December 30, 2011

Online - Beja news websites

Keep up with current events among the Beja. Try these sites. Bookmark this page.
From the United Kingdom is an Arabic language site that covers Beja events in Sudan with details and photos of events that are quite current. Very basic design. The first Beja newspaper. They've been on the net for a long time.
In English
This site offers general Sudanese news, with an emphasis on politics, and a section for sports and articles by bloggers. Links. This site is written in Arabic. You'll have to dig around to find Beja specific items.
Translated by google, into English.

East Democratic Party
The political party offers a plan for introducing change into the way Sudan is governed. A very basic platform is offered, along with an essay by a South African about the difficult situation in East Sudan [English pdf]. News items are available, but the volume of posts ranges from one post per month to fifty per month. In Arabic.
Translated by google, into English

Beja Congress
The Beja Congress has not managed their web presence very well. An older website was allowed to expire, and the Congress relaunched with a new address in September 2011.

The new website offers a few news items each month, but they are all on a large single page, so translation of the site into English is not possible directly. You have to cut and paste portions of the page to read the news.  Other pages - development projects, about the party, are available [translated into English]. The site is in Arabic.

Cut a portion of the news from the Arabic site and paste it here:  Get it translated into English for free.

You can view portions of the old website,, at the WayBack Machine [2005-2008 only].
Wide selection of information and news about Sudan. Sudanese news updated round the clock Political articles/ music/ video/ Discussion forums. In Arabic.
Translated by google, in English
This is a very active site! Covers both regular news, political party and community associations press releases and hosts a very active community in its forums. The English pages are out of date.    in Arabic.
The website as a whole, translated into English.
Inside reports, articles and press releases from various Beja groups calling for dignity and recognition of Beja people. Political. Worth a look. In Arabic.
Translated into English...
A forum with some activity everyday. Created by Kassala expatriates living in Doha, Qatar. (Who knew?) Active Islamic threads, a photo thread, political threads, and many other discussion topics.
In Arabic.
Translated into English.
A city based blog website with news posted every few days. Nice blog design. Read it in Arabic. 
Or read it in English.
On the forums, there are lots of posts for most countries of the world- this is a huge site!. But you can explore Sudan -  general discussion, politics, culture, South Sudan, women. In addition, there are lots of photos of buildings under construction and the landscapes of Port Sudan, Kassala, Khartoum Suakin, and Arkowit.  In English.
General Sudan page. Or visit the projects and construction, or photography forums.
A newcomer on the internet, alsahafa has a few articles exploring the history of the eastern region of Sudan. It also keeps up with news and sports.
In Arabic.

Google offers a free 'alert' service. When it finds your key words or search terms, an email will be sent to you, telling you about the website that has used them. So you might enter "Beja" and "Egypt" or "Port Sudan" as search terms. Build your own email news service here.
A great Beja news website!! Too bad it is no longer being updated. A few items from July and August 2011 are online.
Translated into English.
And of course, there's this site here and now.  Thanks for visiting. Why not bookmark us inyour favourites? You are on

There are some facebook pages too, but we'll cover them in another post.

December 29, 2011

Review - Situation in East Sudan

There has been a number of developments in East Sudan over the past few months.

With deteriorating harvest conditions, a humanitarian crisis is developing. The central government in Khartoum continues to refrain from developing the eastern part of the country. Political groups from around the country have banded together to seek regime change through political and possible military action.

The progressive news media source,, based in Beruit, Lebanon has published a review of developments in East Sudan, with a focus on the Beja participation.

AS THE humanitarian crisis in eastern Sudan reaches alarming levels, past allies have banded together again to demand development in impoverished region
More than ever, Eastern Sudan seems ready for its revolution “against marginalization.”
Locals of the region are once again gathering their weapons. Political leaders in the eastern region assert that they are ready to make choices in order to eliminate the injustices brought upon them, especially with regard to the deteriorating humanitarian condition that has now reached its worst levels. etc. etc.

Read the file online. Download a pdf. Original, in Arabic.

December 26, 2011

Arabic dreams in Sudan

Wealthy investors from Arabia plan to spend $20 BILLION to convert a remote uninhabited windswept Red Sea island into a playground for wealthy tourists. [Also noted as being $11 billion.]

The unbelievable plans include the world's tallest building designed in the shape of a cob of corn. Much taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Al Hosaini will be 1750m | 5741ft tall.

Marinas for 2,400 boats and 700 yachts will be built, and an international airport. Mekouar Island will eventually house 150,000 residents, and host 90,000 tourists each month. It is located about 80 kilometers north of Port Sudan, and 200 km across the Red Sea from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The president of Sudan attended the laying of a foundation stone a week ago. Details of the [proposed] plan were released to the media.

There is limited fresh water, if any, on the island, and no electricity service. No road access from Sudan exists. For analysis in Arabic and English, and over 90 comments, visit skycraper city.

UPDATE. Apparently this island was -sold- to Arabian investors. Price not disclosed. Where does it go, what kind of deal was made?

