June 29, 2012

Beja fundraising for water wells launched

Why should children drink this way?

Sanaba is a new aid agency based in Houston Texas, USA. They have put together a fundraising page to help provide clean water in rural areas of the Red Sea State in Sudan. They hope to raise $15,000.
In an effort to encourage hygienic practices and to reduce the incidence of water-related illnesses, SANABA plans to acquire and install portable water filtration systems in rural areas of Sudan. From these wells, clean drinking water will be made available to students attending the community center, as well as to members of the public at large.

Our initial plan is to create a means of distribution of clean water in specific locations for the people in the community near our educational center. The first major consideration is a strategic plan to lay the ground work for wells to be identified, maintained and secured. The plan extends to educating the people in the community about the project, and is vital to any program.

Read about the fundraising program.

June 18, 2012

Kassala students protest higher prices

Police walk on the street as the rally is broken up in Khartoum.

Students in Kassala demonstrated on the streets yesterday, and the police were called out to suppress the public display of frustration over the federal government's planned austerity measures.

Protests also took place in Khartoum and Shendi. The students called for the downfall of the government. In Khartoum, about 200 students participated.

The protests come ahead of plans by the government to end fuel subsidies as part of what officials describe as drastic austerity measures need to fill a budget gap of 2.4 billion USD.

Sudan's economy has been grappling with soaring inflation and a depreciating currency since the country lost three quarters of its oil production with the secession of South Sudan in July last year.

Inflation jumped to 30 percent in May, mainly on food prices, as the Sudanese pound continues to reach new lows in the black market for hard currency.

Allafrica source.
Photo via [Sudan Revolution-facebook] 

June 16, 2012

Aid improves Kassala water supply

 The June 2012 edition of JICA's World points out
that 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency has been active in east and central Sudan, and South Sudan for some years. It is not clear if their work has recently been suspended by government order.

In Kassala, the JICA has been working on three projects:
 a Capacity Development Project for the Provision of Services for Basic Human Needs in Kassala/ 2011.5-2014.5
The Project for Urgent Improvement of Water Supply Facilities at Kassala City/ 2011.4

The Project for Improvement of Water Supply System at Kassala City (Detailed Design)/ 2011.8
In 2010, Japan granted aid worth $92 million US to Sudan, and provided almost $26 million US in technical cooperation.

June 14, 2012

Historic description of Bisharin tribes

From The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: a compendium prepared by the officers of the Sudan Government. Edited by Count Gleichen  Volume 1, 1905

Text was originally scanned- some spelling mistakes may exist...

The Bisharin

The Bisharin inhabit the desert bounded on the north, roughly, by the Alagi and its tributaries, on the south by the Atbara, on the east by the Red Sea from Shalatein to J. Asotriba, and thence by a Hne joining Mitateb or Umbeiba on the Atbara, and on the west by the Nile from the mouth of the Atbara to Abu Hamed, and thence by the old trade route from Abu Hamed to Korosko.

The Ababda and Bisharin formerly lived a good deal further south in the districts now occupied by the Hadendoas; both tribes moved northwards probably about 100 years ago.

The Ababda by their move north, came into a more civilised country. Their Sheikhs, through the transport needed on the Korosko—Abu Hamed road, came into touch with the Government and acquired at this time great wealth, and with wealth, their numbers increased, whilst the Bisharin of the hills, left far behind as regards progressiveness, soon came to be despised by them.

The Bisharin claim descent from Bishar, the son of Kahl, who was also the father of Abad and Amar, from whom the Ababda and Amarar are said to have sprung.

Kahl is said to have been descended from Zubeir Ibn El Awam,* whose wife was a sister of Abbas, uncle of the Prophet. They maintain, therefore, that they are descended from the noble Koreish Tribe. In the genealogy of the tribe, the three principal ancestors are Kahl, Bishar, and Ali Jalan; on this all accounts seem to agree. The present generation of Sheikhs is generally said to be the ninth or tenth from Ali Jalan.

The descendants of Kahl most likely originally inhabited part of the district now occupied by the Hadendoas, the Bisharin, and Ababda, as stated above, having latterly moved northwards.

The Bisharin are divided into two great families, the Um Ali and Um Naji. The former live in the north, the latter in the south, of their country. Both sections are named after the wives of Ali Jalan, the great grandson of Bishar, who had the following sons :—

Ali .. Shanatir Amer . Hamedor Aliab. Shantirab. Amrab. Hamedorab. Hanr . Eira . Nafi . Mansur
Hanr. Eireiab. Nafab. Mansurab.

