanese ownership of the peace-process does not
exclude 'a little help from your friends.' While the UN is encouraged to
continue its ongoing planning, it was agreed that donor co-ordination
shall be carried out within the framework of the IGAD Partners Forum. In
the financial sphere, it was recognised by all that debt relief is
necessary for resumption of financing from the international financial
institutions. This financing, it was generally expected, will be linked
to progress on implementing the peace-agreement as well as to poverty
Finally, there was consensus among the participants of the Noordwijk
meeting that the peace building process requires an immediate start,
even before the signing of a peace-agreement. A number of concrete steps
was agreed upon to be taken in the near future. While national and
international creditors and financial institutions will work on Sudan's
external debt, the Sudanese parties will start to broaden consensus for
the peace-process with a campaign of consultations with local
communities. It was further decided that in a follow-up meeting to be
held soon in Nairobi, the GOS and SPLA/M assisted by a number of
international partners, will discuss implementation modalities for the
pre-interim period. Also, it was agreed that shortly after the signing
of a peace-agreement a pledging conference will be held under the
auspices of the IGAD Partners Forum, in Oslo, Norway.

Mr Najib al-Khayr, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of
Sudan, argued that the conflict in the Sudan is partly the legacy of the
colonial administration and can partly be attributed to issues left
unaddressed at the day of independence and by subsequent governments. He
emphasised that the conflict is not religious in nature and that its
major causes are underdevelopment and unbalanced development. The
Machakos P(p)rotocol represented a breakthrough in that it addressed
these basic issues while leaving the door open to a unified Sudan as the
priority option for both the Sudan government and the SPLA/M. For
further progress towards peace, it is vitally important to engage in
confidence-building between the two parties. This effort should be
based on awareness that diversity and plurality are not a sign of
division but the source of strength of a unified Sudan. The Government
of Sudan remains committed to peace as set out by the Machakos Pprotocol
with the support of IGAD partners and the international community at

In the view of Mr Nhial Deng Nhial, chief negotiator in the SPLA/M
delegation, the Machakos agreement represents a landmark, particularly
in its recognition that unity must be based on consensus. Since the
agreement, hopes for peace in the Sudan have gained momentum, but much
work remains to be done. There is agreement now on the basics of sharing
power and wealth but many related and subsidiary issues remain to be
resolved, such as the status of national capital, the allocation of
resources, the structure of the executive, the representation of the
SPLM, the timing of the elections and the sources of legislation and
status of religious law. Another pending issue is that of the status of
the three areas of Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile. SPLA/M
accepted to discuss these under a separate, direct Kenyan mediation, on
the understanding that any agreement on the three areas would eventually
form an integral part of any overall peace-accord. The concern of SPLA/M
now is how to make voluntary unity a viable option. This will depend on
the seriousness of both parties in the implementation of the final
agreement in good faith.

Mr Ishaq Diwan, World Bank Deputy Director for Sudan, highlighted some
of the issues of reconstruction that require particular attention from
the perspective of international financial institutions. The emphasis
during the pre-interim period, he agreed, should be on building the
credibility of peace. Among other things, this includes food security,
which should depend not only on aid but also on the vast and fertile
land in the South. A major priority during the six-year interim period
is the provision of social services. Especially in the South, education
and health services have completely collapsed and an important question
is how to allocate more resources for their reconstruction. Ishaq Diwan
further drew attention to the fact that the Sudanese economy is growing
but without any significant poverty alleviation because growth mainly
comes from oil-production and mechanised agriculture. This situation
requires reforms such as an emphasis on the traditional rain-fed
agricultural sector and the development of small and medium size
projects and legal and financial frameworks to enable the Sudan to take
more advantage of its resources of oil and agriculture. A final factor
that is hindering Sudan's economy is the $ 20 billion external debt.
This debt, most of which is due to international organisations, deprives
the country from making use of the financial resources of globalisation
and international financial organisations. As writing off all the
foreign debts of the Sudan is impossible, a new international mechanism
should be devised to address the issue.

Mr Acuil Malith Banggol, representative for the local NGO's from
Southern Sudan (FOSCO), reminded the audience that the notion of
'ownership' of the peace process refers in the first place to the
support of the people of Southern Sudan. This support, he argued, will
only be forthcoming if those basic issues are addressed that caused the
Southern Sudanese to take up arms in the first place. These basic issues
include not only socio-economic underdevelopment and marginalisation,
but also policies of cultural exclusion and lack of trust and confidence
resulting from the historical experience of slavery, armed conflict and
dishonoured agreements. In the IGAD peace process, substantial progress
has been made with regard to the economic and political issues, but the
cultural dimension of the conflict has not been adequately addressed.
The role of the international community - governments and international
civil society alike - should be to ensure that all the basic causes of
hostilities are adequately addressed in the final peace-agreement.
During the interim period, after the signing of the agreement, it should
offer effective guarantees for the implementation of the agreement. The
referendum at the end of the interim period should be internationally
supervised so as to guarantee that the people of the South have a
genuine chance to choose.

