Sudan: Treatment of members of the Beja [Baja] tribe by the Sudanese government and the National Islamic Front (NIF) and the present situation in Kassala (1999-June 2002)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||21 June 2002|
|Citation / Document Symbol||SDN39146.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Sudan: Treatment of members of the Beja [Baja] tribe by the Sudanese government and the National Islamic Front (NIF) and the present situation in Kassala (1999-June 2002), 21 June 2002, SDN39146.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4bea820.html [accessed 6 October 2015]|
Additional information to that provided in SDN32207.E of 30 June 1999 on the situation of members of Beja [Baja] tribe is limited among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
It is stated, in a letter published in the 12 November 2001 Washington Times, by the Right Rev. Bullen A. Dolli, Bishop of Lui of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, that the "NIF (National Islamic Front) regime has targeted Muslims such as the Beja people, and in its goal of complete ethnic cleansing of the Nuba Mountains, it has sought to eradicate Muslims, Christians and animists alike."
A 18 August 2000 IRIN-CEA report stated the following:
The opposition Beja Congress has accused the government of Sudan of bombing villages in eastern Sudan, and wounding civilians. Leader of the Beja Congress, Sheik Omar Tahir, told the London-based 'Al-Hayat' newspaper that the Khartoum government had targeted Hamashkoreb, northeast of Kassala town, in "continuous aerial bombardments". He said that the government had bombed Koranic schools and Rashai, in the same region.
The leader of the Beja Congress said in the interview that the government was trying to "exterminate" the Beja people of eastern Sudan "on the pretext that they were supporting the NDA [National Democratic Alliance] forces". He said his forces would not lay down arms until they had achieved their "legitimate rights". The oil pipeline would remain a target for Beja military operations as the government was using oil revenue to support its war effort, Tahir said.
Information confirming the veracity of those accusations could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Key NDA components include organizations such as the Beja Congress (USCR 25 Feb. 2000; IRIN-CEA 18 Aug. 2000; Clandestine Radio 18 Nov. 2001), the later representing "the Beja people, an almost exclusively Muslim ethnic group that occupies much of the area of Sudan between the Egyptian and Eritrean borders" (Congress (USCR 25 Feb. 2000)
While current information on the situation in Kassala could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate, the U.S. State Department noted in its 12 December 2000 travel warning that:
The government of Sudan continues to conduct a bombing campaign against rebel forces in southern Sudan. In addition, there has been rebel activity in and around Kassala, in eastern Sudan. Following a rebel incursion in Kassala in early November 2000, the government of Sudan authorities arrested an American relief worker in that area on suspicion of espionage and severely beat him. As a result of the rebel activity, the United Nations ordered all its personnel operating in Kassala to evacuate the area in and around the city. Other non-governmental organizations operating in Kassala evacuated their personnel as well.
Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly outside Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. Civil war persists in the southern Sudan provinces of Upper Nile, Bahr El Ghazal, and Equatoria, and has spread to the eastern Sudan provinces of Blue Nile, Red Sea, and Kassala, along the Ethiopian and Eritrean borders. Banditry and incursions by southern Sudanese rebels are common in western Sudan, particularly in Darfur Province along the Chadian and Libyan borders, where a state of emergency exists. The land border with Egypt (ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa) has been reopened. Transportation between Eritrea and Sudan is currently halted. The Sudan People's Liberation Army controls all border crossings from Kenya and Uganda.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Clandestine Radio. 18 November 2001. "Sudan."
UN OCHA Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa (IRIN-CEA) Website. 18 August 2000. "IRIN Horn of Africa Update."
US Committee for Refugees (USCR). 25 February 2000. "Sudan-News Update."
US Department of State. 12 December 2000. "Sudan: Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheets."
Washington Times. 12 November 2001. Final Edition. The Right Rev. Bullen A. Dolli "Khartoum Cannot Conceal Atrocities with 'Charm'." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
Africa Confidential 2000-May 2002.
Africa Reseacgh Bulletin 2000-Feb. 2002.
Amnesty International. 2002. Annual Report. Electronic Version
US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001. 2002. Electronic Version.
Resources Centre country file. Sudan.
Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Minorties at Risk Project.
Indian Ocean Newsletter.
Sudan News Agency.