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Save Suakin Campaign

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PETITION TO: THE UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANISATION (UNESCO) AND TO: ALL INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL INSTITUATIONS OF ARCHEOLOGICAL, ARCHITECTURAL, MARINE AND CULTURAL HERITAGE We, the undersigned, Save Suakin Campaign, concerned individuals, professionals, scholars, artists, activists, wish to draw the attention of the international and local communities to the dangers facing the city of Suakin in the north-east of Sudan. Suakin is an old historical port on the Red Sea. The city has unique archaeological, architectural, historical, cultural and marine-life values. In 1973 and 1993 UNESCO carried out a survey with the intention of preserving Suakin and its building heritage, but since then nothing has been done to save Suakin. Suakin qualifies to be classified as an international preservation site of archaeological, architectural, historical, cultural, exceptional marine life and natural beauty. The city was completely neglected, almost destroyed by natural disasters and human mal-practice and by now has been more or less deserted. The main causes of these dangers, in our view, can be listed in the following: 1. The erosion of the main island shores due to the absence of any human-planned protections. 2. Foreign companies are evident to be causing great harm to coral and marine life at shores in question. 3. The city has been neglected for a long time and that is substantially owing to the lack of any appropriate land, preservation, planning and building bylaws in place. 4. The Island administrative framework is extremely chaotic, ambitious, and largely disputed. 5. Several bilateral accords of archeological works have recently been carried out by untrained archeologists, and without prior surveys or plans. 6. There is a lack of multidisciplinary professional national and international teams to supervise the implementation of the preservation and archeological works required to be carried out. 7. The superstitions, mystifications, historical legends and mythological narratives with which the island is fully clad work as an effective deterrence to any serious endeavors towards preserving and maintaining the physical fabric of the island and serious resettlement initiatives. All of the above mentioned risk factors are simultaneously and negatively contributing to the overall qualitative deterioration of the unique historical and cultural legacy and heritage of Suakin. We hereby thus request the decisive applications of the following suggested forms of actions: 1. The immediate enlisting of Suakin under the international preservation and protection of the UNESCO. 2. The urgent banning of all insensitively performed archeological and building work. 3. The instant evacuation of the unauthorized occupancy of the buildings site. 4. Involving the Save Suakin Campaign in all future consultations matters with regard to the listing and the preservation of the site. 5. Forming a technical multidisciplinary local and international team for monitoring, plans and all crucial prerequisite surveys. 6. Urgently appointing a technical team for immediate action to protect Suakin shores from erosion. 7. Initiating immediate and comprehensive training programs to upgrade and update local staff qualifications and capacities and to develop adequate skills for the proposed projects. 8. Forming international independent technical body of experts, consultants, professionals and scholars to validate the historical and cultural values of Suakin and to come up with appropriate recommendations to protect, preserve and maintain the distinguished historical qualities of Suakin. Save Suakin Campaign LONDON/UK 2009 suakin@hotmail.co.uk


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