Dr Hussein Elobeid, representative for the local NGO's from Northern
Sudan (CHARM), gave his views on the role that should be played by
Northern Sudanese NGO's in the post-conflict era and on the difficulties
they may face in playing this role. Elobeid drew attention to the
peace-building activities of Northern Sudanese civil society
organisations in both government and SPLA held areas, such as de-mining
projects, anti-abduction activities and the Sudanese Women Peace
Initiative. In the post war era, he argued, local NGO's should engage in
peace and confidence-building and reconciliation at the grass-root
level; they should represent the marginalised, advocate and monitor
human rights and good governance and act as early warning signals for
potential setbacks. The main constraints facing the local NGO's in
playing this role concern their relationship to both the authorities and
the international civil society organisations who often view them as
competitors rather than partners. In their relationship with the
authorities, local NGO's - and civil society in general - are
under-represented in the decision-making process. In their co-operation
with international organisations, local NGO's often find themselves
forced to incorporate their structures, concerns and priorities.
Moreover, the conditionality and bureaucracy of international donors
often obstruct the funding procedures. Instead, Dr Elobeid pleaded for
inclusive partnerships and relationships that reinforce the capacities
and structures of local NGO's, and for timely and uninterrupted funding

At the end of the morning- and afternoon sessions, there was time for
questions and at the end of the day a forum discussion was held. The
forum-discussion was chaired by Mr Jos van Beurden; the panel included
Ms Marina Peter of Sudan Focal Point Europe; Mr Bert Koenders, MP for
the Dutch Labour Party; Mr Egbert Wesselink of Pax Christi and the
speakers of the second session, Mr Acuil Malith Banggol and Dr Hussein
Elobeid. Most of the questions were asked by Sudanese living in the
One issue of concern among the audience was the involvement of the
Sudanese people, and in particular civil society, in the peace process.
Several participants to the discussions underlined that the peace
process - including the donor conference - was dominated by the Sudan
government and the SPLA/M, both of which were not deemed representative
of the whole Sudanese population. If peace is to be sustainable, it was
argued, a much broader coalition should be involved in the peace
negotiations, including other political and regional groups and civil
society organisations. Gwado Ador argued that in spite of the emphasis
on 'ownership', civil society had thus far not been included in the
peace process. In reply, Najib al-Khayr and Nhial Deng, representatives
of the Sudanese government and the SPLA/M, reassured the audience that
the involvement of local civil society had been a prominent issue on the
conference agenda and that in fact this public meeting bore testimony to
the importance attached to this issue.
Further, there was a general concern among the audience about the
fragility of the peace process. Gwado Ador, William Veto and others
wondered what, in view of the many remaining obstacles, made the
participants so optimistic as to expect that a final peace would be
signed in June. Among the remaining obstacles mentioned were the fact
that important questions pertaining to wealth- and power-sharing remain
unresolved, the government in the North remains committed to its
islamist agenda and the Egyptian government has so far been reluctant to
recognise the Machakos agreement. State Minister van Ardenne, Acuil
Banggol and Marina Peter argued that although basic issues remain to be
resolved, the goodwill shown by both parties as well as the support of
the international community were good reasons to be cautiously
optimistic. Najib al-Khayr added that another reason for optimism was
the fact that the issue of religion and state had now been addressed by
the agreement on a constitution in which rights & duties are defined on
the basis of citizenship. The Egyptian opposition to the Machakos
agreement, al-Khayr continued, was only a minor obstacle in view of the
general support of the Sudanese people and the international community.
Nhial Deng agreed with al-Khayr on this point, adding that even the DUP,
the Northern Sudanese party that is closest to Egypt, supports the
process and defies the criticism of its historical ally.
A third and perhaps the most prominent theme that emerged in the
discussions was the importance to make reconciliation and
confidence-building part of the peace process. Mahmoud al-Zayn, Acuil
Banggol and Marina Peter argued that the basic causes of conflict are
not only unequal distribution of political power and economic resources,
but also a deep-rooted mutual suspicion and a sense of racial, cultural
and religious exclusion among the Southern Sudanese. Unlike political
and economic issues, this cultural and ethnic dimension had in their
view not been adequately addressed in the conference. Ownership and
support for the peace process, in particular among the Southern
population, requires an effort of reconciliation and confidence-building
which is a task that belongs especially to civil society organisations.
In this context, Marina Peter emphasised the importance of public
education, of informing the population not only in the South but
throughout the country about the peace process.
Finally, the discussion focussed on the role of the international
community in the peace process, and in particular that of Europe and the
Netherlands. There was some criticism among the public regarding the
outcome of the Noordwijk conference. For one thing, it was argued that
no budget had been specified or mentioned in the final communiqué of the
meeting. Others were concerned about the effectiveness of the intended
Quick Impact Programme. Reem Fakhreddin expressed her apprehension that
a Quick Impact programme devised in offices abroad will not be
sufficiently tailored to the specific local needs and circumstances and
will therefore not lead to real reconstruction in the long term. Others
replied that the way to prevent this was a good co-operation between
international and local civil society organisations. In this context,
both Alega Maluk of the SPLA/M and Hussein Elobeid of the Northern
Sudanese civil society emphasised that although the help and support of
the international community is indispensable for peace and development
in the Sudan, the non-Sudanese should not take the lead and initiative
from the Sudanese. All activities should be co-ordinated and implemented
in the first place by the Sudanese themselves. Marina Peter and Egbert
Wesselink suggested that one important area where Europe, and in
particular the Netherlands, could play a role was that of advocating and
monitoring compliance to human rights. Other priority areas mentioned in
relation to the role of the Netherlands were those of monitoring the
transparency of financial flows, support for media and the involvement
of Dutch political parties. Bert Koenders, MP of the Dutch Labour party,
agreed that in the later stages of the peace process Dutch political
parties could make their contribution.

