Nuba Democratic Forum 1st Conference
The first Nuba Mountains Democratic Forum (NMDF) conference was launched on Saturday 16th July 2005 in Den Hague city, Holland, a city which gained its outstanding reputation from the presence of International Criminal Court (ICC) in city. The conference was held under the slogan:"strengthening unity in diversity, in vision and political discourse" in the Nuba Mountains region. This first conference is considered an important step for a long political development to take place in the Nuba Mountains state. It is to strengthen the prospect of a just and comprehensive peace Agreement (CPA) in the Sudan.
The conference was attended by representatives from Nuba Mountains Democratic Forum (NMDF), who came from different countries in Europe and Canada. The deliberations were carried out in an atmosphere of full democratic sprit and characterized by frankness and seriousness, debating crucial political issues, which are significantly importance, specifically for the region and for Sudan as a whole. The conference debated and made extensive deliberations on the following important issues:
The conference made deliberation on the political future of Nuba Mountains region under the current political development and affirmed the importance of unity of the people and unity over a common political vision for the region, and to reject all forms of fanatic tribalism and narrow concept of partisan. The conference affirmed the importance of establishing a political dialogue in the region on the bases of solid democratic foundation, accepting and respecting the view of others. In addition, to try seriously to find a political agreement on the important issues for the region.
In their deliberations to the paper on the reasons for establishing 'The Forum', the conference affirmed the importance of the establishment of Nuba Mountains Democratic Forum at this crucial period in the history of our nation, as it is considered to be dangerous and complicated transitional phase, particularly for the Nuba Mountains region and for Sudan as a whole. It is a complex issue characterized by diversity of political view, which is necessary and it requires the establishment of modern mechanisms for political process through which we can present tangible solutions to our current problems and advance the political process towards better horizons.
The participants have discussed at length, ways and means of strengthening culture of peace and mutual co-existence between different groups living in the region. They affirmed the importance of having mechanisms and political power to re-establish the confidence among these groups, and the spirit of peaceful co-existence, which used to be found in the region in the past.
The conference discussed the draft Manifesto of Nuba Mountains Democratic Forum and ratified it after some amendments were made. Then a preparatory steering committee was proposed to run the day-to-day work of the Forum for the time being.
After lengthy discussions and constructive deliberations, the participants concluded the conference with the following resolutions:
(1) The participants at the N.M.D.F Conference affirmed the current peace process, which is taking place in the Sudan, to stop bloodshed among sons of the same country and to assure that Navaisha peace Agreement will resolve the issues of the Nuba Mountains which had been ignored and not addressed in Naivasha Agreement.
(2) The Conference has emphasized on the importance of bring together the people of Nuba Mountains in one line, unifying their political view and to rescind from tribalism and narrow fanatic partisan.
(3) The participants at the conference affirmed the importance of reaching consensus on a single united political programme, which put the interest of the Nuba Mountains region as a top priority. This to be achieved through communication, coordination with political groups, civil society organizations in the region. Also, work to unify political leaders, writers, journalists of the region, to work towards for a single united goal and political discourse for the sake of the interest of the region.
(4) The participants affirmed the importance of the democratic process and the assurance of freedom of political activities, and also equal representation of people of the Nuba Mountains region in the key national executive political posts and also similar representation the region key posts, and competence and ability shall be the measure to appoint people to run any post for interest of the region as well as for the whole country, which is a positive thing.
(5) The Conference affirmed the importance of establishing a permanent national constitution for the country, which should be based on the principles of the right of citizenship, but not based on religion or ethnic character. In addition, all the people of Sudan must contribute and take part in the writing of this constitution.
(6) The Conference has also affirmed the necessity for popular political process, so as to promote the political awareness within citizens in the region.
(7) The participants at the conference affirmed the importance of the right of self-determination for the people of the Nuba Mountains region, to be exercised if the people of southern Sudan choose at the referendum after six years to separate and Sudan is divided into two separate nations.
(8) The Conference affirmed the necessity for the absolute self-governing for the people of the Nuba Mountains, which should be within one united Sudan.
(9) The Conference affirmed the return of the historical name of " Nuba Mountains Region", as it is heritage and historical right for the people of the Nuba Mountains and there can be compromise on this.
(10) The Conference affirmed the importance of establishing Sudanese identity to be included in the constitution, to end the long debate over the dichotomy is Sudan African or Arabic country.
(11) The Conference affirmed the right of Nuba Mountains people as landlords to their confiscated lands, and special land commission should be set up to investigate the land problems and landownership in the region.
(12) The Conference affirmed the importance of development in the region in the field of education, healthcare, social services and road infrastructure and to link all parts of the region with modern road network. It affirmed the importance of promoting human resources in the region through capacity building with special concentration on production sector.
(13) The Conference affirmed the necessity for establishing a trust fund to provided funds for all development programmes in the region
(14) The Conference affirmed the importance role of women and childen in the society and affirmed a true participation of women in all aspects of life, including political, economic and social activity and participating in decision-making.
(15) The Conference affirmed the importance of the development of native Administration, which should be given wider power to be able to deal effectively with dispute according to the local customs and traditions known in the region.
(16) The Conference confirmed the importance of maintaining the cultural heritage of the region and promote and encourage different Nuba languages to be taught at schools.
(17) The Conference affirmed the important of coordination with other organizations from marginalized areas in the Sudan, since they have a common destiny and they need to stand up together and fight against marginalization and for achieving justice for all the people regardless of their ethnic diversity.
At the end, the participants at the conference agreed on the aims of the Nuba Mountains Democratic Forum, which are set to reinstall all the legal rights taken from the people in the region since Sudan independence. The Forum is in full awareness of all types of conspiracies and plotting against the people of Nuba Mountains by central governments and others. Therefore, at this point the conference affirmed that the people of Nuba Mountains are capable of standing up against conspiracies through legal means. These conspiracies and plotting against our people will only strengthen the commitment of the N.M.D.F. to stand by its principles and aims for which it was established.
Nuba Mountains Democratic Forum Secretariat.