December 24, 2011

SRF December meeting - statement

Closing statement for the meeting of the Political Committee of the Supreme Revolutionary Front, the Sudanese

The Political Committee of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front held a regular meeting from 19 to 21 December 2011. They  addressed the following topics: -
1. Humanitarian issues in war zones
Manaseer sit-in and human rights situation in Sudan
Contacts with the Sudanese political forces
Take a tour of regional and international to explain the positions of the Revolutionary Front to mobilize support by the Sudanese people
Review the findings of the Commission on the political vision and program
Review arrangements for the first conference of the front
The meeting concluded the following with this statement:
- In respect of the humanitarian situation of the meeting stressed that the continuation of the system in the bombing of civilians and refusing to open safe corridors for the delivery of humanitarian needs is a war crime and demand the following: 
Stop the bombing of civilians and calls on the international community to take up duties in the protection of civilians
Open safe corridors for the delivery of humanitarian needs of those affected
Formation of an international commission to investigate the Alapadhaljmaih crimes and violations of human rights. The meeting also demanded the release of all prisoners of war and the two detainees in the prison system.
- People sit Manaseer area: We affirm our support for all Almtdharrien of dams and standing fully with the masses and call Manasir membership Sudanese Revolutionary Front of Solidarity with the people of all shapes and call Manasir Almtdharrien of dams for joint work with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front to overthrow the system.
Confirmed that the Political Committee of condemnation of all violations of human rights and war crimes committed by the day and will be the Sudanese Revolutionary Front of a committee of lawyers and legal members of the Revolutionary Front for the follow-up issues of human rights abuses and the release of prisoners of war. The two detainees and follow-up issues and Nazhieddin Allajieyen in all of Sudan.
- Complete all preparations for holding the first conference of the Revolutionary Front as soon as possible was assigned to the Political Committee to resolve administrative issues and the completion of documents required for approval at the conference at a time specified by the Conference
- Stop the meeting on the findings of the Committee of the vision and programs and the proposal of a unified face to go out and leave the final vision and programs of the competence of the Conference at the meeting.
- With regard to communications with the political forces of the meeting stressed the need for contact with all political forces opposed to the system of disease forces that welcomed and asked to join the RUF.
- Allhna also set up a detailed plan for the external work started yet regional and international visits to support the struggle of the Sudanese people from the beginning of mid-January.

Finally, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front assure the Sudanese at home and abroad, said the system could rescue the sun has set and the only way in front of our people is dropping part of the co-frequency and frequency of participation in the dawn of freedom and salvation came to inevitably.
The Political Committee of the Supreme


December 22, 2011

Short news items - mid-December 2011

ON Thursday, December 22, The Wali (governor) of the Red Sea State, Mohamed Taher Eila announced  the dissolution of his government, thus paving the way for the formation of a new broad- based government.

Eila said in the regular meeting of the Council of the government of the state that the National Congress (NC) and the leaderships of the political parties will meet to form new government to meet the demands of the people of the state.

POLITICALLY motivated fights have broken out at the Faculty of Education at the Red Sea University. A few students have been seriously injured. Supporters of  Musa Ahmed, currently Assistant to President Bashir are against people who think he is a traitor to the Beja, having power but not providing help to the people.

LANDS along the sea near Dungunab may be for sale to Saudi Arabia, though the land is considered a nature reserve with rare coral habitats, mangrove forests and many sea animals living in the area. Dungunab is about 180 kilometers north of Port Sudan, on the Red Sea.

SOME Beja fighters have been gathering in the mountainous region in Eritrea along the Sudanese border, perhaps with a view to developing the militia necessary to support the policies proclaiming regime change by the recently created SRF.

CHRISTIANS are getting ready to celebrate Christmas on December 25. This day commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was born of a woman, and became fully human, while also fully God - this enabled him to mediate between men and God, acting to redeem and justify sinful people, restoring them to relationship with a holy God. The work of salvation was done upon the cross, an event that Christians celebrate on Good Friday. At Christmastime, Christians remember that God came to save people through His Word, Jesus Christ.

December 21, 2011

AUDIO- Birth story of Jesus ... "كيف ولد السيد المسيح"

Thank you for visiting.
شكرا لزيارتكم.

Listen to the story of "The birth of Jesus" in Beja language.
يرجى الاستماع إلى قصة "كيف ولد السيد المسيح" في لغة البجا.

Here's a 28 minute recording.
الساعة 28 دقيقة. يتمتع!

December 20, 2011

ANALYSIS: Tourism in east Sudan not doing so well


 A general view of old Suakin, in the Red Sea state, October 10, 2011. Source: REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdal. Found at SkyscraperCity. 

Waiting for a better day on the Sudanese riviera

It has a coastline legendary for its diving, nomadic culture and an ancient island port with houses built of coral, but Sudan's Red Sea is proving a hard sell, despite Khartoum's high hopes.

On the corniche in Port Sudan, youths play snooker, smoke water pipes and watch cargo ships unloading in the docks, during a mild evening in early December, peak season for the country's top holiday destination.

There is barely a foreigner in sight.

Diving boats serving the more adventurous holidaymakers are moored in the harbour, waiting to explore the rich marine life, spectacular shipwrecks, or the remains of French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau's bizarre experiment in underwater living.

Lorenzo Orso, who runs the Don Questo diving ship, says he's been losing money ever since 2009, when the global economic crisis hit, and the International Criminal Court charged President Omar al-Bashir with crimes against humanity in Darfur.

"In the last three seasons we're just trying to recover our costs. Sudan has been facing various troubles. After the separation, we also had all the problems in Egypt, so people were afraid to fly through Cairo," he said.

South Sudan seceded from the north in July, taking with it 75 percent of the county's oil production -- exported via pipeline terminals just south of Port Sudan -- and forcing the cash-strapped government to frantically cast around for other sources of income.

The then deputy minister of tourism Ali Mahjub Atta was quoted by state media in September as saying that 550,000 tourists visited Sudan last year, generating total revenues of $616 million.
In the same period, 15 million holidaymakers travelled to Egypt.

