There are historical roots linking north and south Sudan. The Nile River ties the parties together for better or for worse. Music and food are shared by the two people. Commonalities created a union government for all Sudanese in the north and south. Some say that the commonalities far outreach constitutional differences and if these are not respected in future the fault will be laid at the door of politicians, not the people. Some 1800 journalists, representing some 50 media houses attended the Referendum held in Southern Sudan 9-15 January 2011. Such an influx of media people had not been seen in Southern Sudan before. Consequently the conspiracy is broken. For a long time what went on in South Sudan was hushed up The same applies to the Afro-Arab Borderlands in general stretching from Mauritania on the Atlantic to Sudan on the Red Sea. For instance the protracted war in the Sahel involving the Touareg in Niger Mali and Tchad, was not reported in the international press. South Sudan’s emergence as a sovereign state as a result of protracted war with Khartoum, reveals to the world the cause of ‘Africa’s longest war’, which are the Arabisation and Islamisation Project of Arabia in Africa. The international media in Southern Sudan had ample opportunity to mingle with the people and learn first hand about the atrocities committed against civilians by Khartoum and to see for themselves the arrested development of Southern Sudan. When the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) entered Juba after the signing of the CPA in 2005 there were approximately 15 cars in the town, with no street lighting and no running water. The vote for unity or separation in Southern Sudan last week met with much enthusiasm. Most had never believed that peace would hold long enough for the Referendum to take place. Families in the South over generations had given of their offspring to fight the war. This was a matter of honour. The Referendum opens up a possibility that the youth of today and their children may live in peace for the rest of their lives. Since 1821 the South has been fighting for liberty and justice. Southern Sudanese are a peaceful people who want to live in peace with their neighbours. Over 2.5 millions lost their lives in the wars in the South. In 2006 when your author arrived in Juba he was advised ‘not to let Khartoum know your price’ and that once that happened Khartoum loses all respect. This type of counsel has often been ignored. The conundrum of the future of Sudan revolves around the inability of Africa South of the Sahara to confront the issue of Arabisation and Islamisation in Africa. Will we continue to profit on the backs of the sacrifices of our kith and kin in the Afro-Arab Borderlands? Comparisons can be made with those Africans who sold their people into slavery. Will such askaris continue to receive comfort amongst us ? So long as such mercenary and murderous behaviour continues there will be no peace in Darfur, not withstanding the work of the African Union (AU) High level Group. Indeed the AU took over 50 years to acknowledge that bringing peace to Sudan is the task of Africans, not Arabs. Despite the smooth referendum process, which showed the world what the Southern Sudanese are capable of, after the wide dissemination of the image of Southerners as wild ethnic fighters, there were incidents of violence in Abyei and Southern Kordofan. These were not allowed to interfere with the voting process. Despite the global attention given to oil-rich Abyei and the playing up of ethnic divisions in Abyei, no referendum was conducted there, ensuring Abyei will remain a bone of contention between Khartoum and Juba, despite provisions in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) for a referendum to take place not only in Abyei but also in the Nuba Mountains and in Blue Nile. These three regions of Sudan lie between North and South Sudan. During the long years of war they sided with the Southern Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM). The fact that no referendum has been held in these three territories raises the possibility of acrimony. Discussions are underway to hold referendae in the three territories soonest. The leadership qualities of H.E Salva Kiir have now to be acknowledged. In the past six years he steered the ship of state through troubled waters. Some grew impatient with what was perceived as his inability to make swift decisions. Many have come to appreciate his patience and stamina in the face of great provocation. Those whose task is to moderate, should know that Sudan is a product of decolonisation. They should heed the words of the South, rather than imposing their own will. South Sudan is an issue of ‘liberation’. Liberation does not permit an approach of ‘business as usual’. Money making, especially with Arabs, does not facilitate arbitration, rather it confuses issues. The liberation of South Sudan opens up the prospects of a new chapter in Sudan affairs and the transformation of a war zone into an area of peace. However so long as war continues in Darfur, Southern Sudan and Sudan in general are endangered. Even after ‘independence’ Khartoum has the capacity to cut oil revenues to the south. So long as the piping of oil is done thought the Sudan Red Sea port –Port Sudan, rather than through Kenya and Uganda, the possibility of economic development for South Sudan will remain precarious. The calendar going forward is as follows :- 14 February 2011 final Referendum results are available Thereafter the SPLM to prepare the draft Interim Constitution to take effect on 9 July 2011 All outstanding CPA issues ( eg border demarcation, revenue sharing, nationality etc etc )to be resolved before 9 July 2011 when the six year CPA interim period expires After the declaration of Independence elections will take place in Southern Sudan, including Presidential elections. On the 9 July 2011 The President of Southern Sudan will take the Oath of office of the Interim Government of the Republic on South Sudan The events unfolding in the Afro-Arab Borderlands, which in the case of Sudan are delineated as passing through Abyei, are of a magnitude similar to the ending of Apartheid in Southern Africa. These developments represent a strategic shift, the turning of the corner, redefining the basis for relations within continental Africa. B.F.Bankie, Juba,South Sudan, 16th January 2011 email@example.com www.bankie.info
THE COMMITTEE OF ANTI DAL-KAJBAR DAMS Nubia- Sudan A Letter to the Sinohydro Company, China & The Chinese Government via the Chinese Embassy, Khartoum THE SUDANESE GOVERNMENT PLAN OF DEMOGRAPHIC ENGINEERING OF NUBIA & THE CHINESE & EGYPTIAN CONNECTION TO IT A LETTER OF PROTEST & RESISTANCE TO SINOHYDRO CO. BEJIING, CHINA 12 January 2011 We, in the Anti Dal-kajbar dam Committee, address this letter of protest and resistance to the Chinese company called Sinohydro so as to bring to its attention the total rejection of the Nubians to be affected with the Kajbar dam whose construction contract the named company has won on 28 October 2010. We bring to its attention that the building of this dam (and its other sister, Dal dam) is part of a plan of demographic engineering engendered by the regime of Khartoum so as to enhance the Arabization of the Nubians by resettling them far away from their historical homeland. This plan will be facilitated by a new population injection from Egypt. We consider this plan as a crime against humanity upon which we call the international community to show its responsibility and commitment to the human rights of the Nubians. We also bring to the attention of the named company and any other parties involved that both Kajbar dam and Dal dam will bring misery to the area similar to that of Darfur, and that it will be of no substantial benefit either with regard to power or irrigation. We believe that the concerned parties will give heed to the alarms raised by the committee. Hence we write this letter. The implementation of the various dams presently running in the Sudan has failed to meet the criteria set up by the World Dams Commission. No consultation has been made with the affected people; no heed is given to their just demands; and the reaction of the government of Khartoum has been ruthless to any manifestation of public protest and rejection. Below is a detailed study undertaken by the Anti Dal-kajbar Dams committee so as to outline the. 1 INTRODUCTION In 2005, immediately after signing the Naivacha Agreement between the Government of the Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM), the National Congress Party (NCP) held its general congress where the former minister of Finance, Abdul Rahim Hamdi, presented a paper in which he drew a triangle that comprises roughly the middle of the Sudan under the claim that this is what will remain after the disintegration of the Sudan with southern region, Darfur and other areas breaking away; hence the Hamd’s Triangle . This report marks the official endorsement to the policy of Demographic Re-engineering, upon which areas lying outside this triangle were to be quickly Arabized by, 1, resettling the African ethnic groups deep inside the triangle, a matter will eventually lead them to be completely Arabized, and 2, by a new Arab population injection from outside the Sudan. In fact the government of the Sudan started implementing this scheme in Darfur years before the signing of Naivacha Agreement (in 1994), where Arab tribes from over Chad and Niger were welcomed into the country. Without addressing the issue of land grabbing that has taken place in Darfur, upon which the African ethnic groups have lost their lands, no peace is deemed possible. The Hamdi Triangle dates the time where the policy of Demographic Engineering has been implemented in other parts of the Sudan, such as Nuba Mountains (southern Kurdufan), eastern Sudan (the Gash and Tokar delta) and