Boundaries of Bisharin.
Aliab.— The Aliab, who are far more numerous and wealthy than any of the Um Ali or Um Naji tribes, are divided into the following sub-tribes : Koatil, Mallak, Hamedomerab, Kurbeilab, and Balgab.
The first three named are sometimes classed together and known as the Sararab, on account of their near common ancestry.

The Sheikh of the Koatil has for two generations been the representative Sheikh of these three families ; before this the Sheikhship was with the Hamedomerab.

Sub-tribes of the Aliab.
Koatil.— The Koatil, under Sheikh Isa Abdalla, are a small tribe, and poor. They live at Meshushenai and Terfaui.

Hamedomerab. —Sheikh Mohammed Wad Kurab. This, again, is a small tribe, owning few camels, but good flocks of sheep and goats.  Wadi Meisa, at the head of which is Bir Meisa, is where most of the tribe are to be found during the summer. Their two wells are Meisa and Didaut, close together in the small hills north of the Elba red granite range.

Mallak.— Sheikh Isa Shingeirab. The Mallak, the third Sararab tribe, is by far the richest, and own many camels, and of a breed which is famous among all the neighbouring tribes. The Mallak own many wells.

Balgab.— The next of the Aliab tribes is the Balgab (Isa Abdalla), who live in the hills about Is. They have never, since the time of Abdalla, the father of Isa, had a representative Sheikh, but have always been represented by the Sheikh of the Sararab. They have good herds of camels, sheep, and goats. They do not frequent the Aswan market as much as the other Aliab sub-tribes, but they sell a great deal to merchants who come from there, and buy much of their corn in good

* In spite of their claim to be of Semitic origin, the Bisharin are not true Arabs and are of Hamitic descent,...

Compensation for murder or wounds.

The traditional "diia" or compensation for loss of life among these Arabs is: for a man, 50 male and 50 female camels; for women or children, or loss of legs, arms, eyes, 25 male and 25 female camels.
Wounds are assessed according to their gravity. The cause in which murders are committed, or a wound is received, is always taken into consideration. The above amounts are the limit of compensation.

Get your own copy of this 412 page book.
This book is available for about $20.00 CAN from the University of Toronto print on demand book publishing program. Search here to order... Or get it for about $10 from the University of Pittsburgh.

June 8, 2012

More electricity projects in eastern Sudan

Kuwaiti Extends $200m Loan for Electricity Projects in Eastern Sudan
Khartoum - The Executive Director of the Fund for Rehabilitation and Development in Eastern Sudan, Engineer Abu-Obieda Mohamed Duj, has announced completion of studies and designs on electricity projects in eastern Sudan, praising the State of Kuwait for its commitment during the Donors Conference for Eastern Sudan Development.
Engineer Duj affirmed during a meeting at his office Monday with the visiting mission of Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development that the work in the project would begin before the end of the current year, asserting the full coordination between the fund and the parties concerned with implementation, supervision, operation and maintenance.
He touched on the positive impact of the project and the development progress that would be realized following establishment of the lines carrying electricity and connecting them with the lines coming from Sinja, Siteit and Meroe Dams, in the fields of housing, agricultural and industrial sectors in the three states of eastern Sudan.
Meanwhile, member of the mission and the Legal Advisor of the Fund, Nawaf Abdallah Al-Mahal, announced completion of the administrative procedures for the initial signing of the loan agreement for financing of electricity project for the eastern Sudan scheduled for next week at 57 million Kuwaiti dinnars (about 200 million dollars), praising the high professionalism of the staff of the Fund for Rehabilitation and Development of Eastern Sudan in preparation for feasibility studies and engineering designs.
Sourced from prolific blogger Lady Gaga at Skyscraper City.

In other news,
Kennan Sugar Company and ERIDANIA one of the biggest Italian sugar companies will sign soon an agreement to erect a Sugar Refinery in Port Sudan for export, an investment that is estimated to reach about $130 million and considered one of the biggest European investments in Sudan...