Atta forecast that the number of tourists visiting Sudan, along with tourism receipts, would rise by 20 percent in 2011, with the political turmoil in other Arab countries encouraging them to choose "more secure" destinations.

But instead, it is an abject lack of security that comes to the minds of most westerners when they think about Sudan, as Imran, a Sudanese woman running a resort 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of here, admits.

Other factors blocking Sudan's growth as an international holiday destination include the Islamist government's ban on alcohol and US sanctions that prevent the use of Western credit cards -- which Rowida Farouk, assistant manager of the Coral Hotel, Port Sudan's finest, describes as a "disaster." But rich rewards await those determined to visit the Sudanese coast, both above and below the water.

Some 30 kilometres south, past the tents of Beja camel herders, one of Sudan's most distinctive indigenous ethnic groups, lies the mysterious island of Suakin. A gateway for African pilgrims travelling to Mecca down the ages, Suakin was also a thriving trading port during the era of the Ottomans, whose houses were built of coral blocks.

A Turkish company is finally restoring some of the ruined Ottoman buildings, while the village on the mainland, El-Geyf, is a hive of Beja activity, with its bustling market, its sword-clad men and its stray goats roaming the dusty streets.

Louay, the manager of Port Sudan's Palace Hotel, says the state's governor, Mohmed Tahir Eilla, has done a huge amount to open up the region, including lifting the need for a permit to travel outside the city last month.

"Since his appointment in 2006, the governor has changed everything... He's doing his best. But he's tied with a very limited budget," he says.

Read the complete article ... or

For another story about tourism in the east, here's one published a couple of months ago. View the thread for more pictures of the reconstruction of Suakin.

Oh my, we already covered this story in October.

December 19, 2011

Investment conference in Port Sudan

Mohamed Tahir

Port-Sudan, Dec. 18 (SUNA) - The Second Investment Forum, held in the Red Sea State during December 15-17 concluded sittings Saturday, amid massive participation from the representatives of a number of diplomatic missions accredited to Sudan, businessmen and persons and bodies concerned with investment.

The forum deliberated about the issues of financing, tourism, industry and transport.

The forum issued its final communiqué which included a number of recommendations underscored importance of simplification of investment procedures, provision of necessary funds and development of infrastructures.

The recommendations also called for provision of industrial production input, concentration on the services' enhancement and creation of tourism attraction mechanisms.

The Wali (governor) of the Red Sea State, Dr. Mohamed Tahir Aila, [pictured above] has addressed the conclusion of the forum, affirming the readiness of the government of the state to implement the recommendations and adopting them as guidelines and road map for the investment in the state.

December 9, 2011

UN REPORT- Kassala State unstable

The United Nations has published a report on their IRIN news site. It describes recent events and concludes that trouble is brewing in East Sudan, especially now that the Beja Congress has joined in with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an umbrella group set up in November with the aim of overthrowing the government of Omar el-Bashir.

December 8, 2011

Eritrean politics heating up

About 500 Eritrean delegates from outside Eritrea met in a southern town in Ethiopia from Nov. 21 to Nov. 30, 2011. They set the foundations for an alternative government in Eritrea. Many people are not happy with the current regime lead by President Afwerki. The current government is known as the People's Front for Democracy and Justice [PFDJ] [aka HGDEF (Eritrean language letter reference?)]

Eritrea does not allow oppostion parties to officially exist in the country. This meeting was an attempt to overcome this barrier. An alternative government structure could fill the gap if the current regime collapses or is overthrown.

The National Congress for Democratic Change [NCDC] which was attended by hundreds of delegates representing exiled Eritreans, including those living in Sudanese and Ethiopian refugee camps. The congress was held in Awassa, Ethiopia, and elected a 127-member National Assembly. The congress also adopted three documents: the political charter, bylaws and a roadmap. A fourth document, the draft constitution was entrusted to the elected national assembly to be used as a reference in the making of a constitution in Eritrea after the downfall of the Eritrean regime.

The NCDC is also known as Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change” (ENCDC)
This link provides the names of people elected to positions of executive leadership in the alternative government.
This aggressive article explores the reasons why an alternative structure of leadership is necessary.

An internal Eritrean group writes an article and attempts to put the National Congress for Democratic Change in a bad light. This group is known as the Eritrean National Democratic Forces (CC-ENDF) NEWS covered this story about a month ago, before the historic meeting of the NCDC.

December 5, 2011

Soccer player dies الطاهر حسيب

Famous Beja soccer player Altahir Hassib has died. He was captain of the Sudanese team in his youth.

Hundreds of men came to his funeral a week ago.

Prayers were made to Allah to bestow his mercy and admit him to Paradise with the martyrs and the saints from God.

December 4, 2011

53 years of Beja Congress

Dr. Taha Osman Bileya, founder of the Beja Congress, 1958

A rally was held in Port Sudan on Saturday December 3, 2011 and 6,000 people attended the anniversary of the Beja Congress. Tribal leaders and Beja Congress officials, as well as representatives of political parties and civil society organizations were present. The event honoured men who have been working for the success of the Congress over the years and challenged the Beja youth to get involved.

Again the story was repeated that the Beja suffer from marginalization by the powers of government, and that the Beja, though significant in population, have very little access to sharing power.

Party leader Mousa Mohammed Ahmed gave a 3,000 word speech that reviewed the history of the Beja Congress, and the roles of many key people. He examined political developments, past and present.

Speech made by Mousa Ahmed in arabic. [10 page pdf]

UPDATE: [Dec 6] A full report of the anniversary was covered in the media. [arabic] [english machine translation]

December 3, 2011

PICTURE- traditional Beja clothing

Ahmed Said Abuamna, Beja man from East Sudan, photographed near Cairo, September 2011.