northern Sudanese Nubia, where at least two dams are being built on the Nile with the flooded areas planned to be evacuated . In the case of Nuba Mountains the minister indicted by the International Criminal Court, Ahmad Hārūn, was appointed Governor of the State of Southern Kurdufan in 2009. Hārūn has been indicted by the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity in Darfur crisis; he was seen to have acted as the resident engineer of the policy of Demographic Engineering in Darfur that has lead to hundreds of thousands to be killed with at least 2 millions losing their lands and thus living in refugee camps. Although the Nuba Mountains had fought with SPLM against the Islamo-Arabist regime of Khartoum, it is believed by many that it has not been addressed with due focus by Naivacha Agreement. The region has been the theatre of continuing clashes between the indigenous Nubians and their pastoralist Arab neighbours, the Baqqāra of Miseiryya Arab tribes, who have kept encroaching into the Nubians’ lands with evident support from the Khartoum government. With Hārūn appointed as Governor of this troubled region, it is expected that the scenario of Demographic Engineering that took place in Darfur is going to be repeated. In the case of the Beja people of eastern Sudan, it was announced lately that lands in the delta of al-gash and Tokar are being expropriated from the Beja under pretext of not being able to pay back loans they received from the Agriculture Bank, and then handed over to Egyptian companies. In the case of Sudanese Nubians, the Arab population injection will be brought this time from Egypt (Arab Egyptian peasants). The legalization for this Egyptian mass settlement in northern Sudan has already been provided by the signing of the Four Freedoms Agreement (2005) upon which citizens from both countries are free to move from one country to the other without obstruction; they are free to do business; to own lands; and to settle. In 2004 there were only 20.000 Egyptian people in the Sudan; now they are over 3 millions. They all entered Sudan without visa; however, Sudanese citizens below 50 years old (i.e. the productive age) still need visa to enter Egypt. The Khartoum government is aware that these demographic upheavals will neither pass unnoticed by the concerned people nor will the international community let them get away with it. However, it is sure that it will take considerably long time for all these parties to take due measures. By then they aim to create new situations on the ground that no one can reverse, just as the case in Darfur . More dams are also being built in other areas of northern Sudan. This damming of northern Sudan has a history; it was a top down process, contributed to development in Sudan and Egypt but had high cost on local population being displaced and who did not benefit in any way conceivable. In this part, the present report will trace this history that goes to the early years of the 20th century up to the present moment where a series of dams are being planned in the Sudan. The presidential-mandated Dams Implementation Unit (DIU) declared plans to construct more than 20 dams with six of them in northern Sudan; Mugrat, Dagash and al-Shireik Dams at the 5th cataract (affecting Ja’aliyyin and Rubatab tribes); Mirwi dam (or Merowe dam) at the 4th cataract (has already affected all Manasir tribe and part of Shayqiyya tribe); Kajbar dam at the 3rd cataract (affecting the southern part of Mahas Nubians and the northern part of Dungula Nubians); and Dal dam at the 2nd cataract (affecting all Sukkout Nubians and the northern Mahas Nubians). The damming of the river Nile in the Sudan is driven by the notion that hydropower is the cheapest and cleanest energy so far technology has come up with. Hydropower in the Sudan has a history of its own as there are four dams that had been built in the 20th century. Below is an overview of the dams with a look at issues of hydroelectricity in Sudan. We will try to paint a picture of the overall vision/politics. The experience of Mirwi dam has clearly shown that the flooded areas will be evacuated in the same way that took place in the case of Aswan High Dam. Incidentally news broke out revealing plans that aim at bringing in millions of Egyptian peasants to settle in the areas evacuated by the indigenous groups. Such a plan of demographic engineering will naturally be implemented in collaboration with the Egyptian government; it was the Egyptian government who first engendered this plan in its own Nubian region. It seems that this is not the first time for the Khartoum government to adopt such a policy as it was implemented in Darfur leading to the crisis there. In the case of Darfur a whole Arab nomadic tribe from Chad and Niger was welcomed into the region. It was armed and supported by the Sudanese government to eventually wreak havoc in Darfur.
2. BACKGROUND A. HISTORICAL NUBIANS AFFECTED BY DAMS IN NORTHERN SUDAN This section will show that it is Egypt who will mostly benefit from the building of these series of dams in northern Sudan. In the past, Egypt used to veto any dam building on the Nile course south of its borders as that was seen as a direct threat to its water security. The Nile treaty when first signed in 1929 after completing the building of Sennar Dam to irrigate al-Gezira Scheme, made clear that riparian countries had to seek the approval of Egypt in case they wanted to build any dams upstream. Now Egypt supports building all these dams even though it might potentially threaten its share of water by evaporation. The settlement of Egyptian peasants in the flooded areas evacuated by those affected by dams is supported by the fact Egypt has long since started doing this in its Nubian region. The Khartoum governments have historically been lenient if not submissive when it came to Egypt. Although the present Islamist regime began posed in its early days as opposing to Egypt to the extent that it attempted to assassinate the President of Egypt, it has ended up being much more submissive than its predecessors. 1. Egyptian Nubians The construction of the High Dam in Aswan was completed, resulting in an area of 500 km along the Nile course (310 km in Egypt, 190 km in the Sudan) to be submerged under the reservoir. The reservoir, i.e. the lake, bears two names, 'Lake Nasser' in Egypt, and 'Lake Nubia' in the Sudan. This has lead to the resettlement of about 16500 Nubian families in Egypt (with a similar number of Nubian families on the Sudan side) away from their historical lands. In the case of Egyptian Nubians, the area resettlement was a barren place called Koum Ambo near Aswan. In the case of the Sudanese Nubians the area of resettlement was a place called Khashm al-Girba in middle-eastern Sudan, known to be of rainy autumn, contrary to the Saharan Nubian region. Thus the High dam of Aswan has literally resulted in the submerged area being completely de-populated. Since then the evacuated area has witnessed no development project. It is just in recent years that the Egyptian government started to re-populate the area so as to develop it.
2. Sudanese Nubians The Nubians have been traumatized by the dams that were built on the Nile since 1902 when the first Aswan dam was constructed. Their trauma continued on all through the raising phases of it (1910, 1933) to the construction of the High dam in 1964. All this has prompted the Nubians of Dungula, Mahas, Sukkout to organize themselves to resist building any more dams. The Nubians of Halfa region that were affected by the Aswan High dam and long since have been resettled in the eastern Sudan joined their brethren in the fight against dam-building. The President announced that dams are not going to be built without the explicit consent of the people in the affected area. The exact maps showing the boundary of the areas to be affected by the dams of Mirwi, Kajbar and Dal were kept secret. However, classified information leaked from the DIU telling that the water reservoir of Kajbar dam will extend to 105km up the river to Dungula city; the water reservoir of Dal dam will extend to 65km up the river to a small village called Kid Urma, just 6 km down the dam of Kajbar. To curb for these wide spread information, the DIU began speaking about the areas to be affected, with every time increasing the size of the reservoir and submerged areas. As the policy of total de-population has been adopted in all these projects, it was decided that the people affected by Mirwi dam to be resettled in areas far from their historical homelands under the point of gun. To make it even worse, the government was so secretive about the project, totally ignoring to consult the concerned communities. B. THE EGYPTIAN DEMANDS ON THE SUDAN 1. Food security Egypt has always been short of food. The Camp David agreement of 1979 provided Egypt with food donation from the USA. Since then Egypt has been subject to American pressure a matter that has caused it to lose its regional status as the strongest Arab nation and the spearhead of pan Arabism. To regain its regional and Pan Arab status of power Egypt began seeking ways to free itself from the American food bondage. 