State accused of using land redistribution to depopulate Nubah Mountains

Khartoum Monitor
May 19, 2001

The Sudan Free National Party [SFNP] has released an open letter calling for the suspension of land distribution in southern Kordofan [central Sudan] until peace prevails and people return to their homes.

The letter reveals that the current method of land distribution is not scientific and that nationals from the area should participate in the process of the distribution.

It noted that the rights of the Nubah people have not been considered in the distribution of the agricultural lands, now under way according to directives from President Umar al-Bashir.

The letter also criticized the policy of establishing pilot projects at the peripheries of the state, arguing that such a move would rob the citizens of their lands and cause conflicts over pastures, a matter which may bring about insecurity in the area.

According to the letter, the Nubah people are experts in agricultural activities. It urged the authorities to provide the displaced people and those who return from the rebel movement with agricultural tools and money to allow them practise their occupation.

The letter reports that those people have been involved in agricultural activities even when they were under control of the rebel movement.

According to the letter, the Southern Kordofan State Governor Majdhub Babikr says he wants to allocate some lands for investment and distribute some freely to the people at the limit of 25 feddans per family.

The Chairman of the SFNP, Philip Ghabush considers this policy as a tactic, aimed at evacuating the Nubah ethnic group from the area.