Musicians are seeking funds to launch a recording project of original Beja songs. Reported earlier on November 10.

UPDATE: Looks like they got all the funds they needed! Read about their recording project

December 2, 2011

Short Bits of Mixed news

The Fifth Tourist Festival for East Sudan was launched in the Port Sudan stadium on December 1. Not enough people were there to watch the displays, so schoolchildren were brought in to see the shows. The festival continues with various events until mid February, 2012. Think of it as an extended advertising campaign for Sudanese to visit the east [internal country tourism.]

Elections in Egypt were successfully held last weekend, and voting equipment was brought in to Hala'ib region from the north. Reports are that hundreds of people were denied the right to vote because they had no proper Egyptian identification.

In April, 2010, Sudanese elections were held, but voting by Hala'ib citizens were not allowed even though attempts were made to include them. Sudan wants to negotiate on control over the Hala'ib region, offering three options to explore administration.

Sit-ins at Manasir [near the new Merowe Dam on the Nile River] continue for 2 weeks now. The Manasir people are fed up with the lack of compensation and care after their towns were swallowed up by the lake behind the dam, from even 5 years ago. Beja have acted in solidarity with these marginalized tribespeople.

A document calling for help for the people of South Tokar is getting distribution. A humanitarian disaster has occurred, and publicity and supplies are requested.

November 24, 2011

Church calls for peace after synod meeting

The Episcopal Church of Sudan held a three day business meeting in mid-November, and released a communiqué calling for peace in the countries where it operates. The church organization covers congregations in both Sudan and South Sudan.

Signed by the Archbishop, the leader of the clergy and the leader of the lay representatives, the document began with a reaffirmation of core commitments. The first one is to serve Jesus by proclaiming the Gospel.
The ECS synod reaffirmed its commitment to serving Jesus Christ in both Sudan and South Sudan through the continued proclamation of the Gospel, through national and international advocacy efforts for peace and reconciliation between the communities of conflict in Sudan and South Sudan, and through service delivery in the areas of healthcare, education and social development.
The post-synod document also declared with a bit of detail what efforts the church would take in each of four areas: proclaiming the Gospel, National and International Adocacy Efforts,  Service Delivery and Stewardship and care of our environment.

In Proclaiming the Gospel, the church described its effort as:
In order to proclaim the gospel, the ECS will continue its efforts of high-level political and grassroots evangelisation in order to reach all the communities of the Sudan and South Sudan. The ECS will also continue to adhere to the traditions of the Anglican Communion through use of the Prayer Book and training to new and existing pastors on the meaning of Anglicanism.
 The Episcopal Church of Sudan strongly condemned the persistent aerial bombardment of civilian territories, summary executions of innocents, and combat in civilian areas in the Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue Nile, Upper Nile State and Unity State. They went on to urge both governments [Sudan and South Sudan] to resolve any differences peacefully and not to resort to war and killing of the innocent civilians who yearn for peace. They said,
The ECS will remain a beacon of the hope of Jesus Christ so that the people of Sudan and South Sudan, traumatised by decades of devastating civil war, recognise the renaissance of their time and the hope of this new beginning.
Additionally the church will endeavour to mobilise their own local resources in order to improve and establish basic services [education and healthcare provision] to all people in Sudan and South Sudan.
To be good stewards over the land God has given us, the church said that they must ensure that our natural resources and our environment are not destroyed through carelessness or vandalism.  Archbishop Reverend Daniel Deng Bul Yak and other representatives ended the communique with a prayer:
God bless Sudan
God bless South Sudan
God bless the Episcopal Church of the Sudan
 An Episcopal Church of Sudan congregation would welcome any visitors who want to learn more about Jesus Christ, or Christian worship. There is a congregation in Port Sudan. Why not make a visit?

November 23, 2011

Port Sudan harbour jobs - going, going...

Al Jezeera reports that 30,000 jobs are expected to be lost for labourers in Port Sudan. A recently made decision to mechanize the unloading of ships will greatly reduce the need for workers.

The Red Sea State government is interested in helping the workers find alternate employment or create businesses, in order to reduce the negative impact of unemployment on so many people. Government officials from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the International Labour Organization and the country representative of the United Nations Development Programme and the Microfinance Bank of Sudan and others were meeting to address the real problem.

Officials will explore ideas such as training and education support, and alternate jobs within the Maritime Port Authority.

Hussein Mohamed Khalifa, deputy head of the union longshoremen, said that there is a disregard of the dilemma faced by thousands of workers. He expressed his fear that this may lead to negative reactions.

Workers fear unemployment and the inability to keep up with the cost of living. Grinding poverty may come to some of them.

Story at Al Jezeera [Arabic]  [English]

Previous $79 millionUS expansion of Port Sudan Harbour. June 2006.

Port Sudan harbour website

Description of Sudanese ports

November 19, 2011

Education Conference - next January

The TED talks are coming to Port Sudan on January 21, 2012 in Alsalam Hall.

TED conferences are a worldwide phenomena. They offer excellent speakers who talk about their special areas of expertise in technology, entertainment and design. Almost 1000 talks are available in Arabic [subtitles]. People can watch the videos online. They are designed to run only 18 minutes or less.

The plan is that about 1000 participants will come to see the presentations. Topics will be about solutions that work to advance the process of education in rural areas. Urban areas often get good education. How can rural students also get a good education? Perhaps there are strategies or technologies that will show how it can be done.

