News / Africa

S. Sudan Musicians Raise Funds for Abyei Referendum

  • South Sudan artist Zahara Ali, whose stage name is Queen Zee, performs at the fundraiser for Abyei at Freedom Hall in Juba, October 2013.
  • A Ngok Dinka woman, who spent years in exile in the North, shows her happiness at being reunited with her family and friends in Abyei.
  • Peter Garang is joined on stage by fans at the Abyei fundraiser at Freedom Hall, Juba, October 2013.
  • A camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Abyei in Akong village in South Sudan. The IDPs want to return to Abyei to take part in a delayed referendum about the disputed area.
  • Duop Pur Doup whose songs were widely played during the South Sudan referendum campaign performs at the fundraiser for Abyei in Juba in October 2013. He and other artists will be going to Abyei later this week.
  • People from the Misseriya tribe of the Abyei oil region protest against the proposal of African Union (AU) mediator former South African president Thabko Mbeki for a referendum to decide whether the region belonged to Sudan or South Sudan, outside the Uni
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
You could call it a concerted effort for Abyei: some of South Sudan’s best-known musicians performed at a fundraiser this weekend for people who are returning to Abyei ahead of a proposed referendum on the disputed territory's future.

More than 500 people donated between 25 and 100 South Sudanese pounds to get into Juba's Freedom Hall and organizers say they raised some 20,000 pounds. Nyok Deng Rou of Abyei Task Force, which organized the event on Saturday, said the funds raised will be used to buy food and water for people who have returned to Abyei to vote.

Concert-goers listened to some of their favorite bands and demanded that the Abyei referendum be held this month as recommended by the African Union, the United States and several other Western countries.

According to the 2005 agreement that ended more than 20 years of civil war in Sudan, Abyei residents were to vote in January 2011 on whether they would remain part of Sudan or become a part of southern Sudan. The Abyei referendum was to take place at the same time that southernors were voting on whether to secede from Sudan.

Musicians like Peter Garang, of the popular band Southern Voice, and show organizer Rou -- who is from Abyei -- called on the concert-goers to keep up the pressure until the vote is held.

Prized for its fertile land and oil reserves, the 10,000 square kilometer region is claimed by the north and south, and is currently under United Nations' administration.

Khartoum has repeatedly said it will not allow the proposed Abyei referndum to go ahead, citing the fact that Misseriya nomads, Sudanese citizens who pass through the disputed territory on their way to watering and grazing grounds for their cattle, would not be eligible to vote.

Experts have said that Khartoum is worried about losing access to yet another oil-producing region after South Sudan won control of most of the once unified country's oil resources when it split from the north in 2011.

Abyei community leaders have said that, regardless of how the vote goes, a final decision will allow for greater trade between South Sudan and Sudan, and finally give residents political representation.

Musician Duop Pur Duop said the concert was all about keeping the pressure on so that the vote happens.

“My songs contributed towards the referendum of South Sudan and independence, and right now we are in position to provide the same songs and to participate, to support, to make sure that the referendum of Abyei takes place," he said.

"We are trying to do awareness to the people of Abyei that it is time for them to be free, musically, morally and socially,” he said.

Duop said he and  other artists who performed on Saturday will travel to Abyei later this month to hold another concert and demand that the referendum take place.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs