Interview with Fatma Kuku Dowd

By Nanne op 't Ende
Frandella, Sudan
April 10, 2006

Fatma, born in Tagoli in 1951, remembered me from my stay in Tabanya in 1997. She now lives in Frandella and talks about her life.

Fatma Kuku Dowd

I married when I was young, I didn't go to school. I had five children: three girls and one boy died, only one boy remains and he's in the South. I gave birth five times, then I became ill and I had no more pregnancies. My husband is here with me.

When the war started, the Arabs were chasing us. They wanted to kill us because they knew that my son went to South Sudan [to join the SPLA]. My husband went to the South too and I joined him in Fariang later. I stayed in Fariang for one year. He was in one house, I was in another.

I joined the Kush Battalion in 1989 and came back to Tagoli. We stayed with Kush for five years untill we were chased again. I went to Tabanya and stayed there for six years and then I was chased out of Tabanya and I came here in 2000.

Peace is good with me. I can see it and upto this moment I never saw a bad thing. I stayed here since peace came and I never saw anything bad. During the war time we were walking to Kauda [to get relief aid] and people would try to kill us, but now there is nothing bad.

In the time I was in Tabanya, we were going to Fama to look for grain. That was in June 1990. [The Government soldiers] found me in the way and caught me. They said we were carrying the Doshka [a heavy gun] for the SPLA. They beat me very badly and I can still not move my neck right.

When they found women they would beat them badly. They injured them or they could kill them. The women had a lot of problems during the war.

The reason I am in Frandella is that there is schooling and health care, and we can cultivate here. I just can't believe in peace - will it last or not? I don't want to go back to my village because I am afraid that the Arabs will chase us again. I still doubt. But if the [new] Government says the people should go there - then I will go.

Interviewed in Frandella on April 9, 2006

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