Reaction to the UN Secretary General's Comments on the Sudan

" one should dictate the future of our long-suffering people, but us."

From  Abu Deng

This letter is written on the behalf of the long-suffering people of the Sudan, those from the hill of the Nuba Mountains to the western sands of Darfur and the red earth of the East, to the southern bush of our beloved South.

We take disapproving note of UN Secretary General Moon's anti-separatist comments at the recent AU Summit in Ethiopia, - and believe no one should dictate the future of our long-suffering people, but us.

Let me expound on our historical record, to make this perfectly lucid to you, Secretary General, as well as to the National Congress  Party - NCP (formerly known as the National Islamic Front - NIF), and the Global Community.

Since the modern invasion of the Sudan in the early 1800s, the people of Sudan have been killed, kidnapped, enslaved for labour, armies and harems around the world, subjugated in the palaces of the Middle East, the Sultanates of Egypt and plantations of the Americas and Europe. The Sudanese have been one of most the exploited people in the history of the world, the infamous Khartoum slave market speaks profoundly to that legacy.

In particular, our people in the south have suffered, in part due to their Black African heritage and their attraction to the Christian faith, which by the way was introduced in the Sudan around 37 AD through the Prophet Philip's conversion of the Sudanese eunuch, and flourished in the northern regions until the 14th century.

But currently, the NIF wishes to force Islam on the Southern regions and its allies.

Since our independence in 1956, after many decades of British colonisation, preceded even earlier by vicious decades under Turkish and Egyptian occupation, we have known only suffering. Even under Sudanese rule, the people have not enjoyed an extended moment of peace, maybe having ten years of conflict-free existence.

During the regimes of Maghrabi, Abboud, Mahdi and Numeri, murder, assassinations and subjugation was the rule. A couple of examples of this is the July 9, 1965 Juba massacre, when 1400 southerners were killed in one day and two days later on July 11 in Wau where officials, local leaders, intellectuals and children attending a wedding  party were all murdered by the Sudanese Army of Maghrabi (including 76 southern government officials).

In the civil conflict that ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, President Bashir's NIF used a war strategy of bombing a village with Russian Antonov bombers, then moving in troops to finish the job, after which brining in trains to take out the "war booty" namely women, children (used as free labourer or sex slaves) and cattle. The UN Special Rapporteur Gaspar Biro reported such incidents in 1994.

During the Darfur conflict rape as a weapon of war was a policy of the National Islamic Front, which subjected one father from Magarasa Darfur in 2004 to watch the rape of his daughter along with his wife and small children (UN Report on Darfur, Jan 2005). The mass rape of Darfuri women has also been supported by field examinations done by Doctors for Human Rights.

Some of our men and women have pained memories of their two to three month walk as 7 or 10 year olds through the bush and plains of eastern Sudan and Ethiopia, fighting wild animals trying to eat them. Some children perished to crocodiles and hyenas. These are the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan.

The injustices of the NIF/NCP are innumerable as one would suspect of a regime that took power in a coup d'etat and responsible for the deaths of over two million lives in the South and over 300,000 lives in Darfur, plus the forced internal displacement of over four million people.

President's Bashir's NIF-turned-NCP has done great harm to the Sudan, yet must be engaged for the sake of peace for our long-suffering people, but, only as a partner/guarantor to the CPA, which they signed and have repeatedly dishonoured.

Now, given such history on record Secretary General Moon, do you think you or others should trample on our rights? Our people walk every day on the soil of a Sudan once covered in the innocent bodies of our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters.

To UN Secretary General Moon and the Global Community - I ask humbly to not interfere with our solemn rights, particularly that of self-determination, won by the noblest and most sacred sacrifices: the blood of a people. Let our people decide their fate.

Abu Deng

Abu Deng, MPA, MST, is a Fellow in International Affairs based in Oslo, Norway. He can be reached at

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