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Eastern Sudanese denounce Development Fund report

December 10 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Farmers in Kassala state, eastern Sudan (
Farmers in Kassala state, eastern Sudan (

Eastern Sudanese members of the Council of States have strongly criticised the latest report of the Eastern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund (ESRDF).

They called the report on the performance of the ESRDF, presented by treasurer Abu Obeida Duj to the Council of States on Tuesday, “a bunch of lies”.

Beja Congress leader Abdallah Mousa commented that the projects implemented by the Fund “do not meet the needs of the people and have not created any change to the lives of the population of the East”.

Moatasem Jeily, representative for El Gedaref state, said that only 16 percent of the development projects sponsored by Kuweit with the amount of $500 million have been implemented.

He accused the Fund of manipulation with building materials. He pointed out that many projects carried out by the Fund failed because of non-compliance with the required specifications of the materials, especially in El Gedaref.

The eastern Sudanese functionaries demanded the formation of a follow-up committee to monitor the performance of the ESRDF and its projects. Hamid Mohamed called for the allocation of the remaining funds to the provision of clean drinking water in eastern Sudan.

Failed implementations

In late July, the National Beja Congress threatened to take up arms again against Khartoum if the ESPA provisions would not be implemented soon.

Sheiba Dirar, chairman of the National Beja Congress told Radio Dabanga at the time that there has not been any progress in the implementation of the three main ESPA files. “Instead of profiting from ESRDF projects, getting our share of national government posts, and seeing our former combatants rehabilitated through the implementation of the security arrangements, as stipulated in the ESPA, eastern Sudan has become more marginalised than ever before.”

Last year, Port Sudan witnessed several protests by ex-combatants of the EA, calling for the full implementation of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA). A number of them, attempted to publicly commit suicide, because of the dire conditions they are living in.

The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey (SAS) stated in its report Development Deferred: Eastern Sudan after the ESPA in May that the ESRDF appears to have been systematically underfunded and that much of the funding has been allocated to national dam-building projects.

SAS further warned for “voices in the Beja Congress calling once more for self-determination and, now, the secession of eastern Sudan.”

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