الجمعة، 15 يونيو، 2012

Nubian Survivors... Telling Their Stories

I've lost two post graduate scholarships because of my ethnicity, The officer asked me to proof that I'm Kenyan by showing my parents birth and marriage certificates which is impossible for a person born in 1940's; the officer himself who was my school mate doesn't have his parents' birth and marriage certificates, luckily he is not a Kenyan Nubian" Said Nubian Elder from Kenya

I ran all over the way crossing boarders to Kenya, left my mother and my family behind escaping from the war in Northern Uganda. We settled in Kakuma Refugee Camp where I met my mother and my family was a life. We didn't eat for many days and finding food was hindered by the local community who were surrounding the camp and checking us like aliens" Said Ugandan Nubian Elder.

Nubian are ethnic group living in South Kordofan region and the far North of Sudan, some of them were taken to Kenya by the British colonization and settled there. Nubian are found also in Northern Uganda and some part of DRC. They conserve their culture, they share the same status of subordination across the region of East Africa

Regarding the status of Nubian Sudanese  nationals; nothing to say more than all the audience of the event were refugees who flee from Sudan a year ago with the escalation of violence in their home land; Nuba Mountains.

On June 2011 the war broke between Sudanese Arm Forces (SAF) and Sudan Peoples Liberation Army/ North Sector (SPLA/NS) triggered by bombing the house of SPLA leader and state governor candidate  Alhilo. On May 2012 Human Rights Watch reported finding a cluster bomb (its usage is banned internationally) in the war zone.  HRW Report

During the past 12 months uncountable number of Nubian were, murdered, injured and displaced. The authorities does not open IDP camps around Khartoum and other cities, so most of the survivors have to live with their relatives and former neighbors who were lucky enough to flee the region and resettle in other cities like Khartoum. Nubian activists have been targeted by the authorities; Jalila Khamis Kuku was kidnapped from her house in her night clothes and detained since March 14th, 2012 till now without facing any charges.

One more shared characteristic between the Nubian across the borders is their strength and the ability to survive and tell their stories.

Much appreciation to KACE Sudan, Kampala Office for spotting light on the culture and status of Nubian in the region. Personally I didn't know anything about Kenyan Nubian before attending this event. Here is a summary of the event "Nubian Across Borders Week" http://www.kacesudan.org/pages/nubian1.html

Photo by: Ayman Hussien; Nubian drums band performing at KACE





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