2. New lands for agriculture and settlement To free itself from wholly depending American wheat, Egypt had to cultivate its own food. The cultivated land in Egypt is very limited . This meant that they have to grow their food either in other people’s lands, or to acquire new lands by expanding into northern Sudan where there are enough cultivable lands with climate convenient for growing wheat. This was also going to resolve Egypt’s chronic problem of population explosive increase which is being worsened by the scarcity of food. When the government of Sudanese Islamists approached Egypt to improve the bilateral relations, the latter immediately embarked on bargaining the Islamist regime with the following: to forgive the Islamist regime of the Sudan for the assassination plot and to provide it with political support internally, regionally and internationally if it will agree to help Egypt realize its long-dreamt emancipation from American food dependency. The Islamist regime agreed to that without any reserves. The two regimes of Khartoum and Cairo came up with an executive plan to implement what they agreed upon. De-population of large areas as a result of building dams The components of this policy go as follows: a/ building a series of dams in the northern Sudan so as to evacuate the region and resettling the affected people far away from their home villages; b/ resettlement of millions of Egyptian peasants in the areas evacuated as a result of building the dams. Clandestine plans for the resettlement of millions of Egyptian peasants in Northern Sudan The covert plans are indirectly revealed through a series of articles published by Sudanese writers, journalists and politicians in daily newspapers aimed at de-sensitizing the resettlement plan. A flow of pro-Egyptian, anti-Sudan newspaper articles began appearing regularly. They were all characteristic with particular discursive clauses, such as “the strategic demographic equilibrium” the Egyptians are assumed to realize in de-populated northern Sudan “the dire necessity for Egyptian public presence in northern Sudan”, and cynical allusions to the claimed to be “free and un-inhibited move of West Africans into the Sudan” into the Sudan. In August, 2009 in a newspaper interview the President Omer Hasan al-Bashir replied to the accusatory question that the government brought certain Arab tribes accused of forming the Janjaweed militias from Chad and settled them into Darfur, by denied the allegations adding that they came into the Sudan by their own as the boundaries of the Sudan are too big to be monitored by the government and that many foreign tribes form West Africa, such as the Fulani and Hausa . This labeling of foreignness prompted the Fulani and Hausa to ransack both al-Gadarif and Kasala towns in eastern Sudan where they have big population. In a symposium held in Khartoum and sponsored by the Ahram Strategic Centre (the symposium was presided by an Egyptian journalist) and the Centre for Media Services (CMS, a media arm affiliated to Sudan Security organ) a Sudanese ambassador said: “The present integration has not gone beyond the bilateral relations. To have it [the true integration] the top priority should go to food security, agricultural integration and the expansion in wheat cultivation in the northern region of the Sudan so as to encourage the Egyptian peasant to cross the border into the northern region in order to achieve the structural demographic equilibrium, which lacks attractiveness with regard to the Arab countries, especially Egypt, while it is attractive to people of West Africa who knew their way to the Sudan since long ago” . Explicit plans for the resettlement of millions of Egyptian peasants in Northern Sudan In late 2003 head news read that negotiations on highest levels with the Egyptian government had been made so as to facilitate the settlement of millions of Egyptian peasants, along with their families, in the triangle of the Nubian basin, Halfa-Dungula-Uwainat. The aim of this move is said, on one hand, to safeguard the Arab identity of Sudan against the growing awareness of Africanism in Sudan generally and among the Nubians in particular. On the other hand, it is said to serve a very cynical purpose; that is to help re-populate the Nubian region from which its people has kept moving away for the last half century. The Sudanese delegation, which was backed by a Presidential mandate, was led by Islamo-Arabist Nubians, General-Brigadier Abdul Rahim Muhammad Husain (then Minister of Interior, presently Minister of Defense). A cover-up plan named “the Four Freedoms” which theoretically allows the Sudanese and the Egyptians as well to own agrarian lands and settle in both countries was officially declared. The cover-up plan has come out half cooked as both parties were too eager in their scrambling to create a de facto situation before the Nubians become aware of what was going on. There is no agrarian land to be owned by the Sudanese investors in Egypt. But there is land for the Egyptians in the Sudan. On 31/03/2004 a mainsheet press release from the State Minister of Agriculture in Khartoum (Dr. al-Sadig Amara, an Arabist Nubian as well) revealed that 6.1 Millions of fedans in the triangle of Nubian basin had been sold to the Egyptians (investors and peasants) with long term leases, i.e. investment through settlement. There is no mention of the Nubians in all these deals which seem like have been made overnight.
Online evidence In official visits to Cairo, the two ministers mentioned above held meetings with Egyptian scholars and intellectuals who were sceptical about the viability of resettling millions of Egyptian peasants in the Sudan . Such a scheme applied in Iraq a few years ago during the war against Iran resulted in physically eliminating the poor peasants immediately after the war ended. However the two flamboyant ministers chivalrously gave their solemn pledges reminding their audience that they are backed by a Presidential mandate. The Minister of Defense went out of his way challenging his audience to bring forward their solutions about tackling the population explosion in Egypt if not by migrating to the vast areas of the sparsely populated northern Sudan. Furthermore, lamenting the fact that the Egyptian migration to the Sudan has significantly diminished in the late decades after independence, he drew the comparison that the migration from West Africa has steadily increased. The State Minister on his behalf lamented the hesitation of some Egyptian intellectuals and officials, urging them to expedite moving to the Nubian basin before [sic] other people move there . 3. Egyptian connection with dam-related de-population policies The policies adopted by the Egyptian government with regard to the complete de-population tactic of the areas affected by the construction of the High dam give string indications of how it is going to benefit from the dams being built in the Sudan simply because the same tactic of de-population is being followed.
The Non-Nubian re-population of Nubia The Nubians in both Egypt and the Sudan did make many attempts to go back and establish small colonies of settlements and agriculture. They farmed the drawdown areas by pumping water from the reservoir of Lake Nasser/Nubia . However, all these attempts were occasionally aborted by the fluctuating water level of the reservoir, a matter the Nubians believe it to be intentional by the authorities which never encouraged them to go back. By the 1990s the Egyptian government began following a policy of repopulating the evacuated Nubian regions. It began encouraging Egyptians other than Nubians to settle in the evacuated areas around the reservoir lake. It did this while the Nubians were kept away from their own historical lands, living in a pigsty style of life in their barren area of Koum Ambo. However, two economical activities have been available to develop in the evacuated area; namely fishery and agriculture. And indeed there are such projects, but with no Nubians among either the fishers by the Egyptian government . The same thing happened in the Sudan, with tacit encouragement from the government to the Arab Bedouin who began settling in the evacuated area. The full and open selling out of Sudanese Nubia by the Sudanese government was to wait for a few years to come yet. The re-population of the Nubian region in Egypt has become an official policy entrusted to both the Minister of Agriculture and the military Governor of Aswan. Villages with full facilities and utilities built by the Egyptian government and distributed to individuals and families from outside the regions with bank loans to start with. In 2006 the inauguration of the settlement at the old Nubian village of Kalabsha with 150 non-Nubian families took place; it was opened by the Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza . The al-Ahram Newspaper (the unofficial voice of the government) announced that tens of thousands of fedans were to be distributed in the Nubian region to people other than the Nubians . When the Nubians demanded that their lands be returned to them, they got an arrogant reply from the military Governor of Aswan: "If you want your lands, go fetch them beneath the water . This policy is adopted by the Egyptian government in order to contain the discontent among its Arab population who had been negatively affected by the 1992 Agricultural Law, which has come into effect by 1997. This law has liberalized the land tenure market by abolishing the old land rental and tenure by returning it to its old feudal owners, thus compelling the peasants to re-hire it all over again, with the threat of rental price increase looming over their heads. During the 1990s the price actually tripled and by now it has quadrupled . This has caused a turmoil and unrest among the peasants who began seeking other jobs. Migration of the peasants to other areas of agricultural schemes of reclaimed land, away from their home villages, was encouraged by the government. The Egyptian government adopted the policy of inter-migration so as to solve (1) its chronic problem of population explosion, and (2) to compensate those who have been negatively affected by its land liberalization law. Re-settlement in the reclaimed land of the New Valley in Sinai was officially encouraged, a matter the peasants were not enthusiastic about. Being riverain all through history, such a move was too much for them. That is how the Egyptian government began re-settling them in the Nubian regions which was evacuated four decades ago against the will of its historical people, the Nubians.
