The Nuba Vision

Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2001

Over the past twelve months the Sudanese Government armed forces have launched series of attacks targeting civilians in Buram, Hiban and Nagurban  County. Earlier attacks  started  on 17 March 2000 and many civilians were killed and others were captured and taken to Kadugli. Several houses were burnt and Nuba properties were looted, including foodstores and many livestock. An estimated 15,000 civilians from Tabanya Payam were displaced. On 6th May attacks were carried out in Fama, Shatt Safiya and Lado, causing much destruction to the villages. These military attacks were carried out and supported by aerial bombardment and shelling at villages in and around Buram. 

This early assault on Nuba caused the displacement of a further 14,000 people, some of whom were captured in these attacks. Many of the displaced people fled to the neighbouring counties such as Western Kadugli and Nagurban.  

In March this this year  the Sudanese army increased its military activities in the region supported by Popular Defence Forces (PDF), targeting Buram and Western Kadugli district, and it succeeded to take control over Kululu Payam, Daroka in Buram and Korongo in western Kadugli. These offensives resulted in many civilians being killed. An estimated of 9000 people were displaced to Nagurban and 2000 to the other part of Western Kadugli under the control of SPLA.  

Those people who fled to Nagurban County, controlled by the SPLA, are suffering from lack of food, shelter and medical care. The locals are unable to support them because they themselves are facing acute food shortages. Last year Nagurban county had a poor harvest due to low and sporadic rainfall. In addition, insecurity prevented many people from cultivating their farms.  It is now predicted that a severe famine is likely to hit the entire region in the coming few months, which will requiring immediate humanitarian intervention to save the civilian population in the Nuba Mountains. While NRRDO, UNDP and OLS are  trying their best to alleviate the suffering and save lives of the people. The Government armed forces on 17 May 2001 launched  what was known as the biggest offensive against the Nuba which they have not seen something like since the declared Jihad war against the Nuba n 1992.  

Within a week government troops supported by Defence Forces (PDF) using sophisticated weapons, including  multiple rocket launchers converging on Nuba  from seven fronts : Hiban, Dabi. Mandi, Tandeira Kajama, Um-Seirdiba and Kombo. Some of these troops were heading towards Kauda with intention to remove the body of late cdr. Yousif  Kuwa who was buried in Kauda last April. 

The Sudanese armed forces destroyed 14 Nuba villages, causing destruction of 2,500 homes and burning all food stores and Nuba properties. This offensive continued for more than a week which forced thousands of Nuba to flee the area. It was also reported that dozens of Nuba civilians were abducted during  the offensive, which involved attacks by more than 7,000 government troops on several fronts. 

It is not surprising to hear the government announcing its halt on aerial bombing yet on 26 May it dropped eight bombs on Lumon Hills. The Government talks about reconciliation and peace on one hand and on the other hand it carries out scorched earth policy in the Nuba Mountains. Over the past 10 years it has sealed off South Kordofan denying international humanitarian agencies access. Now it is trying to make total blockade to  the Nuba Mountains by closing down all airstrips which are used to bring food, medical supplies, agricultural tools and seeds into the isolated Nuba.

The international community must now act quickly and put pressure to bear on the GoS to allow access for international humanitarian agencies to the Nuba Mountains to alleviate the suffering of the civilian populations which has been cut off from the rest of the country and outside world for so long. It should also intervene to stop aerial bombardments in the Nuba Mountains and elsewhere in Sudan and bring about a just and lasting peace for Sudan.