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20.04.2006 - Source: Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation
East: Beja Congress and Free Lions formed new political movement Eastern Front ("10th European Country of Origin Infomation Seminar Budapest, 1 - 2 December 2005: Final Report on Sudan") [#49770], [ID 19060]
"In the East of Sudan, there is a third regional political movement which is asking for more influence in national politics and the sharing of resources and wealth, like the southerners and the Darfurians before. This movement is formed by the Beja Congress and the Free Lions. The Beja Congress was part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), an umbrella organisation of opposition parties which was formed after the coup in 1989 and has its seat in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. When there was a rapprochement between the NDA and the current government in January 2005, the Beja Congress reacted by withdrawing from the NDA and allying itself with the Free Lions, which is another regional aspirational movement in the East, to form the “Eastern Front”. Whereas the Beja Congress recruits mostly amongst Beja and other peoples in the East, roughly speaking, north of Kassalla, the Free Lions are mostly of Rashaida ethnicity, i.e. more active south of Kassalla. Both groups have political and armed wings. They receive support from the government of Eritrea.
Popular support for the Eastern Front is reportedly growing, especially among disenfranchised youths in Port Sudan, Kassala and other areas."
14.12.2005 - Source: ReliefWeb
The Beja Congress - Backgroundinformation ("Emergent insecurity in Eastern Sudan (United States Institute of Peace)") [#41711], [ID 12124]
"The Beja have traditionally lived as nomadic herders in northeastern Sudan, southern Egypt and northern Eritrea. The Eritrean civil war and the opening of Port Sudan led to an influx of people in the region, resulting in population displacement, increased competition for resources and grazing land and urbanization. In 1964, the Beja formed their own political party, the Beja Congress, to protect their rights as a minority group. While the Congress does represent a relatively unified Beja population, it -- like other political parties in Sudan -- has been consistently marginalized and undermined by the central government."