Regional leader says peace deal killed the cause of Nuba Mountains

April 8, 2006

The leader of the Sudanese National Party, Father Philip Abbas Ghabush, has strongly criticized the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) saying it had killed the cause of the Nuba Mountains’ people, who had not gained anything from it.

In an interview with the Arabic language Al-Khartoum, Ghabush said the citizens of the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan were paying the price for the struggle over the region between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the ruling National Congress party (NCP).

He said citizens were witnessing deterioration of living standards and basic services.

Ghabush praised the UN forces in the Nuba Mountains saying their presence was successful and had achieved security and stability and further questioned the uproar generated by the presence of similar troops in Darfur.

He said that what was needed was accountability for mistakes made and not outright rejection of the forces, pointing out the mistakes and violations committed by the AU forces in Darfur.

He further said that the citizens of the Nuba Mountains were making arrangements in case the south decided to secede from the north saying that under the circumstances the chances of this happening were increasing: "If the south secedes we will demand self-determination," he said.

However, He stressed that his party fully supported Sudan’s unity and reiterated that they were not southerners. He said the Nubians knew nothing of the resources in their own territory, which were being exploited and demanded Nubians to be included in decision-making positions.