Darfur is watching!

As south Sudanese vote on secession, some people in Darfur also want their region to seek self-determination.

    Darfur is watching!

    As south Sudan's separation is becoming more of a reality, Southern Darfur is watching the outcome very carefully.

    Walking in Nyala central market, I encounter an old man. He refuses to be filmed but he says he was an officer in the army who fought against the south.

    He now wants "a referendum and self-determination" for Darfur.

    The market was busy with people and shoppers. But getting the whole picture of what people really think is a challenge. After all Darfur has three states. That could be bigger than two or three or even four smaller European states.

    But you would find some willing to speak up and some are blunt about it.

    "We want separation for Darfur... this has long been our demand," says Merchant Ibrahim Mustapha.

    But Mustapha's friend, who is sitting next to him, disagrees.

    "No, south Sudan's separation will not effect Darfur... the relationship between people here is different... we want Sudan to stay united," the old man replies.

    While touring the small roads of the sprawling market, different opinions are also found here.

    "Not all of Darfur wants separation. Maybe 20 per cent in Darfur would want separation if the south secedes. But the majority here wants unity," says Ali Salih, a shop owner.

    At Nyala's poorly built and equipped university, students worry about their studies and also the future of their country. You can find signs calling for unity or justice and even prasing separation.

    The students' main fear is for war to continue. Their demands, they say, are simple: proper university, development, equality and peace.

    As night falls on the capital of Southern Darfur, I meet the governor who says Darfur conflict is a Western media fantasy. He affirms that a new state in south Sudan will not affect his territory.

    "Never, never. It will never happen at all. Because the relationship is totally different between the people here in Darfur and they will never agree on separation," says governor Abdulhameed Musa Kasha, firmly.

    "I call on rebels to peace talks inside Darfur... to end the suffering of the people."


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.