The hope is that the intellectuals, businessmen and educators will learn from the examples of the speakers and from one another. Can Sudan improve the education of the Beja and all the citizens in the country?

 Sourced from Port Sudan Online.

November 18, 2011

Official statement by the Beja Congress

بيان هام من مؤتمر البجا حول انضمامه للجبهة الثورية السودانية
16/11/2011 03:43:00

ظل شعب البجا يرزح لسنوات طويلة, في واقع متردي وبائس يعاني اهله من الفقر والمجاعات والامراض الفتاكة, ولم يجد من النظام الحاكم في السودان سوى الازلال؛ والاستبداد؛ والاستعلاء؛ والتقتيل ؛والتهميش؛ وموجات الغلاء الطاحن؛ والعطالة.
جماهيرنا الاوفياء
في اطار استعادة كرامة الانسان السوداني عامة, والبجاوي خاصة, انخرطت قيادة مؤتمر البجا في مشاورات مكثفة مع العديد من التنظيمات والحركات السودانية المسلحة, واستمرت في العديد من المدن في الداخل عبر الوسائط المتاحة وخلصت في نهايتها الى إعلان انضمامنا الى جبهة القوى الثورية السودانية التى ادرنا مع مكوناتها الاساسية العديد من الحوارات منذ وقت مبكر في لندن, خاصة بعد إن وجد ميثاق الجبهة الثورية السودانية, ترحيبا حارا من قبل جماهير الحزب, وشعب البجا, لطرحه قضية اسقاط النظام بشكل واضح لا لبس فيه, عبر العمل المشترك, الذي يزاوج مابين العمل السياسي السلمي والعمل الجماهيري المسلح.
إذ يعلن مؤتمر البجا إنضمامه للجبهة الثورية, فانه يعاهد شعبنا الابي ببذل الغالي والنفيس من اجل تحقيق الهدف النبيل, وهو اسقاط هذا النظام, وبناء سودان الديمقراطية؛ والعدالة؛ والرخاء ؛والمساواة.
اهلنا الشرفاء
إن شعب البجا الذي عانى لسنوات من التهميش, والافقار المتعمد , والموت الجماعي, حان الوقت لينتفض لاسترداد كرامته, وحقوقه المسلوبة خاصة وان الازمة السياسية التي تمر بها بلادنا بلغت زروتها, وإن الوقت حان لتخرج مواكبنا هادرة, تهتف باسقاط هذا النظام الاجرامي, الذي ارتكب ابشع الجرائم في حق الشعب وازله وافقره, ومارس الابادة الجماعية, في أبشع صورها, والتي تقف مجزرة بورسودان شاهدة عليها.
شبابنا الشجعان
نخاطب فيكم الروح البجاوية, التى لاترضى الضيم والذل والهوان, ان تهبوا جميعا وتواصلوا الطريق الذي إختطه طلاب مدينة كسلا, وشباب القضارف, الذين استبسلوا في مواجهة هذا النظام وهم عزل الا من ايمانهم بضرورة اسقاط هذا النظام, ونتمنى عاجل الشفاء للجرحى منهم , ونناشد أبناء البجا بل كل السودانيين, بالوقوف مع الجرحى والمصابين من الطلاب, ونقول لهم ان نضالنا سيتستمر الى ان تتحقق الغاية المنشودة باسقاط هذا النظام, واستعادة الديمقراطية وحقنا في العيش بكرامة في بلادنا التى ورثناها عن الاجداد, واننا سنسير في طريق قادة مؤتمر البجا العظام الذين خلفوا لنا مجد وتراث نضالي كبير.

ولا يفوتنا في هذا المقام ان نتوجه بالتحايا والتقدير لرفاقنا في قيادة الجبهة الثورية القائد مالك عقار, الاستاذ عبد الواحد نور, الدكتور خليل ابراهيم , القائد مني اركو مناوي, والقائد عبد العزيز الحلو, والاستاذ ياسر عرمان , لهذا التحالف التاريخي, ونقول لهم من هنا نبدأ كتابة تاريخ جديد للشعب السوداني والشعوب المهمشة.
بجا حديد
د. محمد ابو امنة
المكتب القيادي لمؤتمر البجا 

[translation by machine - google]
Important statement of the Beja Congress about joining the Sudanese Revolutionary Front
16/11/2011 03:43:00