3 THE DAMMING OF NORTHERN SUDAN The Hamdi’s Triangle gave way to the policy of Demographic Engineering to be conceived and hastily implemented in Darfur and now in Nuba Mountains (southern Kurdufan) and northern Sudan. In northern Sudan it is going to be implemented under the pretext of development that necessitates building a series of dams on the Nile so as to produce power and irrigation. The DIU has declared that it is going to build at least 23 dams in the Sudan with at least 4 of them in Southern Sudan. In northern Sudan (down stream from Khartoum and further north) where millions of Egyptians peasants are going to be settled after evacuating the dam-affected people, at least 6 dams will be built with the 7th already complete. A. ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST DAM BUILDING This section will review and discuss the series of dams being built in the Sudan weighing their pros and cons. It will give evidence to the damage they wreak with regard to the affected people and ecology weighed with the very little benefit to be gained from them. It will discuss the arguments pertaining to the two points of view. To do this one needs to set up the general guides for dam building. Dams are built either for productive (agriculture and power) or preventive (against floods and draught) objectives; their function however is not eliminatory as a dam can serve one, two, or even all the above functions (as the case with the Aswan High Dam). However, it is deemed necessary to clearly state the function of dam when building one. If a dam is built to irrigate water, then the agricultural scheme should necessarily be conceived before the idea of the dam; the same rule applies when the dam is built to generate power for industry. So far, aside from generally speaking that these dams are meant for both agriculture and industry, the Sudan government has failed to publicly bring forward the details of any development project in relation with the dams it intends to build. 1. Power generation claims The total of power to be generated from all the dams in the Sudan will not exceed in any way 5.000 MW (according to Makkawi al-Awad, the former Director-General of National Electricity Corporation . The cost of Mirwi dam has so far exceeded $2.25 billion, borrowed from China and various Arab states and banks; the dam has not yet come to completion. With such little amount of power the dam is thought not feasible with regard to the high cost. For instance, the non-industrial consumption of power in the Saudi capital, Riyad, is 8.000 MW. This raises a host of questions such as: if Saudi Arabia, as an oil country, is able to generate all this power (35.000 MW in total), why not Sudan which has also become an oil country? What will Sudan do when Khartoum becomes the size of Riyad? Makkawi al-Awad gives us the following options for power generation covering the period up to year 2030, thermal and hydro as well: • Hydro-power generation: 4.587 MW (%28) • Thermal-power generation: 18.491 MW (%28) The news broke out telling that, according to Afifi Abdul Wahab, the Egyptian Ambassador in Khartoum, Egypt has agreed to supply northern Sudan with electricity . This was understood by the Nubians to be meant as services rendered to facilitate the Egyptian settlement in the Nubian basin. It also shows that the electricity of Merowe (Mirwi) dam is not enough. 2. Irrigation claims Dams are often built to provide irrigation for the agricultural development projects. However, this presupposes that there is enough water to be irrigated. The total share of Sudan in the Nile water is 18 billion cubic meters (BCM), while its consumption is 14 BCM, with a surplus of 4 BCM only. This means that it can rely on these 4 million cubic meters for its agricultural development projects. But building the five dams in northern Sudan will waste more than its surplus in evaporation as the region is known of its very hot climate. To make things worse, the region is also known of its relatively flat topography, a matter that results in the dam reservoirs being extensively stretched thus providing big water surface for evaporation. Of the five dams, we will bring the evaporation loss of only three of them: Mirwi, Kajbar and Dal. These figures are taken from: Dr. Seif al-Din Hamad Abdalla (2008) . The importance of this reference is that the writer, more than being a highly qualified person on water resources, is the expert of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources and in this capacity he submitted this paper: Merowe (Mirwi) Dam evaporation loss of water: 1.5 BCM; Kajbar Dam evaporation loss of water: 1.7 BCM; Dal Dam evaporation loss of water: 800 Million CM. This shows that the building of these three dams only will literally leave Sudan without any water surplus that may allow it to undertake further agricultural development projects. The same author, speaking in the same capacity in a symposium held by the government in Khartoum, stated that only 2 BMC of Sudan’s surplus of water will remain after the completion of Merowe (Mirwi) dam ; the remaining 2 BMC will vanish into the thin air by the completion of Kajbar and Dal dams. In the conference of Arab ministers of water resources held in Sharm al-Shaikh resort in Egypt, the Sudanese minister, Kamal Ali, admitted that the dams of northern Sudan are being built only for power generation . This means that building the other dams (Mugrat, Dagash, al-Shireik, and al-Sabalouga) will even make Egypt’s share of the Nile water decrease sharply. For Egypt to sacrifice water in this extravagant way there must be a bigger compensation; nothing than new cultivable lands can equal the prize of water to Egypt. 3. Dam duration Dams built on rivers with high alluvial sediments, such as the case with the river Nile, are deemed unfeasible . The dam of Khashm al-Qirba on the river Atbara in eastern Sudan was built to irrigate the agricultural projects set up solely to sustain the Nubians affected by the Aswan High dam who had been resettled there. It was built at the same time with the Aswan High dam. The last 40 years have been enough to relegate it into redundancy as a result of the river’s annual 170 million tons of sediments . This has lead to the deterioration of the Khashm al-Qirba agricultural scheme to the extent that it could not sustain the Nubians who were compelled to mount another exodus. The situation of the Aswan High dam with regard to sedimentation remains a matter of guess due to the secrecy enveloping it. However, it is known that the USAID had funded $154 million in improvements to the High Dam since the late 1980s . More than harming the turbines of the dam, the high alluvial sediments of the Nile water have caused acute problems of salinity in Egypt. In R.J. Oosterbaan, 1999 , we read: “The salt concentration of the water in Lake Nasser [read Lake Nubia in the Sudan] at the High Dam is about 0.25 kg3 salt/m. The salt import into Egypt’s water use systems thus amounts to about 14 million3 3 tons per year (55 billion m water/year x 0.25 kg salt/ m water) or roughly 1.6 ton/fedan/year over 8.7 million fedans of irrigated land, i.e. 4.0 ton/ha/year”. So, if the last 40 years were enough to turn the Khasm al-Qirba dam into redundancy, then it is quite possible that the dams being built in northern Sudan will face the same fate. When the river Atbara joins the Nile, the alluvial sediments reach 270 million tons. All the six or seven dams are located down the confluence of the Atbara and the Nile. This makes one question the feasibility of building these dams. However, by building them, Egypt will definitely be the major beneficiary as they are going to save the Aswan High dam from the fate that has befallen Khashm al-Qirba dam.
B. THE TWO DAMS IN NUBIA 1. Kajbar Dam (3rd Cataract) The main reference relied on in this regard is a study prepared by the DIU . So far, this is the only release of the DIU with regard to Kajbar dam; the summary is not a study in the strict meaning of the word, but rather a mobilization introduction aimed at the de-sensitization of the affected people toward the project. It is written with loose, rhetoric and flowery discourse. The Informative Summary talks a lot about the benefits of hydropower, other dams such as Merowe dam, which has already been implemented, and benefits of Dal dam whose feasibility studies have not yet finished according to the DIU.
Kajbar is a small village in the middle of the Nubian Mahas region about 120 km down the river from Dungula, the capital of the northern state. The most northerly part of the third cataract ends at Kajbar, where the government declared in 1995 its plans to build a dam.
The causes for proposing the building of Kajbar dam is to generate power (Installed Capacity of 360 MW). The government thought of building it in 1995. By 1999 it declared unofficially that it had abandoned the project due to the lack of fund and little feasibility. In 2005 the government through the Dam Implementation Unit declared that it was going headfast to build the dam. Equipments were brought to the site the matter that caused anxieties among the villagers. To curb the fears of the people the government assured the villagers that the dam was not going to be build unless they explicitly agree to that. They even conveyed a Presidential message that people had the right in deciding not to have a dam built on their land.
The objective listed in the Informative Summary are vaguely general without specifying a single project with a specific name of product, area, producer, investor let alone ways of marketization and/or industrialization. They go as follows:
• Power for water pump instead of diesel-fueled pumps to irrigate present-day cultivated lands • The building of the dam will lessen the cost of irrigation which some times is more than the income of cultivation • The use of the hydroelectricity in pumping underground water and thus increasing the cultivated areas • The expansion in the production of various fruits of which the Northern State is known so as to export them • The use of electricity in mining and building material which are in abundance in the State • The creation of an attractive tourist environment by exploiting the lake of the reservoir plus the antiquities of which the State is rich • The encouragement of various industries such as food and foliage industries • The promotion of the social and cultural life of the local communities and the increase of living standards as a result of the spread of investment activities • Architectural development in various towns of the State with service provision which will result from the flow of investment • Providing sustainable electricity for urban and rural societies in the State with very little cost for various utilities • The saving of the huge sums of money presently being paid by the farmers to provide for fuel; and providing support for them so as to raise their production capacities • The hydropower supports animal production in its all kinds (poultry, dairy, and meat) a matter that will make the State a pioneer in this area.
