By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
December 27, 2010 (SSNA) — As south Sudan approaches the sacred date of 9th January 2011, this last Christmas under the orthodox Islamic regime will be an opportunity to thank God for His unfailing guidance. This time around as we look towards a better future, we should also take some time to appreciate those who sacrificed their dear lives to see us where we are now. But as we remember our heroes and heroines we must not forget those who were massacred in Cairo on Friday 30, December 2005, at the infamous Mustapha Mahmoud Park.
Here I would like to call upon the south Sudanese communities at home and in the Diaspora to get into a meditation spirit while considering President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s Christmas speech at the Kator Cathedral in Juba, when he said, I quote:
"Moreover this historic exercise is a hard-won gain whose ultimate price has been the blood of our martyrs. It is therefore incumbent upon us all to honour our heroes and heroines in the referendum vote as a significant testimony that they did not die in vain," president Kiir said.
However the Mustapha Mahmoud Park massacre, in Cairo, where over 30 Sudanese refuges met their brutal fate in the hands of Egypt’s security forces represents one of the modern aspects of fascism that is lately engulfing the Middle East and North Africa. This is what Eva Dadrian, an independent broadcaster and Political and Country Risk Analyst for print and broadcast media in Cairo had to say in 2006-01-05.
Issue 236 http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/31111.
“Whatever accusations can be hailed against the Sudanese refugees, like those made by Egyptian comedian Adel Imam, himself a UNHCR goodwill ambassador, who said, “they put their children in front of them as human shields” or a police officer, who said, “they were singing and dancing during the attack”, the high loss of life suggests that extreme brutality was used by the Egyptian security forces during the dawn attack. “Dadrian wrote.
Some people may want to down play the fascistic nature of the Mustapha Mahmoud park massacre; however it remains the worse stumbling block in the so-called strategic relationship among the people of Nile Valley – a lip service Egyptian politics for ages. Below is a detailed description of how inhumanely the Egyptian host chose to close the year 2005 by sacrificing the blood of poor Sudanese refugees. Read:
“As shocking as it may sound to the readership of Pambazuka News, the Egyptian security forces aimed mainly at the heads, kidneys and genital parts of male and female refugees alike. All those who died and whose corpses are still lying in morgues have head wounds, brain haemorrhages, burst kidneys and burst pancreas. Many of the refugees, Muslims and Christians alike, who were later released from the military barracks they were taken to, and who had gathered in a number of churches in Cairo, said that a refugee from Darfur, who was bleeding from his head wounds, was thrown off by the police from the military truck taking them to Al Torah security barracks. His body was later recovered by fellow Darfurians from the road where he had bled to death”.
Now in line with the statement that,” No blood should go in vain”, I appeal to all the south Sudanese communities and families at home and in Diaspora while welcoming the new year of 2011, they should make it a point to light candles and stand up in a humanitarian gesture for 60 seconds of silence in memory of the tragic incident in Cairo. May we all understand and have the sense that 60 seconds was more than enough for an Egyptian police truncheon to cut short the lives of our fellow south Sudanese and other brothers from Darfur whose only crime was that they were looked at as sub-human black African refugee in the land of Egypt?” Otherwise where on earth could such a thing happen to any human race without an outcry from their country of origin or even other humans who believe in humanity?
What was it that the refugees did that led the Egyptian host to massacre them? It is of importance for all to understand that those south Sudanese & Darfur refugees were actually trampled to death and some died of their wounds during and after the vicious attack by the Egyptian security police on the Mustafa Mahmoud Park, just across from the UNHCR office, on Friday 30, December 2005, where since September 26, 2005, they were staging a sit-in in protest at the UNHCR’s earlier decision to close their files and start their repatriation.
While we express our sadness and intense sorrows towards this tragic incidence, where we lost our loved ones, it is worth exposing the inhumane roles played by some officials in Cairo, Khartoum and even the UNHCR who in a joint conspiracy rejected calls for an international investigation. Although the Egyptian authority shoulders the full responsibility of the massacre, it was the indifference from the international community and especially so the African Union which allowed for the impunity. It was this indifference that gave the green light for Egypt to play the hide and seek games over the bodies of the deceased while their relatives struggled for an approval to transport them for burial in the Sudan. This wish was never granted to them.
This particular massacre will serve as an eye opener for the south Sudanese future leaders. It underscores the very importance of an independent south Sudan state that can offer a secure home for our people. Egypt must be made to accept the realities on the ground, and south Sudan’s aspirations for independence will never be compromised again as was the case in the past. The 30th of December from every year will continue to mark in the independent south Sudan state’s calendar the day when its defenceless refugees were massacred in Cairo in the hands of the Egyptian state authority.
The blood of our brothers, sisters and children that spilled on the Mustapha Mahmoud Park will forever remind our people of the hostilities of refugee life in Cairo – where the Arab League has its Head Office. This incidence will make it impossible for us to underrate the Egyptian fascism while it relentlessly continues with its dubious attempts to block our independence.
My fellow countrymen, the people of an independent south Sudan, I conclude by restating that, ‘No Blood Goes In Vain’, and an independent south Sudan state is bound by morality and humanity to request and insist for an international investigation into the Cairo massacre. But to start with, we will first settle the wishes of the deceased and as our martyrs would like it, we have the moral responsibility to fulfil their dreams for an independent south Sudan nation. We will continue to remember them as we walk to the ballot boxes and thereafter in all the Independence Day’s celebrations to come.
Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: [email protected].