The people of Beja suffer for many years, in fact worsening and miserable suffering people from poverty and starvation and deadly diseases, did not find the ruling regime in Sudan only Alszlal; and tyranny; and arrogance; and murder; and marginalization; and the waves of price rises grinding; and inertia.
Our fans loyal
As part of restoration of human dignity Sudanese general, and Bedjaoui private, engaged the leadership of the Beja Congress in intensive consultations with many organizations and movements, the Sudanese armed forces, and continued in many cities in the interior through the media available and concluded at the end of the announcement of our accession to the Front, the revolutionary forces of Sudan, which we turned with key components of many debates since early in London, especially after that found the Charter of the Revolutionary Front of Sudan, warmly welcomed by the masses of the party, and the people of the Beja, to put the issue of dropping the system is clear and unambiguous, through joint action, the mating between peaceful political action public action, armed.
The Beja Congress announced to join the RUF, he pledge to make our people proud dear to them in order to achieve the noble goal, bringing down the system, and building democratic Sudan; and justice; and prosperity; and equality.
Our people honest
The people of Beja, who suffered years of marginalization and impoverishment deliberate, and mass death, it is time to rise up to recover his dignity, and rights of the deprived, especially since the political crisis experienced by our country was Zrutha, and it was time to get out Moakpna outrageous, shouting to bring down this criminal regime, which committed the worst crimes against the people and the removal of the impoverished, and March of genocide in its worst forms, which stand witness the massacre of Port Sudan.
Our brave young people
Speak to you, the Spirit Abajouih, which Atrdy injustice, humiliation and disgrace, that Thbwa all and you continue the road trodden by students of the city of Kassala, young Gedaref, who heroically in the face of this system and are removed except by faith in the need to bring down the system, and wish speedy recovery to the wounded of them, and call upon the sons of Beja but all the Sudanese people, to stand with the injured students, and tell them that our struggle Setstmr that achieved the ultimate goal to bring down the system, and the restoration of democracy and our right to live in dignity in our country which we inherited from our forefathers, and we go on by the leaders of the Beja Congress bone who left us the glory of and the heritage of a great struggle.
We can not fail in this respect must turn Balthaaa and appreciation to our comrades in the leadership of the RUF leader Malik Agar, Professor Abdul Wahid, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, leader Minni Arko Minawi, leader Abdul Aziz al-sweet, and Mr. Yasir Arman, because of this historic alliance, and tell them from here we start write a new history of the Sudanese people and marginalized people.
Baja iron
D. Mohammed Abu safe
Office of the Beja Congress leader

November 17, 2011

Beja Congress joins armed alliance

Old Beja Congress Logo. The new logo has two knives, and no gun.

From a published report.

The Beja Congress, a Sudanese armed opposition group, announced on Tuesday that they had joined the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).

The SRF is a newly formed alliance of armed opposition groups in the country since November 11. It comprises Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW), Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM) apart from the Beja Congress.

A statement issued by the Beja Congress said that its decision to join would help restore human dignity in Sudan in general and specifically with respect to the Beja minority.

The movement said that it had engaged in intensive consultations with many organizations and movements in eastern Sudan and had arrived at the decision to join the SRF.

The statement reinstated that the Beja people had been languishing for many years. “In fact the misery and suffering of the people is increasing due to poverty, starvation and other deadly diseases. The ruling regime in Sudan is subjecting its people to humiliation and tyranny. They are arrogant and killing the marginalized people,” the statement read.

It also pointed out the inaction of the government in the wake of the current economic crisis and inflation.

The newly created Sudan Revolutionary Front says its aim is to overthrow the Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party through all means, including violence. The group consists of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, the Justice and Equality Movement, and two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army.

The group said it believes Sudan’s government is at a weak point economically, politically and militarily. [Read this analysis of Bashir's problems.]

“The [Khartoum] regime is imploding and will vanish, like other corrupt regimes around us that have come to rely on repression to retain power,” the group said. “It has humiliated our people and dismembered our homeland. Should its rule continue, it would lead to further division in Sudan.”

Eric Reeves, a Sudan expert at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, said the group could force Khartoum to face the “daunting prospect of fighting resource-draining wars on several fronts, with the likely shut-down of oil extraction and transport from the south.”

Khartoum’s National Congress Party said the Sudan Revolutionary Front is planning to carry out acts of sabotage to lead Sudan into a crisis. The official news agency quoted a ruling party spokesman, Yassir Yusuf, as saying that the government of South Sudan should “distance itself and lift its hand to stop providing assistance to rebel movements in Sudan.”

Meanwhile South Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun called the SRF a “miserable alliance.”

Radio Dabanga and Washington Post.

UPDATE: For further analysis of the political efforts to reduce the impact of the SRF, read this piece that is aggressively critical of Umma party leader Sadig Almahdi.

SIDE NOTE - OFF TOPIC. There are now 300 posts on this blog.  You get current news about the Beja people on this blog, and for learning more about the Beja people, please visit

November 11, 2011

VIDEO - Sediment behind river dam exposed

When a river is dammed, the water that collects in the lake above the dam stops moving, and the sediment that was carried in the flowing stream sinks to the bottom of the lake.

After some years, when enough sediment has settled, the size of the reservoir for holding water shrinks, and it becomes more difficult to manage the flow of water into irrigation systems or the turbine systems that generate electricity.

It may be possible to raise the dam, to make it higher. This will make a different lake in the same place. The Roseires Dam has been reconstructed to make it higher.

In Egypt, the dam at Aswan was rebuilt a few miles upriver, to create a Lake Nassar, because the dam in original location couldn't be built any higher.

Of course, other factors beside sediment collection have to be considered. These may include environmental issues, cost of operation, the need for more electricity, etc.

Water released from lake
Below is an amazing time lapse video showing the first stage of deconstructing a dam. It was used by an electrical company. Federal law demanded that certain environmental features should be built, and the company didn't want to pay those costs, which were going to be higher than just abandoning the dam.

A tunnel was cut into the dam at the bottom, and as the water is released in a rush, the sediment behind the dam is washed out, creating a new river bed. The dam later will be cut apart and removed.

Watch the video made in October 2011 and discover how much of the lake wasn't very deep. It was about half full of sediment.  Fascinating.

Explosive Breach of Condit Dam from Andy Maser on Vimeo.

Spate Irrigation Problems

Many farmers who work in the regions around Kassala use spate irrigation. This involves building a small dam [about 2 feet high] that is very long, in a "u" shape. The dam essentially surrounds a field on the low side of flat land. This catches the water, which soaks into the land, charging it like a sponge, so that the land is moist. This allows a crop to be planted and grow even after the rainy season is over.