The Funding of the Project When the idea of the dam was hatched in 1995, a company was established under the name of Kajbar Electricity Co. The company financed the initial studies and designs which were made by the Russian Institute of Hydro-Project. The share holders were as follows: The Government of the Northern State The Farmers Union of Northern State The Cooperative Union of the Northern State The Women Union in the Northern State The Bank of Khartoum The Islamic bank of the North The farmers Bank Individual shareholders from the Northern State
The accompanying projects No accompanying projects were mentioned in the Informative Summary. The Informative Summary says about this: “By transferring the project to the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU) all the documents and studies have become the property of DIU”. Neither a date is given when this took place nor any information about what has become of the shares of those holders. No information is either given about who is funding the project or who is implementing it. However, other sources say that it is a partially financed by China. Matthias Muindi writes : “Of the three dams that Awadh al-Jaz, Minister of Energy and Mining, approved in April 1998, the Merowe Dam will be the second to be constructed. The other, Kajbar Dam on the second cataract, has been under construction since late 1998. It is co-financed by the Sudan and China governments and is expected to add another 300 megawatts. China, which is financing 75 percent of the project, has so far spent US$200 million on the project” .
Construction Companies Sinohydro Company (China) which has already won the contract on 28 October 2010. The China International Water & Electric Corporation CWE and CCMD Consortium (China)? Harbin Power Engineering Company (China)?
Power, Construction & Reservoir FSL: El. 218 / 213 m Dam Height : 17 m Installed Capacity : 300 / 108 MW Reservoir: 3 km3 Length: 67.5 km long (20% of the Nile annual flow)
Collateral Damage No figure is given with regard to the archaeological sites to be submerged No figure is given about the number of people to be displaced in the Informative Summary; however, other sources give the figure of 10-20 thousands Cultivated land lost is 3.600 according to the Informative Summary, a matter the affected people do not agree with One main ethnic group to be affected (the Mahas) plus part of the northerly Danagla No proper resettlement has been arranged; the Informative Summary, which is issued in March 2008, states that the preliminary studies have indicated toward the suitability of Kukka Plains, immediately upstream from the dam site on the left bank of the Nile, with only 15.000 fedans. It admits that the area has neither been studied in a proper way nor there any exact statistics At least 500 archaeological sites will be submerged (the area surveyed from the site of the dam upstream to Tombos, approximately 20 km (i.e. out of the 70 km which is the extent of the dam lake) . Clashes between the affected people and the military militia related to the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU) in June 2006.
Criticism Weakness of 1995 Mahmoud Sharif’s Feasibility Studies Outdated assessment studies Inadequacy of resettlement issues or the environmental and cultural impact studies Lack of transparency Disregard of the international principles
2. Dal Dam (2nd cataract) The information on Dal dam is very scanty due to the lack of transparency that has so far characterized the policies of the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU). Three sources only have been available. The first is the study conducted by the Russian Hydroproject Institute . The second study is the pre-feasibility study was conducted in November 2006 by EDF Scot Wilson . The third source is a study prepared by the DIU , which will be given special emphasis as it is the only document that issued by the DIU. The fact that the information related to Dal dam is included in a DIU publication that bears the title Kajbar Dam Project is very telling of either the unprofessional way of doing its job or of its intention to envelop its job with shrouds of ambiguity and obliteration. In matters pertaining to the dams being built in the Sudan, the Egyptian press has generally been more revealing than their Sudanese counterpart. The former Egyptian First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Irrigation, Engineer Ibrahim Subsuba, has been reported to say that the future of agriculture in Egypt is doomed due to high salinity caused by the High Dam of Aswan; the only solution that Egypt has opted to is to build a dam in Dal village in northern Sudan so as to dig a canal out of it that will join the river Nile immediately after the High dam of Aswan so as to tackle the problem of salinity by feeding the Nile with alluvial loaded water . Above when discussing the durability of dams built on high sedimentation rivers, the problems facing the High dam of Aswan was briefly discussed with the fact that the USAID had funded $154 million in improvements to the High Dam since the late 1980s . More than harming the turbines of the dam, the high alluvial sediments of the Nile water have caused acute problems of salinity in Egypt. In R.J. Oosterbaan . The Informative Summary (March 2008) states that the field studies have already begun and were supposed to finish in August the same year. So far, nothing has come out to this effect. It also states that the studies targeted two scenarios, names Low Dal (201 m above sea level) and High Dal (219 m above sea level). The Informative Summary does not give the exact heights of any of them (however, other sources show this, see below). Then it states that the socio-ecological studies have proved the infeasibility of Dal High. The Informative Summary does not mention any details about any socio-ecological studies. However, a social impact assessment is claimed to have been conducted . The people of Sai island, which lies about 50 km upstream from the site of Dal dam, told the present investigator that a team from the Karima-based Faculty of Arts and Human Studies, University of Dongola, had tried to conduct such a social impact survey starting with Sai island in June 2008. At the beginning the team denied to be part of the studies undertaken for the building of Dal dam. When confronted with the above mentioned study, which was provided to villagers by the anti dam committee, members of the team admitted that the survey was part of the studies of the Dal dam. The team was chased out of the island and that was the end of the survey as it has not dared enter any other village as the rest of the villages were notified. However, the same team which was lead by Dr. Nasreldin Sulaiman, from Karima-based Faculty of Arts & Humanity Studies, University of Dungula, did conducted the survey covering the area from Saadin Fenti (north Mahas region) down to Akasha which is about 20 km downstream from Dal village .
Low Dal (Source: EDF Scot Wilson, ibid) Low to moderate dam height, 20 – 45 metres Extensive bedrock evident at site in river channel and on abutments Geological mapping proposed Cost (Millions Euro) : 298.600
Assessment of Dal Site (Low option) Dam Hieight : 25 + 20 m Installed Capacity MG: 340 + 108/300 Annually Energy GenerationGWh/yr : 3.000-4.000 Population displaced by Reservoir : 5.000-10.000
High Dal (Source: EDF Scot Wilson ) Dam Height: 45 m Installed Capacity MG: 700-800 Annually Energy Generation GWH/yr: 4.000-5.000 Population displaced by Reservoir: 10.000-20.000
Assessment of Dal Site (High option) Very low topography, especially on West bank Shallow reservoir, high evaporation losses Only power benefits, no benefits from irrigation, flood alleviation or regulation High affected population 10,000 – 20,000 Substantial loss of date palm trees and irrigated agriculture Rumours among the local people talk about a third scenario of Dal Higher, whose lake will extend to 20 km upstream from the site of Kajbar dam. It is claimed that this is Plan B in case of cancelling Kajbar dam due to pressure from the local communities of the affected Mahas and northerly Danagla lest they get united against the government.
Power, Construction & Reservoir
(Source: EDF Scot Wilson ) FSL : El. 218 / 201 m Dam Height : 45 / 20 m Installed Capacity : 780 / 340 MW
Collateral Damage No figure is given with regard to the archaeological sites to be submerged; No figure is given about the number of people to be displaced in the Informative Summary; however, other sources give the figure of 10-20 thousands; Cultivated land lost is 3.600 according to the Informative Summary, a matter the affected people do not agree with; One main ethnic group to be wholly affected (the Sikkout) plus part of the northerly Mahas; No proper resettlement has been arranged; the Informative Summary, which is issued in March 2008, does not say anything about the resettlement of the affected people; No archaeological survey has been conducted to assess the possible loss of sites and antiquities. However, five major sites of antiquities, namely Amara West, Sai, Seidenga, Soleb, and Sesebi are potentially and directly threatened by the construction of the dam . Clashes between the affected people and the authorities of the State in 2008 indicate in the future the same will happen with the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU) when it starts the construction.
