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BEJA MASSACRE The butchers of Port Sudan must be brought to justice. By Adaroub Begaor

5/10/2005 9:45 pm


The butchers of Port Sudan must be brought to justice

. By Adaroub Begaor

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The massacre committed by the authorities in Port Sudan in January 2005, where 27 beja citizen were shot dead immediately, and more than 400 injured amounts to a crime against humanity, racial cleansing, mass murder, inflicting heavy injuries, terrorising the civil citizens. This happened when the Beja citizen of Port Sudan organised a civil demonstration demanding federal rule, end of marginaliztion, development to their region and more democracy.

The Beja tribes live in north east of Sudan, and constitute 15% of the total population of the country. They have their own cushitic language, which is completely different from Arabic, there own culture, their own history. They form as such a completely different ethnic group. They have been sofar completely marginalised inspite of the fact that they were fierce fighters for the Independence of the country and that they have sacrificed a lot for this purpose. Their region did not witness any development and remained as backward as 1000 years ago. They were exempted from ministerial posts, from the diplomatic services, from high ranking Civil posts. The governors of the region, and all civil servants are imported from the centre of the country.

In the demonstration of January 2005 they demanded share of power and wealth. Their demands were met brutally by the security forces shooting down 27 and injuring several hundred. The governor of the region admitted later that the dead were innocent people. The crimes committed in Darfur and east Sudan are of the same nature, the difference being that the suffering is much greater in the West than in the East. Other difference is that the government ignored the suffering in darfur , and later denied any involvement it in, whereas the crime in port Sudan has been committed in a big town by the dreadful death squad known as the special security forces, which has been brought to the town with a military plane. Red handed they were flown back to Khartoum, after terrorising the peaceful town for several days. Instead of capturing the criminals, the authorities detained 17 Beja leaders and sent them to a remote prison called Dabak, more than 1000km away from their home town in violation to the international law.

The committors of this terrible crime are still free, never questioned and sit in their posts comfortably. As their trial in Sudan is impossible, the international community is requested to take action and bring these criminals to the international court, as has been done with Darfur criminals, and according to the Security Council decision number 1593.

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