Northern Sudan could see similar violence as the Western Province Darfur, where mounted Arabic militia harass local communities. At least 200,000 people have been killed and more than two million displaced.
The German mission agency Evangeliumsgemeinschaft Mittlerer Osten (Gospel Community Middle East) is concerned that a similar fate may be in store for the two million Nubians. They live mainly in Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan.
The Nubians are worried that a new reservoir near Dongola, provincial capital of Northern Sudan, will deprive them of even more of their land. They already lost a lot of their subsistence to the Egyptian High Dam near Aswan, which forms the biggest reservoir reaching more than 300 miles into Sudan.
Protests against the planned reservoir have already been staged. Security forces dispersed a demonstration in the village of Farreeg, 90 miles north of Dongola, June 13. Four demonstrators were killed and eight wounded, according to the mission agency.
The organization has maintained close ties with the Nubians for more than 100 years. The missionšs chairman Klaus Strub told the evangelical news agency Idea that the Nubians are rediscovering their cultural roots.
They want to avoid total "Arabization", said Strub at the annual conference of his organization in Wiesbaden. The Nubians embraced Christianity in the 4th century. They came under Islamic rule in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The mission agency supports research into the origins of the Nubian language. The world has hardly taken any notice of the plight of these people.
The mission agency, founded in the year 1900, has 50 workers in Egypt, Sudan and Kenya. Among them are health and development workers in Sudan. The mission also runs a hospital in Aswan and two mobile clinics in Upper Egypt.
Other articles by Wolfgang Polzer:
Wolfgang Polzer (56), is senior news editor of the Evangelical News Agency (idea) Wetzlar (Germany), which he joined in 1981. In all, he has spent 30 years in Christian media.
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