When it rains the water can't run off, and water from land uphill from the field will flow into the dammed area. This uphill water will bring soil with it, which will settle in the standing water. After a few seasons, enough sediment may collect in the field so that it is no longer useful because water will no longer make a "lake" above the dam.

November 10, 2011

Original Beja music recording - needs funding

An American from Illinois USA, and a Sudanese Beja met up in Cairo and now make music together. Miguel Merino and Ahmed Said Abuamna want to record an album of original Beja-style songs.

Using the fundraising website kickstarter, they hope to raise $15,000 by December 8, 2011 for this project to go ahead.

Their promo page has some great pictures of Beja dress and musical instruments.

November 7, 2011

PICTURE - Market in Shalateen, Egypt

Click to enlarge. Photo taken July 2011, by Yasser El-Rasoul

November 6, 2011

New website for the Beja Congress

The Beja Congress has launched a new website. {in Arabic}

In English [machine translated] try google.  To read further, get more text translated from Arabic to English, just refresh or reload your page. It seems that google translates only a select number of words at a time [1,000?].

I wonder if the team could archive posts by the month to make page loads easier...

November 4, 2011

Democracy in Eritrea - party list

President Afwerki has been the only president of Eritrea since its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Yet there is hope for democratic rule in the country.

A meeting of over 500 people is set for November 21 in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where they will discuss a process to establish democratic rule in Eritrea. The "National Congress" is organized by the Eritrean National Commission for Democratic Change. Here's a list of "civil societies" that are expected to participate. Most of these have been created during 2011.

Semere T. Habtemariam describes the role and task of opposition groups. In an extended essay, he analyses the existing rule of President Afwerki, and then explores the growing opposition to his rule. He ends with six ideas that opposition groups need to adopt if they are to be successful in changing Eritrean society. He makes a transition in the centre of the essay with these comments.

"The Eritrean people have not seen better days; injustice, oppression and hardship have been part of their normal life. This psychological make-up is hard to shrug off.

"The opposition faces an impossible mission of changing this psychological make-up of the people. The general messages of democracy, human rights and free press do not instinctively resonate with the masses. It is very hard to effectively articulate the intangible, invisible, future and disastrous effects of poor management and leadership. It is natural for the common people to reason: If Isaias Afwerki was good enough to lead us in our liberation struggle; he must then be good enough to rule us in liberation."

UPDATE: A demonstration of Eritreans who were calling for democracy in Eritrea and the ouster of President Afwerki was held in London, England recently. Other Eritreans were attending a meeting inside the fancy banquet facility "the Decorium" A video above was uploaded on October 23, 2011.

Portions of the Eritrean community have protested before. Here are two videos, posted in March and April 2011, of gatherings outside the Eritrean embassy on White Lion Road in London, England.

November 3, 2011

Riots in Kassala, 13 year old killed

Kassala Police say that there a confrontation between themselves and smugglers of sorghum. A child was shot and killed.

What's the reality? Reports say a 13 year old was killed by police. No reports on how that happened. Citizens were enraged, and threw stones at riot police and set fire to two police cars the next day, on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. Another child was shot by police and seriously injured.

Kassala is the centre of demonstrations over the rising price of foodstuffs, for a few weeks now.

Read the complete account at AllAfrica.

Another account has these details.

Police used teargas to break up a protest in eastern Sudan on Tuesday after police killed a 13-year old boy while chasing a truck, a witness said.

Hundreds of residents gathered in the city of Kassala near the border with Eritrea on Tuesday after the 13-year boy died. A 12-year old boy was also injured during the chase.

"Police used teargas to disperse the protest. People are very angry," said [unnamed] witness.

A police spokesman said the boy had been killed accidentally when police opened fire on a truck they suspected was carrying smuggled food. He said police in Kassala are investigating the incident.

Sudanese Online.

October 31, 2011

Law and order - 20 injured in Kassala

Nearly 20 students were injured during anti-government demonstrations in the city of Kassala in eastern Sudan on Sunday.

Among those injured were 13 female and seven male students. The demonstrations against rising prices and inflation entered their third week.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the police used tear gas on the demonstrators which led to many students being unconscious. Six of the students have been rushed to intensive care units.

The police have surrounded the faculty of Education at the University, where the protests began a few weeks ago.

Source: AllAfrica.

October 30, 2011

Analysis - Sudan's new economy

Sudan's government is desperately seeking revenue, since the most of the oil funds it has depended on for the last ten years now accrue to the benefit of South Sudan. President Bashir must reinvent the economic engine for north Sudan.

The development needs of the country remain immense. While a number of high-profile construction projects have been launched in Khartoum, they haven't served the needs of the country, except to provide good quality housing and office space in the capital. Many projects have been built with foreign funds, primarily Chinese.

Attempts have been made to charge exhorbitant transit fees for the oil that the south wants to sell - up to half the value of a barrel of oil. Negotiations continue.

Alternate income generating ideas include selling land to the Egyptians and Suadi Arabians so they can grow crops. Agricultural exports need to increase, so greater planting efforts will be made on farms around the country. The vagaries of climate make that a hit and miss strategy. There's not much of an industrial base, so north Sudan has few manufactured goods to sell on the international market.

What's left to get development funds?

One: Resources in the ground. Water, iron, oil and gold. Two: Asking for help

We note the successful construction of the Meroe dam. Electricity capacity has doubled in the country, but is still inadequate for large scale industrial purposes. Irrigation has enabled the development of farming downstream.

How long will the Meroe dam be useful? No estimate has been released. Sediment will settle into the lake behind it, eventually reducing the holding capacity of the dam.