June 7, 2012

Analysis: Aid NGO expulsion

Further discussion has been posted at Enoughproject.org   [Khartoum’s Pattern of Neglect Continues in Eastern Sudan as Government Expels Aid Groups  June 5, 2012]

The decision last week by the Sudanese Humanitarian Affairs Commission, or HAC, to suspend projects in the deeply impoverished East is yet another example of Khartoum’s continued pattern of obstruction and neglect of peripheral areas.
Though rarely in the international news headlines, the East has been plagued by similar patterns of discrimination and disenfranchisement as the other peripheral areas of Sudan. The East has shockingly poor humanitarian indicators, largely the result of Khartoum’s sustained neglect.
Until a comprehensive strategy to promote inclusive constitutional reform and democratic transformation for all communities within Sudan is adopted Khartoum will continue to use humanitarian aid, and the lives of those dependent on it, as a political tool.

Read the complete article, it's not too long.

June 6, 2012

Video: Americans try camel racing!


Compare with this one...

June 5, 2012

New regional map available

New cover! 2012.

Michelin has just published an updated map for the region [April 2012]. Some new highways have been constructed, and South Sudan is another country so borders have changed. Great for a wall poster since it opens up quite large. The previous edition dates from January 2003.

Here's a supplier in the United Kingdom. And another one. Make sure to ask for the latest edition.

In the USA try maps.com

Maptown, in Alberta, Canada...

This is what the old cover looks like. Don't get this one, the map date from 2003...

old cover from 2003

old inside 

June 3, 2012

Beja Congress deplores explusion of aid agencies

The Beja Congress has responded to the federal government of Sudan. Seven NGOs have been told to stop work in east Sudan for 30 days, as reported yesterday on the blog.

Here is the Press Release from the Beja Congress as found on sudan eyes. Originally available at Sudanese online .

= = = = = = =
The so called Humanitarian Aid Office (HAO) in Khartoum announced the expulsion of seven humanitarian aid organizations from eastern Sudan, claiming their violation of the obligations of voluntary work. These includes Save the Children of Sweden, the Irish GOAL, Accord and NATs Roche and the Japanese Plan Sudan.

The HAO has threatened that the government would not tolerate any slip of the organizations to the security laws.

This is not the first time that the authority expels humanitarian organizations from rural areas of the East, it has already expelled all aid organizations in its early years of its seizure of power in 1989, and during and after the war of liberation.

But under strong pressure from the international community, the government allowed the return of these organization. It is known that these aid organizations work to provide primary health care and the provision of food aid in the far remote rural areas, where there is no trace of any governmental care.

These organizations submit their reports regularly to the authorities, as agreed upon.

But the reports indicate that the humanitarian suffering continues to increase. Diseases like TB, anaemia, malnutrition and diarrhea are rising, which results in the increase of mortality, especially among children and women.

The decision to expel humanitarian aid organizations from the states of the East, is highly irresponsible, and would result in the increase in humanitarian sufferings in the remote areas of eastern Sudan, which are particularly impoverished, poor and underdeveloped.

The government is not even putting in consideration to access these regions for inspection, not speak of development. They are beyond its scope of horizon.

The expulsion of the aid organizations that only operate in eastern Sudan, where they are dearly needed, amounts to genocide through starvation.

Beja Congress deplores and strongly condemns their expulsion and calls upon all the activists in the health services, clergy, community leaders, students and all youth organizations and members of political organizations to enforce the return of these humanitarian organizations.

Beja Congress appeals appeals to the international community and especially to the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Organization of African Unity and all democratic organizations to exercise the necessary pressure on the government of Sudan to allow the return back of these organizations.


Dr Abu Amna
Beja Congress leadership

Alternate source of press release on Sunday, June 3, 2012, at https://www.facebook.com/BejaCongressUK

The BBC article linked above reads, in part:

At least four aid organisations have been banned from working in the deeply impoverished eastern region of Sudan, sources have told the BBC.

An official at the Humanitarian Affairs Commission (HAC), who asked not to be named, told AFP the non-governmental organisations being told to stop working in the east were Save the Children Sweden, GOAL of Ireland, a Japanese humanitarian group and another Irish organisation.

"The HAC decided to expel four international NGOs working in eastern Sudan because they failed in their planned projects," the HAC source told AFP.
The head of one of the organisations concerned told the BBC he was intending to appeal against the decision.

An unnamed Sudanese official told the AFP news agency the aid groups had "failed in their planned projects".

A BBC reporter says Sudan has in the past restricted the work of foreign humanitarian agencies, accusing them of working to destabilise the country.

Fears of fresh rebellion
The BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum says eastern Sudan is a particularly sensitive subject for the Sudanese government at the moment because there are fears that a rebellion could break out again. The area is made up of Red Sea, Gedaraf and Kassala states. But the region is particularly poor and underdeveloped region.