Criticism Weakness of the studies of Informative Summary , Hydroproject Institute and the pre-feasibility study by EDF Scot Wilson . Scientific and Methodological deficiencies; Inadequacy of resettlement issues or the environmental and cultural impact studies prepared by EDF Generation & Engineering Division ; Lack of transparency Disregard of the international principles
4 CONSEQUENCES AND REACTION OF AFFECTED PEOPLE This chapter will show to what extent the threat posed by the dams is grave and how the government is stealthily executing them with reckless readiness to use un-proportional force to suppress the affected people. It will also show how the affected people react to the building of the dams, at the beginning peacefully and later developing into very violent measures. The chapter will try to answer the question of whether the reaction of the frustrated affected people may trigger off civil strife and war in northern Sudan or not. a. THE TACTICS OF DECEPTION AND OBSCURANTISM i. The Dam Implementation Unit Rather than being a purely technical matter, where transparency is most needed along the technical qualification, building dams in the Sudan has become a political matter. The unit responsible for building the dam of Merowe (Mirwi) in the Sudan used to be under the authority of a technical ministry that is of Irrigation and Water Resources until it had been put it under the direct authority of the Presidency in 1999. In 2007 the Presidential Decree No. 217 was issued upon which the small unit was promoted into a Presidential department responsible for the building of all dams in the Sudan, hence the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU). The website of the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU) gives us the following information about itself : “On 27th Feb. 1999, the President of the Republic formed an Executive Unit to promote and follow up on the implementation of the Dam’s Project. Article (8), Paragraph (D) of the Presidential Decree mandated the Unit to prepare and execute all investment activities related to the project, and search for funds. At that time, Mr. Osama Abdullah Mohamed El Hassan was appointed as State Minister and made the Executive Director for the Merowe Dam Project Implementation Unit”. The first observation that attracts attention in this mandate is the fact that DIU is to be in charge of not only the construction of the dam, but furthermore of the investment activities related to its construction. In 2005 another Presidential Decree was issued (No. 206) upon which all the lands of northern Sudan (i.e. that lie in the State of the River Nile and of the North State) were ordered to be expropriated from the authority of the two respective state governments to fall under the authority of the DIU, which eventually started selling them to Arab investors as mentioned above. The second point to be observed is the wide power given to DIU by the Presidential Decree. Article (13) is titled “Exemptions” upon which the DIU is exempted from the following Civil Service Law: • Service Retirement Law • The National Social Insurance Fund Law • Civil Servants Accountability Law • Fiscal and Accounting law
This makes the DIU an institution above the law of the state as it has been launched with a law of its own that immunes it from litigation and auditing. Since then building dams has been politicized to the extent that a number of specialist and experts feared that this might have compromised the professionalism and technicality of dam building . The DIU gave no heeds to such opinions. In a newspaper interview, when faced with such anti dam arguments, the Director of DIU, Osama Abdalla (a first year university drop-out), defiantly retorted back: “The more they attack me, the more projects I will come up with” . In the last two years, the DIU took to organize proportional tours to the dam. Trade unions, Government employees, mosque committees all over the country were invited to these free of charge tours where they were provided with transportation (that varies from rented 4X4 vehicles, luxurious coaches and airlines), food, drinks, and more than often accommodation. Thousands of trips were said to have been arranges costing tens of millions of US Dollars. ii. Broken promises and mistrust in Merowe (Mirwi) dammed Area The people affected by Merowe (Mirwi) fall into three groups, namely the Hamdab, Amri, and the Manasir. In the beginning the affected people agreed to the project, with the condition that they remain living in their home areas at the shore of the lake of the dam, i.e. not to be evacuated. However, the government seemed to have other agendas. By then the regions of northern Sudan were reeking with rage as the news telling of the secret agreements between the Sudanese and Egyptian governments upon which Egyptians peasants were going to be moving to the region. In The people were aware that the Four Freedoms agreement has paved the way to this Egyptian resettlement. The adopted policy of total de-population decided that the people affected by Merowe (Mirwi) dam to be resettled in areas far from their historical homelands under the point of gun. To make it even worse, the government was so secretive about the project, totally ignoring to consult the concerned communities. Those who lived immediately behind the dam, i.e. the Hamdab, were compelled to resettle in an arid area covered by sand dunes about 100 km down the river far from its shore. They had to submit to that because by they were not fully aware about the plight to befall them. The people next to them, i.e. those of Amri region, resisted the plans of resettlement, demanding to be allowed to resettle on the shore of the artificial lake of the dam, just above the contour the rising water would stop at. The government declined them this right. The Manasir who are the only ethnic group to be wholly affected by the dam, adamantly rejected evacuating the area, demanding, like their brethren in the Amri area, the right to resettle on the shore of the lake. They were also denied this right. Up to the moment, one third of the Amri people and the majority of the Manasir are there sticking to their home villages notwithstanding the rising water of the dam as on 16/4/2008 the last gate of the dam was closed. The sufferings of the people who have remained are available in the web worldwide . The cases of broken promises relating to each one of the affected groups of Merowe (Mirwi) dam will be reviewed with an emphasis on the Manasir as they constitute 67% of the affected population. In 1999 immediately after the Presidential Decree upon which the Merowe Dam Implementation Unit (MDIU) was formed, a socioeconomic survey was conducted so as to count the population their belonging in order to evaluate the compensation. The survey was flawed due to the secretive way of conducting it and consequently was rejected by the affected people as they were not consulted . The Manasir Council noted that the MDIU was responsible for both the building of the dam and the decisions pertaining the resettlement and compensation of the affected population. The MDIU, without consulting either the Hamdab people, Amri people or the Manasir, decided that the areas of resettlement were going to be as follows: (1) al-Multaqa, far down the river; (2) al-Mukarāb, up the river, close to Atbara; (3) al-Fidā’ Scheme, up the river close to Abu Hamad in the Rubatab tribe region; (4) Wadi al-Mugadam Scheme. It had declined the latter as no studies were made to assess its suitability (See appendix 2). All places were at least 5 km far from the Nile. The Hamdab and Amri people were forced to move without much resistance as they were also completely ignorant on what they were going to live through. The Manasir, on the other hand, decided that they were not going to be resettled afar from the shore of the Nile; they opted to what has come to be known as “the Local Option”. Accordingly they came up with 6 areas to be allocated close to the shore of the dam reservoir (Um Sarih; al-Haraz; al-Huweila; Kiheila East; Kiheila West; and Um Tineidba). The DIU, however, had other plans for the resettlement; it was decidedly determined in the studies it did of the dam and in particular about the human activities around the dam reservoir that no population was to be left back there. We read in the study conducted by Lahmeyer International on behalf of the Merowe Dam Project Implementation Unit, Commission for Social Affairs and Environmental Assessment, that: “The population that is currently resident along the reach of the Nile river that will be submerged by the future reservoir will be resettled, leaving an unpopulated area around the lake shore. This situation will remain so for an unpredicted period of time because the natural conditions will not allow agricultural activities.” In 2002 a Temporary Decree named “the Law of Resettlement and Compensation of People affected by Merowe dam for the Year 2002” was issued in accordance to the Presidential Decree No. 1, 2002. It was supposed to either be ratified by the National Assembly in the Session number 2 on 10/8//2002 or to be amended or nullified. The National Assembly eventually formed a committee that concluded to the following points: • The Presidential Decree No. 1 did not take on board the results of the studies made with regard to the compensation categorization • The Decree did not give the affected people enough time to in deliberation with the government • The necessity for a separate commission for the compensation and resettlement • The observation made by the affected people with regard to the aloofness of the MDIU was taken on board. Accordingly a separate commission was formed to run the affairs of the compensation and resettlement (the Commissioner of Resettlement & Compensation- CRC). The Manasir could have felt satisfied by these developments if it were not for the rumour that leaked telling that the CRC was in fact appointed by the Director of the MDIU himself, i.e. Osama Abdalla. This proved that the CRC is not going to function as an independent body but rather as a body that takes orders from the MDIU. On 28/1/2004 the Governor of the River Nile State wrote a letter to the Director of MDIU urging him to be transparent and cooperative with the affected people and to expedite the studies related to the Local Option. He further urged him to disclose the information pertaining to the exact delimitation of the reservoir and to do his best to preserve the heritage and antiquities of the region. Not only did the MDIU ignore such pleas, but it went further to falsify the will of the people of the Manasir. On 19/1/2004 the Commissioner of Social and Ecological Affairs in the MDIU, Ahmad Muhammad Ahmad al-Sadig, had stated in a letter addressed to the Manager General of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Irrigation of the State of the River Nile that the Manasir have made up their minds to be resettled in the Mukabrab area, the very area that they adamantly kept rejecting up to the moment. On 20/7/2004 the Federal minister of agriculture, late Majzub al-Khalifa, issued a ministerial decree upon which clear directives were given to all concerned departments to start making the studies of