After the Forum discussion, the Dutch State Minister of Development
Co-operation, Ms Agnes van Ardenne, presented a number of concluding
During the discussions, Ms van Ardenne said, many important points were
raised which need to be integrated into what has already been agreed
upon. The quick impact programme should be implemented as soon as an
agreement is signed in order to maintain the momentum of peace. All
activities undertaken within its framework must adhere to considerations
relating to human rights, gender sensitivity, security and freedom of
movement. NGO's are expected to play an instrumental role in involving
the people in the peace building and reconstruction efforts as well as
in capacity building. Also the media should be enabled to play its key
role in creating a favourable atmosphere for peace and reconstruction.
In all financial and budgetary matters, transparency should be a top
priority from the very beginning.
Ms van Ardenne put a personal emphasis on the need for close
co-ordination between all the parties inside and outside the Sudan
involved in the quick impact programme. The planned meeting in Nairobi
will deal with planning and implementation of the quick impact programme
and the assignment of roles and responsibilities. The World Bank will
co-ordinate and harmonise all these efforts and set the overall agenda.
Ms van Ardenne concluded her evaluation with a number of remarks about
the role of the Netherlands in the peace process. The Dutch government,
she assured, is committed to make the peace process in the Sudan a
success. Besides the intention to continue its involvement in existing
verification and monitoring missions in the Sudan, the government of the
Netherlands is already engaged in negotiations with the Sudan government
and private sector about Dutch private sector investments. Within the
Netherlands, she concluded, a platform for Dutch NGO's working in the
Sudan should be established so as to facilitate co-ordination. In
addition, there is a need for a Sudan Expert Group that may provide
advice and expertise to the Dutch government.
The meeting was closed by Mr Dick de Zeeuw, Chairman of International
Dialogues Foundation.

Western Upper Nile, Southern Sudan March 2003

This is a report from Persecution Project Foundation,
http://www.persecutionproject.org , of a trip taken in March 2003 to
Western Upper Nile, Southern Sudan

Twelve days prior to our arrival the activities of the Civilian
Protection Monitoring Team (CPMT) were suspended by Khartoum.
The CPMT is the body created by the Sudan Peace Act (SPA)
responsible to investigate ceasefire violations and other
atrocities perpetrated by the Government of Sudan (GOS) against

During our visit we met with the rebel SPLM Commissioner for
Western Upper Nile. He complained that frequent visits by the
CPMT this year had not stopped the GOS from committing

I'll never forget what the Commissioner told me next.

"Here we are dying three ways: War, Starvation and Disease. Go
and see the bodies of our women and children. The vultures and
dogs are fed up of eating human corpses ... there are so many...you
will still see them if you go away from the airstrip."

I asked the gaunt looking Commissioner why the dead remained
unburied? He replied, "We are too weak from hunger and disease.
Before you came we had no food and no medicine. Many of us will
die soon."