In 2010, donors and investors pledged more than $3.5bn (£2.2bn) to eastern Sudan at a conference in Kuwait - but frustration is growing because many of its people say they have not seen the benefits of that pledge or the peace deal, our correspondent says.

The activities of the aid groups elsewhere in Sudan have reportedly not been restricted.

In 2009 President Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes allegedly committed in Darfur, in the west of the country.

The next day 13 aid organisations were expelled from the country. Senior Sudanese officials often accuse aid workers of collaborating with the ICC, and unnamed "foreign powers", our correspondent says.

June 2, 2012

Aid agency work halted in east Sudan

Seven foreign aid agencies working in east Sudan have had their operations halted for 30 days by the federal Sudanese government.

The aid and development groups concerned by this decision include Accord, Goal [Ireland], Triangle, save the Children [Sweden], Plan Sudan, Malo, a British demining group, and a Japanese aid
group. Several other non-governmental organizations [NGOs] are not affected.

Sometimes feeling threatened by the activities of NGOs, Sudan has a periodic history of ill-will toward aid agencies, having previously kicked out agencies in the east, and in Darfur. They are currently preventing aid agencies from delivering food in southern Kordovan, near the border with South Sudan.

Sudan faced international condemnation when it expelled 13 leading aid groups including Oxfam and the U.S. branch of Save the Children in March 2009, accusing them of passing information to the International Criminal Court.

From allafrica...

Khartoum — Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) has ordered seven foreign aid groups to suspend their humanitarian activities in eastern Sudan following the findings of an assessment study reporting infractions they allegedly committed.

Sudan's Humanitarian commissioner Suleiman Abdel Rahman on Thursday issued a decision ending the humanitarian activities of the seven aid groups in the three states of Eastern Sudan region: Kassala; Red Sea and Gadaref states.

The ban was based on a report prepared by a federal committee that conducted a field assessment of the projects implemented by these groups.

The aid groups concerned by this decision include Accord, Goal, Triangle, save the Children, Plan Sudan, Malo, a British demining group, and a Japanese aid group.

The officer of voluntary activities, at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Ammar Bachari stated Thursday that foreign aid groups in eastern Sudan exceeded their license and roles. He further expected a decision by the Presidency of the Republic to expel it during the next few days.
However, HAC chief in his decision gave these groups one month to reconcile their position. If they fail the authorities will not renew their licenses and they have to stop their activities.

Earlier in May, addressing a rally organised in Port Sudan to provide support to the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie denounced call for the return of NGOs to South Kordofan and described them "trumpeters of conspiracy".

"Those who covet that foreign aid groups have a foothold in the East (Sudan) they should know there is no place for them," he further said.

Another article from Reuters.
Some agency sites with information about their work in Sudan...





June 1, 2012

PICTURES: Suakin from the air

Been collecting these for a while, and wanted to share them with you. A selection of items found on the internet, to show you about the building structures on Suakin, from the early 1900s onwards. All photos will enlarge when you click on them.

Location of Suakin, south of Port Sudan   (1958)

Location of Suakin, south of Port Sudan   (1958)

Suakin 1981. looking northwest. Photo by Daniel Seerberger.

Suakin close-up 1981. looking southwest. Photo by Daniel Seerberger.

 Suakin looking northwest. Photo by pomkomGRB

Local fishing boats on the island south of the causeway. Photo by pomkomGRB

Looking east toward shipping channel from minaret?.
Article and photos about restoration of Suakin at International Business Times. October 2011.

Looking southwest from the minaret? on the island. 
Article and photos about restoration of Suakin at International Business Times. October 2011.

Looking east from mainland to the channel to the Red Sea.
Source unknown. Date 1930? WWII-1942?

Looking west. Photo by Colonel Hubbert. August 17, 1930. [More info]

Aerial photo uploaded at Beja Tribes of East Sudan. No date. 1930?

Undated, found at the rich photo site Skyscraper City.
Looking southeast - Red Sea in distance.

Modern satellite view, from google maps. May 2012. Large 1 megabyte file.

The Cousteau ship Alcyone picks her way through treacherous reefs to the abandoned port of Suakin, a city built of the same coral that guards her entrance. Uploaded August 2008. Aerial photo looks old, from an earlier era.

Movie made by a tourist. Includes historic illustrations. Uploaded January 2011.


Photos of buildings in Suakin. [in English at Skyscraper City.]

Website about Suakin, showing black and white photos of buildings and giving a very short history of the place. Exciting!