Bedouin Revolutionary Statement  
     
 

The international press focused during the revolution in Egypt, which started on January 25, primarily on Tahrir Square in Cairo and some on Alexandria. But there are many other parts of Egypt like for example the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Here Bedouin tribes have long complained of mistreatment at the hands of the Egyptian government and it’s security police forces.

 

The Bedouin tribes were very much aware of the revolt. In Northern Sinai they took part in the demonstrations, while in Southern Sinai the emphasis was made by the Bedouin tribes on keeping the peace, safe guarding the people and buildings by keeping law and order. The Bedouin always regarded Sinai as their land and so they protected its borders, its heritage, its people and its land.

 

The Bedouin kept Sinai safe when the Egyptian police forces disappeared completely.  These are the same Bedouin who have been described as dangerous, not to be trusted people and were accused of involvement and blamed for the bombings of Sinai tourism cities in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Egyptian security forces responded to these bombings by committing human rights abuses themselves, according to the Human Rights Watch, by arresting several thousands of local Bedouin men, many of them had been tortured and . The Egyptian government did not bring criminal charges against them nor did they give them fair trials. The Interior Ministry officials claimed to be holding ’only 200 people’.

 

A statement by representatives of the majority of the tribes of North and South Sinai was made, regarding the Egyptian Revolution. The Bedouin representatives from different tribes consisted of approximately 350 mainly young Bedouin men and the met at Wadi Watir near the city of Nuweiba in South Sinai. They intend to form a delegation which will represent them in negotiations with the government.

 

They expressed full support for the revolution. They demanded an end to Egypt’s emergency law, the prosecution of security forces responsible for killing hundreds of protesters and official acknowledgement of the tribes’ ownership of their ancestral lands. With the help Rowan el-Shimi, communications officer for Characters Egypt, an advocacy organisation that promotes the cultures and traditions of Egypt’s tribes, this group of young Bedouin tribesmen put out this video.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfuxyCjtZhw&feature=player_embedded

 

English translation of this statement: “From the coalition of the families and tribes of Sinai, after mentioning God. During the Egyptian revolution that removed the head of the corrupt Egyptian regime and under it’s sky and prevalence that we show all respect, loyalty and appreciation to it and all those who have given their effort, time and lives to achieve it. We particularly thank those who ensured its safety, those who participated in the first spark to start it and those who died for it in the square speaking of honesty, change, and freedom.

 

On Tuesday the 15th of February, 2011, we had a meeting in Wadi Watir in Nuweiba and decided on the following:

 

1. To support the demands of the revolution completely. We invite all our men to participate in the revolution next Friday the 18th of February 2011 in Tahrir Square to support the revolution and its demands

 

2. To ensure the safety of our country as well as promising to protect its eastern borders and continue the project of building a democratic country

 

3. After we were forced aside from all the central points of the revolution and centers of authority for more than 45 years, 15 of those years due to the Israeli occupation of our country and the rest under the rule of the corrupt government. During which we were subjected to the biggest operation of security breach in our history like many incidents similar to these around the world. Due to this there were many arrested and detained, many of them from our tribes. All this happened in the complete lack of any real development projects to support Sinai’s nature and our peoples’ needs. That is why we have been having demands that we made and supported in all meetings, conferences and through various means of struggle and protest that we have done in the past to ensure the end of this corrupt regime

 

These are the demands of the Sinai tribes:

 The prosecution of those who killed our people, who are more than 230 martyrs who were killed by live ammunition by the police force, and providing the victims’ families with the appropriate compensation for their loss

Ending the emergency status and immediate release of all those detained

Canceling all military provisions and exceptions that are put on our sons and daughters and canceling any judgements without trials that are fabricated

Producing official ownership documents for our lands that we own and live in since thousands of years

May peace be upon you and long live the revolution.

 

 

 

site by Equinox Graphics