Members of the Zaghawa tribe perform a traditional dance at an event to disseminate culture of peace, organised by Unamid in Tine, North Darfur, 10 December 2014 (Hamid Abdulsalam/Unamid)
The Darfur Regional Authority, that organised the folkloric music festival, currently being held in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, has not invited leading Darfuri singers and musicians.
Popular singers from Darfur expressed their anger for not being invited to the festival that started this Monday under the banner “Let’s sing for peace”.
“The Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), headed by Dr Tijani Sese, has disconnected itself from the Darfuri people, even in the fields of culture and art,” Ahmed Sharef told Radio Dabanga. “Such an attitude deepens our crises, instead of giving a push forward towards unity, love, forgiveness, tolerance, and reunion.”
He called for the participation of all singers “without exception, to make art and culture a priority in the peace process in Darfur and Sudan”.
Well-known singer Mubarak El Mansouri commented to Radio Dabanga that “Such a folk heritage festival requires the participation of all Darfuri artists, without exclusion. In Sudan’s capital of Khartoum alone, there are at least 60 good singers from Darfur.”
El Mansouri urged the organisers to consider a wider participation in the future, “especially the participation of those outstanding singers, who have contributed to the dissemination of Darfuri art and popular music in Sudan, like Ahmed Sharif, Ali El Riheid, and others.