assessing the Local Option so as to implement it. A committee of 8 members representing concerned government corporations and departments was formed to do that. However, it failed to make the Manasir happy as there was no one among its member to represent the MDIU. The year 2004 elapsed with contradictory government letters issued from one side by the pro-Manasir various federal and state government ministries, states, and departments with regard to the facilitating of the Local Option, and, on the other side, other letters issued by the Anti Manasir MDIU with regard to the facilitating the resettlement of the Manasir in the Mukabrab against their will. It was clear that the MDIU over-ruled the various institutions of the federal state by simply being empowered by the Presidency. In 2005 the Manasir People Committee was arrested twice to stay almost 9 months in prison (3 months in the first arrest and 6 months in the second arrest) from 2005-2007 . In Amri the situation was the same as that of the Manasir; the people supported by various government institutions, were insisting on the Local Option with the MDIU stubbornly insisting on areas far away from the shore of the reservoir, a matter the people flatly rejected. On 8/4/2006 a Presidential Decree was issued upon which a host of decisions were made. They were as follows: 1. The concerned parties in the River Nile State are to take over lands on the shore of the Merowe dam reservoir which lie within its frontiers so as to allocate them to those who rightfully deserve them [i.e. the Manasir] 2. The River Nile State should under take the following so as to facilitate the implementation of Clause 1: a. Formation of basic committees with regard to those who are affected by the Merowe dam within the frontiers of the State b. It is upon the State Governor and the concerned parties in the River Nile State to immediately implement this Decree by taking the necessary measure. The State Governor immediately issued a host of State Decrees in accordance upon which the lands around the reservoir were allocated to the Manasir; another accordance upon which the surveying of the lands around the reservoir were begun so as to facilitate the resettlement of the Manasir; another accordance upon which the resettlement of the Manasir in the areas suggested by the DIU were to be suspended. The Manasir could have never been happier if it were not for the TV interview with Osama Abdalla, the DIU Director that took place 4 days after these decisions were taken. In the interview Osama Abdalla mocked those decisions and sarcastically spoken of the Local Option. Still the Manasir could have ignored what Osama Abdalla, the DIU Director said, if the President did not praise the former for what he had said in the TV interview (for more details, see: Muhammad Abdalla Sid Ahmad . At this point a group of very influential figures in the ruling party intervened to bring this un-necessary trouble to an end. They mounted an internal campaign upon which two major events took place. The first was the release of the the Manasir committee from the prison as it was a condition made by the Manasir not to go into negotiation while their committee members were detained. The second was the census which was conducted among the Manasir to check who many of them supported the Local Option. The census was made under the auspices of the Central Organ for Statistics. The results were as follows: 70% for the Local Option; 30% for the Mukabrab and other faraway areas . All this was announced in huge gatherings of the Manasir in Khartoum and were hailed by the Manasir in their respective villages. In all this no mention whatsoever was made of the DIU nor was there any one to represent it. It simply resumed its old policy of compensating the Manasir people according to the 1999 census which was totally rejected by both the Manasir and the government. The Manasir committee retorted back (cf. Al-Ayyam Newspaper, 6/9/2007) accusing the DIU of trying to sow dissension among the people and not heeding any respect to its own government which had formed it. In April 2007, i.e. prior to the flood season, the temporary gates of the dam were closed a matter that caused the water to rise to unprecedented levels flooding most of the shore lands in Amri area. The people of Amri stuck to their villages not heeding the pleas of some of the government officials to evacuate their homes. This closure of the gates continued to the end of the flood season. According to the organization of International Rivers: “During the flood seasons of 2006 and 2007, the dam builders restricted the Nile’s flow so much that the homes of thousands of families were flooded. According to affected people, the authorities decided to close the dam’s gates completely on the Eid holiday of September 30. The rising waters now threaten Sherri Island, a historically important island of 200 square kilometres in the Nile and a centre of the resistance against the Merowe Project. The island counts more than 1000 families and is a regional centre with schools, a hospital and local council offices” . On 16/4/2008 the DIU celebrated the last re-diversion of the river course giving the signs that it was going to close the gates to fill up the reservoir , with news of thank-giving between the two governments of the Sudan and China made by top officials representing them. No mention in these two papers was made of what had become of the people of Amri. Next day, the head news read about SOS pleas made by the people of Amri who were fighting the rising water. By the end of 2008 the whole area affected by Merowe dam was under water. This happened without fulfilling any of the promises made by the government. Nor there was any counting of belongings made to substitute the results of that of 1999 which were flatly rejected by both the people of Amri and the Manasir. The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) concluded in a two days finding trip (29-30 October 2008) that the DIU had forced the Manasir and Amri people to evict their lands without providing them with the least aid . On 26/1/2009 President Omer al-Bashir visited the River Nile State and addressed the masses. The Manasir were indeed there among the masses raising high their banners of demands. President al-Bashir announced that he recognized and positively responded to the demands raised by the Manasir and all those affected by Merowe dam . That speech meant nothing new as the President had already responded positively to the demands of the Manasir by issuing the Presidential Decree No. 70 . The problem was that the Presidential Mandated DIU defiantly refused to take action accordingly. What more than a Presidential Decree can the President do? This made many people raise the question whether what al-Bashir had said was simply election frenzy. On 18/2/2009 the minister of Presidential Affairs, Lieutenant General Bakri Hasan Salih dispatched a Presidential executive memo with regard to the directives pertaining to the visit of the President to the State of the River Nile. It has 10 items to be implemented as the President publicly promised the people of the State. Against each item the government ministry or institution responsible with the implementation was mentioned. Item two read as follows: “To pay compensation to every body of the Manasir who is rightly entitled to; and the committees of counting belongings should start their work immediately”. The first government institution mentioned as responsible for implementing this item was the DIU, then the government of the River Nile State and last the federal ministry of Finance. This has even made the Manasir to be more frustrated than ever. They wondered what a publicly delivered pledge from the President can do today when a Presidential Decree had failed yesterday. iii. Obscurantism in Dal-Kajbar to-be-dammed Areas In order to obscure the affected people, the government adopted the policy of giving contradictory news that creates confusion rather than clarification. Part of this tactic was to combine both dams of Kajbar and Dal in the official statements made by the government officials and the documents. This was shown in the documents discussed above where the feasibility study of Kajbar dam included discussion pertaining to the building of Dal dam. On February 12, 2008, the governor of Northern State, while addressing the people of Serkinmatto village which lies across the river from Dal village, declared that the building of Dal dam is pending the ongoing studies and that it was not going to be built without consulting the affected people . On 18/8/2008 the Government of the Northern State publicly dispatched a public release where it announced that “Of the great works your government is facing up is the building of both Kajbar and Dal dams when the Merowe (Mirwi) dam is just about to finish. We believe that these dams mean the get out the patient citizen of this state from the narrowness of scarcity of living means and services so as to approach the wide space of sunshine development and construction. In this context the Resolution No. 73 for the year of 2008 of the Council of Ministers of the National Government has unanimously supported the construction of the Kajbar and Dal dams so as to preserve the rights of our people in the state”. A day later, i.e. on August 19 2008, in a press conference held at the Journalists House in Khartoum, the governor of Northern state states that there was no place for negotiating the principle of the building of Kajbar and Dal dams . On 30/8/2008, in a visit to Sai Island, the governor of Northern state defiantly declared that his government has not and will not drop the decision to build both Kajbar and Dal dams . On 15/1/2009, the same governor declared that the building of Dal dam is pending the ongoing studies while the building of Kajbar dam, whose studies have concluded its feasibility, is pending the agreement of the affected people . The government officials kept denying their intentions of resettling millions of Egyptian peasants in the Sudan while working for it openly. The Nubians we interviewed in June and December 2008 thought of it as a way to de-sensitize the issue. An Egyptian newspaper wrote: “Jalal al-Dugeir [Secretary General of Democratic Unionist Party], the Sudanese minister of industry, has revealed that his country had received offers from Egypt, Qatar and the Emirates to cultivate about 6 million fedans of wheat”. When asked about the expected mass migration of Egyptians to the Sudan, the minister resignedly said: “The Egyptians are coming in all cases, whether we like it or not” . The number given by the said newspaper for the Egyptians was only 5.000. However, on 26/5/2008 the news appeared with the following head news: “Arrangements for the Resettlement of 5 Million Egyptians Peasants in al-Gezira Region [just south of Khartoum]. The Nubians also took the naming of al-Gezira as a de-sensitization tactic, expecting it to eventually be their own region as it is their region that has all the lands greedily sought by the Egyptian government. iv. The “shoot-to-kill” policy of DIU Resistance in the Fourth Cataract The three affected people of Merowe dam (Hamdam, Amri, and Manasir) established their respective organization to negotiate with the government the compensation and resettlement in 2000 when the project started. The Hamdab people, the first group to be resettled were, made no resistance as they were not given ample time to grasp the impact of the up-coming situation. In interviews with people there, the investigator was told that that was not going to be the case had they known. The DIU painted a rosy picture for them and they believed it. They have been resettled in a newly established area called al-Multaqa (i.e. road junction) as it is the spot where the newly paved tarmac road coming from Omdurman splits into two directions, Merowe and Dungula. There they were resettled with the agricultural scheme of al-Multaga for their subsistence. The Lahmeyer study says about the agricultural scheme that the “… total gross area of the scheme is 6.300 ha and the net irrigated area is 5.600 ha” . Instead of being irrigated from a canal branching directly from the dam reservoir as the same study states in another place, it is rather to be irrigated by two main pump stations with one of them on the Nile and the second serving as a via media that pumps water from a gathering pool. This is due to the high level of ground which has necessitated that the canals to be built on an 8 meter fill from above the bank of the Nile; the lifting of the canal keeps on the higher it goes towards the fields. We read: “The first distribution point along the canal at kilometer 4+270 about 50% of the water of the first lift is to be conveyed to the field through two secondary canals (S1 and S2). The remaining 50% is to be lifted again at the end of the main canal and distributed through two other secondary canals (S3 and S4) for irrigation of the upper part of scheme . The secondary canals have a total length of 23 km and the 13 branch canals have a total length of 25.5 km.” The fields grown by the Hamdab people in this scheme more than once ran out of water in the seasons of 2005, 2006 and 2007 due to breaking down of more than one of the various pumps that lifted the water from one level to the other. On 2/3/2009, just a day before President al-Bashir inaugurated the Merowe dam , the people of Hamdab took out to the streets and congregated at the roundabout of the junction blocking the way to commuting vehicles in protest of this problem. On 23/5/2209 the General Union of Hamdab Farmers issued a public release declaring the total failure of the agricultural scheme in the area they have been resettled into . According to the Sudan Tribune “The farmers at the new resettlements, who lost their crops for the third time due to water shortage, decided to block the vital highway between Khartoum and Dongla to protest against the water shortage, but the police intervened and clashed with them to end the blockade”. Taking lessons from the failing situation of Hamdab people, the Amri and Manasir people prepared themselves for the confrontation with the DIU. They established their respective representative organizations. The Manasir had the Dam-affected Manasir Committee which was recognized later by the Government of the River Nile State on 2/6/2004 to be developed into the Council of the Dam-Affected Manasir with its Executive Committee. However, the DIU did not recognize the Executive Committee. In response to this the committee held a meeting in Shiri Island on 2/9/2004 upon which they decided to withdraw their consent to the dam building. In early January 2005 the DIU deployed big military forces. The Manasir people reacted to this by calling for a mass meeting in al-Kab town upon which they re-confirmed the withdrawal of their consent to building the dam, declaring the region of the Manasir a closed area where no government institutional presence, military or civilian, was allowed. The DIU retaliated by taking to prison the members of the Executive committee where they spent a month. In December 2004 the members of the committee were arrested again to be released on 27/5/2005 . Three months later the frustrated Manasir took to the streets in their secluded villages. Some of the demonstrators threatened to take to arms and declare a civil war against the Federal government. The government sent huge heavily armed troops which searched the villages house by house for arms to find none. The Amri people established their own committee which is called “the Amri Dam-affected People Committee. Their scenario goes in the same steps as that of the Manasir: resisting evacuating their home area; opting for the local settlement; demanding fair compensation. The DIU did not heed any of these demands. In early 2006 the DIU changed tactics to crack down the resilience of the defiant people of Amri. It began intimidating the people in their villages to provoke them. The Amri People Committee was aware of the plans of the DIU and therefore kept its people under control ordering them not to respond to the provocative behaviour of the DIU.
Shooting in Amri On the 22nd of April, 2006 in Amri island government security forces, militia groups and special paratroops belonging to the DIU opened fire on a small congregation of people who resisted being evicted. Three people were killed immediately with others injured. The Sudan Human Rights Organization reported the murderous attack with strong condemnation: “As relayed by several witnesses, as well as families of the injured citizens, the attack was planned and executed by the assaulting troop in collaboration with the security headquarters of the dam administration, which had been threatening with ‘severe reactions’ the natives opposing the dam’s location and the resettlement plans far away from their ancestral land at the Nile bank” .
Shooting in Kajbar In 2005, when the government renewed its idea of building Kajbar dam, the governor of North State, ministers, and top officials of DIU assured the people that the dam was not going to be built without their explicit consent. These pledges were said to be based on a direct order from the President that not to build any dam against the will of the people of the concerned area. Believing in the Presidential and official promises, they wanted to express their total rejection to the dam-building. On the 10th of April 2007 they organized a peaceful demonstration in the small villages overlooking the cataract, which was assumed to be the site of the dam. The special security force, which was putting on an army fatigue, opened fire wounding at least five people. Taking the injured people and heading back to the nearest hospital, at a certain river-mountain strait (called in Nubian ‘Kidin Takkār’) that allows for only one vehicle to pass at a time, the demonstrators came across a group of about 20 heavily armed soldiers apparently meant as reinforcement. Outnumbering the armed men, the angry demonstrators encircled the two vehicles and took the soldiers as hostages after stripping them of their arms for about two hours before releasing them. On the 13th of June 2007 the villagers organized another peaceful demonstration that started from a village called Farrēg and then headed down the river toward the cataract. About five km up the river from the cataract, exactly at the same strait where they had held the armed men as hostages, the demonstration was ambushed by a group of heavily armed force that was positioned atop the mountain. The force opened fire killing instantly four people with one of them (Muhammad Faqir) a teenager of only 18 years old. More then 15 people were injured. The whole massacre was filmed by a video amateur; it shows the armed men cheering and dancing when shooting the villagers . In the coming weeks more than 20 people were arrested, among them journalists who tried to report . Leading figures of Nubian senior activists resisting the dam-building were also arrested for months . Young Nubian activists were also arrested in northern Sudan and Khartoum . On 24/6/2007 the Attorney General office dispatched a memo to all newspapers prohibiting them from publishing any material discussing the issue of Kajbar bloodshed or dam . 5 CONCLUSION With the disintegration of the Sudan looming, the Khartoum government adopted a policy for concentrating spending public funds in an area that comprises the middle Sudan (the Axis of Kordufan-Dungula-Sennar) hence known as Hamdi’s Triangle; areas of predominant African ethnic groups outside this triangle were to be Arabized by a new population injection from neighbouring countries (from Chad in the case of Darfur; from Egypt in the case of northern Sudanese Nubia; from local Arab tribes in the case of Nuba Mountains). This is the policy that has so far merited the name of “Demographic Engineering”. In the last five years the government of the Sudan announced that it is planning to build at least 6 dams on the River Nile downstream from Khartoum upon which the flooded areas will be evacuated in the same way that took place in the case of Aswan High Dam. The governments of both the Sudan and Egypt have openly announced endorsing plans aimed to bring in millions of Egyptian peasants to settle in the areas evacuated by the Sudanese groups in specific the Nubian region. Egyptian government has been engaged in a similar plan in its own Nubian region. The people of northern Sudan, specially the Nubians, affected by the dams have started resisting this by civilian means and will eventually take to rebellion as they have established their ethnic political and military organization. These organizations have already made contacts with the Darfur military movements to orchestrate efforts of resistance. The Egyptian Nubians have declared their alliance with their brethren in the Sudan. A civil war in northern Sudan and southern Egypt lead by a coalition of the Nubians and other Arab people of the region also affected by dams and the military movements of Darfur will destabilize the region more than ever. The northern Sudan problem will very quickly develop from a national affair to a regional affair and then into an international crisis. As Egyptian Nubians will join their brethren across the border, Egypt will eventually be drawn into this civil war at its borders with the Sudan. Under the pretext of containing the situation and crushing the rebellion of its own Nubians, Egypt is expected to invade northern Sudan, particularly the Nubian region, with the real intent to grab new lands, chase away the Nubians, rebel or non rebel alike, and to implement the plans of settlement of its millions of peasants. However, the moment this war goes off with both Sudanese and Egyptian Nubians getting united with other dam-affected Arab groups of northern Sudan, nothing less than an independent Nubian-Arab state will satisfy the rebels. Concluding demands: Hereby, we, in the Anti Dal-Kajbar Dams Committee, demand from Sinohydro Company, first, to withdraw from this project, and, secondly to contact directly the affected people through us so as to see that the people totally reject the building of both the named dams or either of them. Contact Persons: Khartoum, Sudan: 1. M. Jalal Hashim Tel: +249914490044 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.mjhashim.blogspot.com/ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=105753522790765