Friday, January 09, 2004

Sudan: Nuba Mountains

This article is about a month old ... it's a story about the Nuba Mountains, one of the three contested territories in central Sudan, and how they've chosen to speak/teach/learn in English to distance themselves from the Arabic speaking people in the North.

The writer, Emily Wax, does a great job of summarizing the issue facing the people in this region.
... [administration of] the Nuba Mountains, a region called Blue Nile just east of the Nuba Mountains, and Abyei, west of Nuba [are contested by Khartoum and the SPLA/M rebels]. People in the contested regions want to vote on their future status. Under British rule they were considered administratively part of the north, and the government in Khartoum does not want to set a precedent for self-determination in the territory it controls.

The Nuba Mountains are divided between a rebel-held side with a population estimated at 400,000 and a government side with a population of more than 1 million. Human rights groups say that the government prevents people from leaving its territory.

"We want peace. But don't trust these people," said Abulaziz Adam Alhilu, the governor of the rebel-held part of Nuba, referring to the government in Khartoum. Posters on the wall of his office tallied the number of displaced -- 30,000 -- in his region of central Sudan by construction of an oil pipeline.