Hakamas sing for peace

June 4, 2008 (UNMIS)

Hundreds of people recently gathered in Kadugli to hear Hakama women sing about the urgent need for area tribes to disarm in bringing peace and stability to Southern Kordofan State.

The performance formed part of a ceremony to launch the second phase of the "Hakamas sing for peace and DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration)" project, sponsored by the North Sudan DDR Commission and the Integrated UN DDR Unit.

Generally found in Southern Kordofan and Southern Darfur, the Hakamas traditionally accompanied soldiers of both sides during the civil war to the front line, singing songs encouraging them to fight. Now, they are singing for peace to help bring about change in their communities.

During the ceremony, the 125 Hakamas from the project's second phase and 25 from the first were awarded five goats each to boost their family incomes, allowing them time to participate in peacebuilding. The non-governmental organizations HAD and Umserdiba will help the women from an association through which they can continue organizing performances.

At the end of the summer, after they have toured four other towns in Southern Kordofan (Taloki, Lagawa and Dilling and Abujubayah), the Hakamas will travel to Khartoum to perform for UN and government officials as well as internally displaced persons at their camps.

The first phase of the project, launched in October 2006, trained 25 Hakamas in peace education, human rights and HIV prevention in partnership with HAD and Umserdiba. They performed in several Southern Kordofan towns as well as Khartoum, singing about peace, DDR and reconciliation.



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