Several leaders of the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) of Nuba heritage have announced changing their Arab names to their authentic Nuba names, Radio Dabanga has learned on Sunday November 11.
Gamar Delman, former adviser to SPLA’s chairman, told Radio Dabanga that the decision was made to reassure Sudan's ethnic and cultural diversity. Delman, who is also chairman of the preparatory committee for the name changes festival, added that people should agree on the diverse identity of the state, structured on a new basis. He stated changing his name to Jatika Amoja, and affirmed that Nuba leaders will adhere to the SPLA’s vision of ‘Sudanization’, an alternate for the Arab identity imposed by the National Congress Party. The chairman renewed the Nuba leaders’ condemnation of the imposed identity by the regime in Khartoum, stressing that Khartoum’s attitude will split the rest of the regions of Sudan, excluding and marginalizing the diversity of culture and ethnicities of Sudan.
At the same time, the chairman of the preparatory committee for the name changes festival said that more than 6,000 people responded to the invitation, from in- and outside Sudan. The festival is scheduled to take place in a few weeks time, he pointed out. The chairman added that besides the name changing process, a campaign will be initiated to promote the identity of the Nuba Mountains, including the Turkish era and all other subsequent regimes that ruled Sudan. He stated that emancipation begins culturally and adhering to the old heritage will help saving the Nuban culture from extinction.
Delman disclosed to Radio Dabanga that prominent leaders such as Dr. Abdullah Tieyah, the previous Minister of Health, the acting director of the Nuba Mountains for Development and Reconstruction, the director general of secretariat of health in the province, Dr. Ahmed Zakaria, the former adviser to the SPLA chairman at the state, Mr. Nour Abu Anbiya Raida,a lecturer at the SPLM Political Institute for Rehabilitation and leadership, along with a number of governors, members of parliament and local legislatures in South Kordofan have changed their names, he added to Radio Dabanga.