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Beja council split: Anti-Tirik group announces preparations for self-determination of eastern Sudan

August 30 - 2022 TAMAI / PORT SUDAN
The meeting in Tamai, eastern Sudan, which decided on escalation and preparations for self-determination (Sudan Tribune)
The meeting in Tamai, eastern Sudan, which decided on escalation and preparations for self-determination (Sudan Tribune)

Disputes within the High Council of Beja Nazirs* and Independent Chieftains seem to have led to a definite split as a group opposed to Beja Nazir Sayed Tirik announced the formation of committees to prepare for the right to self-determination.

On Sunday, a group opposed to eastern Sudanese Beja Nazir Sayed Tirik announced the formation of committees to prepare for the right to self-determination, according to the stipulations of the Sinkat conference.

Disputes within the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains, of which Sayed Tirik is the president, have taken place in the past as well, but now seem to have led to a proper split.

A group that calls itself the High Leadership Authority of the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains, led by the council’s spokesperson Abdallah Obshar, held a two-day meeting in Tamai in​​ Red Sea state over the weekend, which concluded by rejecting Tirik’s decisions to restructure the Beja Nazirs Council by adding new secretariats.

Council disputes

Disputes between the leaders of the Beja Nazirs Council became publicly apparent after a sit-in was held in front of the offices of the Red Sea government, which ended with the resignation of Governor Ali Adarob on June 7. This was not accepted by Sayed Tirik, who then resigned from his position, citing “conspiracies, intrigues, mutual accusations within the Council, and deviation of the Council from its natural course”.

The council decided to freeze his resignation. During subsequent meetings, Tirik was re-elected as the head of a Beja Nazirs Council that was to be re-structured.

At a stormy conference in Arkawit, Red Sea state, in June, the work of the Beja Nazirs Council was suspended until a conference would be held that would define the structures of the new council. Influential leaders in the council however rushed to announce that they refused to recognise the decisions issued in Arkawit. They also accused Vice-Chairman of the Sovereignty Council Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo of being behind the division of the Beja clans. 

At the time, Nazir Tirik said that the conference he called for was suspended due to the absence of some members, so that “those who were reluctant to take part in the conference have been given the opportunity to attend”.

Abdallah Obshar, Secretary-General of the High Council of Beja Nazirs (photo supplied)

 

Self-determination

A statement by the High Leadership Authority group of the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains, published in the El Gash newspaper yesterday said that they “agreed on a programme for comprehensive revolutionary escalation and the formation of a high committee to prepare for the right of self-determination for the Beja region stipulated in the decisions of the Sinkat Conference”.

During its meeting in decided to adhere to the unity of the Beja land and people behind and the decisions of the 2020 Sinkat Conference, and to return to the founding platform, bypassing what they called ‘the schemes that sought to break up and disrupt the council’.

The faction further announced the launch of an initiative to solve the political crisis in Sudan through a comprehensive forum in the presence of all political parties and civil society organisations and the participation of all regions of Sudan to discuss crucial issues related to the rights of the regions, and to present a comprehensive vision for Sudan’s governance.

The Beja Nazirs Council has previously warned of ‘dire consequences’ of any political settlement in which the eastern Sudanese are not involved, yet refused to participate in a recent conference on issues in eastern Sudan.

In 2020, the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains organised a conference in Sinkat in Red Sea state that lasted for three days. The meetings concluded by demanding a unified territory for the three states of eastern Sudan (Red Sea state, Kassala, and El Gedaref) according to geographical borders and the cancellation of the Eastern Sudan Track protocol included in the Juba Peace Agreement.

If these demands could not be met, the conference called for the right to self-determination. Its closing session was attended Gen Hemeti.

* A nazir is a state-appointed administrative chief of a clan, according to the native administration system in Sudan.


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