A conference based in Kuwait has been scheduled for March 2010. It is for the reconstruction of East Sudan, and donors are expected to attend. A donor conference was envisioned by Eastern Front negotiators like Amna Dirar, even before the ESPA was signed in November 2006.
Abu Obeida Duj is the Secretary General of the Fund for Support to Rehabilitation in East Sudan. He said that intensive diplomatic work will be required over the next two months so as to receive the contributions of the donor countries.
COMMENT. The 2006 ESPA stipulated that funds of $100 million per year were to be appropriated for reconstruction in east Sudan among the Beja and Rashaida tribes. This money from the central government has not been paid out... Yet here we have a conference seeking fundings.
Sadly, the Sudan Tribune article does not make key details clear: Is the "Fund for Support to Rehabilitation in East Sudan" an initiative of the Beja Congress or Rashaida Free Lions? Who are the donors [donor countries?] - they are already identified to someone, since they claim Kuwait is a "friendly" country. Does that imply that some donors and recipients think Sudan is not a "friendly" country? Have projects been identified that the money will be spent on?
We await positive developments, since any project that serves to make Beja life better is a good thing.
UPDATE January 18, 2010. Comments by Ibrahim Ahmed on this article at the Sudan Tribune point out that Kuwait is an Arab state, and the federal government in Sudan has an Arab power base, and that there is a plan of Arabization for the East of Sudan. Thus, money from Arab states will serve to further marginalize the Beja people by creating a region that is beholden to Arab funders. The Rashaida tribe, which is Arab in origin, can be readily supported with these funds.
Read the comments here.