The next morning I walked to the frontline areas between Tam and
Mankien to witness the site of the civilian massacres that
occurred just a few weeks before. The commissioner was right. It
was the most gruesome site I have ever seen. All that remained
in this "no-man's land" area were shrapnel, corpses and dozens
of burnt tukels (homes).

Bomb craters and shrapnel from BM40 and BM 30 artillery pieces
were undeniable evidence of the GOS role in leading the assault
on Tam from Mankien --- 40 miles away. Iraq had provided Sudan
with these weapons.

The unburied corpses and decaying bodies of men, women and
children of varying ages lay scattered around. As we approached
the area, vultures were gnawing on human remains.

The body of what could have been a teenage boy lay sprawled on
the ground with a bullet hole in his head---apparently shot at
point blank range. The shell casing of a bullet lay in the grass
a few inches from his head. A young girl’s body was torn into
many pieces ...a foot in one place...a hand in another place... her
torso dragged away and left in the tall grass.

We found the decomposed body of an old man outside his home. He
was the elder in his village. He came out of his home to defend
his family and property and they killed him in cold blood. His
body was left sprawled out on the ground behind his tukel. Other
members of his family were abducted or killed. Next to his home
was the unexploded warhead of a Chinese RPG-9 (rocket propelled

We found other human remains. Some were intact. Some were in
pieces. Some were still inside their homes and others we found
hundreds of yards away from the nearest tukel. In a few areas,
tukels were still standing but the stench and a few scattered
bones outside revealed that unburied corpses had been left to
rot inside.

After a difficult six-hour walk in the scorching 120 degree
heat, and the sight and stench of these rotting corpses I felt
nauseous, sad and also angry. But, I was also thankful for the
opportunity to move safely in and out of this volatile area and
collect valuable eyewitness testimony and evidence in the form
of pictures and video that I pray will be used effectively to
help stop Sudan's hidden holocaust of Christians.

After our experiences in the killing fields of Tam everything
seemed easy.

But, our experiences in the Nuba were also unforgettable. In
June last year PPF Nuba Coordinator, Akila Shokai, conducted a
series of medical and relief outreaches for PPF in the Nuba
mountains. Akila traveled to Badura to visit Pastor Barnaba, who
was a student of his father, the late Bishop Butros Shokai.

In March I returned to Badura to distribute tools, medicines,
and other relief supplies to the community. During my brief stay
in Badura I collected testimonies from Barnaba and other
Christians who survived a wave of persecutions by Islamic
invaders during the last several years.

Akila had told me the story of a young blind girl named Lea. Lea
was robbed of her childhood when radical Islamist forces
attacked Badura during a spree of killing, looting and
destruction. Many people escaped, but because she is blind Lea
did not escape. In the confusion she was left behind. She was
brutally raped becoming a mother at age 11. Now six years, later
I visited Badura and found Lea worshipping in the rebuilt

Lea is guided by her young five year old daughter, who is the
most tangible blessing in a life filled with great suffering. I
was humbled by the resilience and faith of Lea and other
Christians I met in the Nuba. It is a great privilege for us to
be able to assist these brave Christians (like Lea) in the Nuba
and other regions of southern Sudan who are persevering in their
faith despite unimaginable suffering and great personal loss.



Liang, South Sudan, February 6, 2003 --

In late January, 2003, an international team of US and Canadian experts traveled to Liang, Upper Nile Province, where they discovered fields littered with human remains, many of them from young children. Interviews with local survivors confirmed that the remains were those of victims of an unprovoked attack upon the unarmed civilian villages of Liang, Dengaji, Kawaji and Yawaji in late April 2002.

It is estimated that between 1/3 to 1/2 of the original 6,000 civilians living in the region were killed in the attack. The attackers were reported by the survivors to be Sudan regular army from the Boing Garrison, commanded by Brigadier General Ibrahim Saleh. Striking in the early morning while the villagers slept, the heavily armed Government of Sudan (GOS) soldiers began killing the unarmed residents and burning their houses.

The attackers were reportedly armed with 60 mm mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, 12.7mm heavy machine guns and AK-47 assault rifles. In a videotaped interview, Mr. Tunya Jok described the horrors as he witnessed his 4-year –old daughter shot and killed as she fled from the GOS soldiers. Then his 6-year-old son was captured and beheaded by the soldiers. His body was thrown into a burning hut and his head planted upright facing away from the hut.

Servant’s Heart, Freedom Quest International and The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada) call for an investigation by the international Civilian Protection and Monitoring Team assigned to report on violations of the March, 2002 agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement. Among other things, both sides agreed not to attack civilian targets. We also call on the US State Department to include this incident in their Sudan Peace Act-mandated report to Congress on atrocities and war criminals in Southern Sudan.

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