Beja Congress

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The Beja Congress (BC) is a political group comprising several ethnic entities, most prominently the Beja, of the eastern region of Sudan. It was founded in 1957 by Dr. Taha Osman Bileya together with a group of Beja intellectuals, as a political platform for the politically and economically marginalized Beja people. According to the "Black Book", an analysis of Sudanese regional political representation published underground in the late 1990s by Darfur Islamist followers of Hassan al-Turabi, Eastern Sudan has been conspicuous since its independence for its political and economic marginalization. This part of Sudan had fewer ministers and representatives than other parts of the country in the civil and military branches of the central government, as well as having among the lowest rates of education and access to health services in the country.

At first the BC was frustrated in seeking political power: it was banned in 1960, along with all other political parties, by the military junta of General Ibrahim Abboud. Once the ban was lifted in 1964, the BC was able to mobilize the educated sector of the eastern Sudan and, it successfully participated in the 1965 parliamentary elections, with several of its activists winning seats to the constituent assembly. Though it was banned once again during the years of the military government of Gaafar Nimeiry (1969–84), after the...
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