There is an iron mine in north east Sudan, and exports to China were announced on October 27, 2011. About 4,000 tons were shipped, and over the next few years, there are expectations that 40,000 tons of iron ore will be shipped to the far east.

North Sudan has released large blocks of land for oil exploration. Some companies have taken options at an 85/15 [company/Sudan] split and begun work to search for oil. One drilling effort has been off the coast in the Red Sea in the Tokar region, beginning in February 2010. Only time [and foreign investment and expertise] will tell how much oil is in the ground.

The news comes out today that north Sudan has signed 50 contracts allowing mining companies to search for gold in various states across the country.

The Minister of Minerals announced that three Jordanian, Chinese and Turkish companies have started gold production, thus increasing the number of gold producing firms to seven. He further said that the construction of a gold refinery would begin in 2012.

26 kilometer road at the Sudan Eritrea border, built with Qatari money

A $9 million dollar 2 lane road was built and paved with funds from Qatar. It runs from Kassala to the Eritrean border and beyond. The road was officially opened on October 26, 2011.

On October 24, 2011, AllAfrica reported that The Sudanese First Vice President Ali Osman Taha paid a one-day visit to Kuwait for talks focused on ways the Arab Gulf state can bolster its investments to aid the beleaguered economy.

In December 2010, a short conference was held in Kuwait, and donor agencies and countries pledged 3.5 Billion dollars in gifts, grants and investments to help develop the east of Sudan. Many posts here.

Tractor picture at top from the US Sudan embassy website. Presumably assembled in Sudan.

October 29, 2011

Tourism hopes in east Sudan

Reuters has published a friendly overview of some activities in Red Sea State. The article describes reasons for hope that tourists will be attracted to the region, and thus help out with the declining economic fortunes of Sudan.

One project on the go is the repair of the Ottoman style Customs House on Suakin Island. As reported here at NEWS the Turkish government promised a year ago at the Kuwait Development Conference to rehabilitate the structure. About 60 local workers have been hired to help.

The article notes the following difficulties.
  • infrequent air service to Port Sudan
  • US government warns their citizens about travel to the area
  • government operation of touristic activites, rather than the private sector
  • government decisions based in Khartoum, 1,100 km away
  • permits required for travel inside Sudan
  • police nervousness with tourists.
The article also noted reasons for tourists to come east
  • relaxed lifestyle, access to water pipes
  • restored historic buildings
  • beautiful beaches
  • Red Sea diving opportunities
  • five star hotel has opened
Read the entire article here.

October 28, 2011

$50 million in 2011 for agriculture in east Sudan

The Islamic Bank for development has allocated the amount of $250 million USD for the rehabilitation projects of the agricultural sector in the three states of east Sudan within the context of the donor’s projects.

The executive manager of the east rehabilitation and development fund, eng. Abu Obeida Mohamed Duj, said the detailed study of the rehabilitation project of Halfa agricultural project rehabilitation has been completed and submitted to the Islamic bank for development for the approval of $50 million USD for the Year 2011 to commence the project’s work.

He added that the study will include the irrigation network axis, the agricultural research work and the veterinary services ,agricultural roads and introducing animals in the cultivation unit, providing the credit facilities ,the water connection for users, the social services, the institutional support, the legal situation and the project implementation unit.

He pointed that the studies were completed for rehabilitating Tokar and Algash projects and the work is continuing in preparing the detailed studies for the projects of developing the machinery cultivation in Gadarif and the horticulture cultivation in the three states, the studies will be presented to the bank every year for five years to approve each project alone annually.

Skyscraper City!

October 27, 2011

Analysis: Overview of Eritreans overseas

US Ambassador marches on Martyrs Day in Eritrea.

This Wikileaks document offers a broad overview of Eritrea with a particular angle of "What relations do expatriate Eritreans have with Eritrea?" Eritreans who live outside of Eritrea are supposed to pay a 2% tax to the country.

UPDATE: Articles on the internet are being published about the 2% tax that Eritrea tries to collect from the diaspora.  A national Canadian newspaper featured the story. See also Meskerem.

The document was created by the US Ambassador to Eritrea in December, 2009, and released in September 2011. Short sections deal with subjects like: Diaspora Basics, Escape from the 30 year war, Political Outcasts, and the Youth. Here's the complete text of the "Refugees" section.

7. (C) Today's refugees flee the country in droves. 
While some are genuinely persecuted by the GSE (religious 
dissidents, too successful in the private sector, close 
association with foreigners, etc.), the vast majority simply 
want to escape poverty, or, in the case of the young, avoid 
the grinding labor and poor wages of interminable national 
service.  A young writer for ELEM (Eritrean Lifestyle and 
Entertainment) Magazine recently left Eritrea for a new life 
in London.  In Eritrea she experienced no direct persecution; 
she was only prohibited from achieving her goal of running 
her own magazine.  She told Poloff her deep disappointment in 
the GSE's restrictive policies that prevent young Eritreans 
from achieving their full potential.  Her comments are not 
unique.  Many young Eritreans choose to flee the country in 
hopes of being something other than a soldier or a woefully 
underpaid teacher. 
8. (C) Those that are able to escape usually end up in 
refugee camps in Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Libya, Egypt, or 
throughout Europe.  Once outside the country, the majority do 
not discuss politics.  Many of those that disagree with the 
GSE would rather bide their time silently in the refugee camp 
than risk being outspoken and having GSE forces harass or 
arrest family back in Eritrea. Once resettled, refugees often 
congregate in pre-existing Eritrean communities, such as in 
London, Stockholm, Washington, D.C., and Oakland, California. 

Posted at two locations: