Omer B. Abu Haraz
The deadly event which erupted in Blue Nile State last week is very alarming and a harbinger of all-out destruction of the social fabric of Sudan. It is alarming because it is the first event of ethnic cleansing in Sudan. A similar start of ethnic cleansing happened twenty-five years ago in Rwanda between The Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority. It continued for three years claiming the lives of about a million Tutsi. It took Rwanda ten years to come to peace and rebuilding of a new social fabric.
The Blue Nile deadly event took place by a violent movement of the indigenous inhabitants of the area against the old comers of the Hausa tribe. The Hausa form one of the biggest tribes of Nigeria which constitutes 25% of the 217 million Nigerian population, followed by the Yoruba tribe 21%. Almost all of the Hausa are Muslims. They migrated from Nigeria for more than 100 years to different parts of Sudan.
They are known to be strong, resilient, and hard workers in all duties, especially in farming. They are concentrated in Blue Nile, Kassala, Suki, Singa, Gezira and Khartoum. They are generally known to be law-abiding and peaceful citizens. They now constitute one of the Sudanese social fabric with a legal Sudanese nationality.
If we go deep in history, Sudanese inhabitants were all Africans. Arabs’ influx to Sudan started after the agreement between the Kushite leader Khalidorat with the Muslim Arab Abdullahi Ibn Abi Al-Sarh who ruled Egypt. The agreement reached in about 640 AD was called the Pact or Pactum Agreement which allowed the four freedoms i.e. Freedom of movement of people and trade, freedom of ownership of land, and freedom of work.
Since then the Arab and Islam culture and religions spilled over to Sudan completely changing the social fabric. Arab waves include people coming from Turkey, Morocco, and Arab Peninsula. From the west, the Hausa people traveled and settled in the Sudanese northern states.
The Hausa people are now part and parcel of the Sudanese citizens. Almost all of them were born in Sudan.
What happened two weeks ago in the Blue Nile is unfounded and unacceptable because it might lead to an overall ethnic cleansing leading to the complete disintegration of Sudan into 5 weak small states as planned by external malicious strategies.
What triggered the cleansing of the Blue Nile is the untimely, but calculated, demand of the Hausa to form a new body in the native administration headed by a Hausa leader, called Nazir and the body called Nizara similar to Nizaras in the Blue Nile and other parts of Sudan especially in Darfur, Kordofan, and River Nile. Almost all tribes in Sudan have such Nizaras. Hausa’s demand is legitimate but untimely. Sudan now is a dreadful political turmoil.
The most important tool to defuse the ticking-bomb of tribal deadly confrontations and ethnic cleansing is to expedite the formation of a transitional government with the following objectives:
- Implementing the agreed-upon restructuring of governance in 6 regions of a federal system. This means appointing 6 governors and abolishing the 18 states.
- Holding a constitutional conference to draft a permanent constitution and the basis of a presidential system to replace the failed parliamentary system since 1956.
- Preparation of general elections after 18 months. After the elections, the military went back to the barracks to assume their constitutional duties of protecting the borders, security, and safety of citizens.
All political entities should rise tall to the height of the imminent danger of losing Sudan.
A reasonable consensus is a must.