From the time that it seized power in Khartoum in June 1989 the regime has successfully used a policy of "divide and rule" in its war in the Nuba Mountains. This policy is known in the Sudanese arena as "kill a slave with a slave" and is a hidden way of eradicating the Nuba and their cultural identity.

This eradication policy was revealed by the declaration of a "Jihad" - a holy war - against the Nuba by the then-Governor of Kordufan State, Abel-Karim El-Husseni in 1992. This policy was revealed by Ist Lt. Khalid El-Husseini, the brother of El-Husseni, an officer in military intelligence responsible for the Nuba Mountains. He defected to Switzerland and applied for political asylum in October 1993. He gave a press conference in which he stated that the Government has been using a stick and carrot policy with the local chiefs bribing them and giving them privileges to carry out the government policy in the region.

In recent years the Government recruited many young Nuba into the Popular Defence Forces (PDF) militia and sent them to many garrisons set up in different parts of the Nuba Mountains close to the SPLA-controlled areas. It is reported that most of the military attacks which took place over the past three years were coming from the government garrisons of Mandi, Regafi and Heiban. The soldiers in these garrisons usually raid villages, looting cattle and destroying crops and farmland with the intention of starving the villagers into submission.

In a new moved to crush the SPLA in the Nuba Mountain enclave, President al-Bashir on Friday 21 September summoned all the leaders of native administrations in the Nuba district of western Kadugli to a meeting in Khartoum. He told the delegates that they should do the same thing as the people of Shatt Damam and Shatt Soufia in Southern Kadugli who were armed to fight their fellow Nuba in the SPLA–controlled areas. He told them the Government is going to arm them to go and fight their next of kin in SPLA-controlled areas because they know the area better than anybody else.

It is clear that the Government does not want to use people from Northern Sudan to fight in the Nuba Mountains to avoid the loss of lives of Northern Sudanese.

A few years ago a group of Nuba in the SPLA led by Captain Mohammed Harun Kafi formed the so-called SPLA Central Committee-Nuba Mountains and defected to the Government and a signed peace agreement. Yet this agreement failed to achieve peace in the area as the war still continues. This shows the government’s utter lack of commitment to resolving the Nuba problem and reveled its cheap way of waging war in the Mountains by setting Nuba against Nuba.

It is very sad indeed to see Nuba being used as pawns in the civil war of Sudan. They are fighting alongside the Governments regular army and PDF militias yet they have been denied their basic rights and offered no development to the region. The government talks about peace and development in Southern Sudan but makes no reference whatsoever to the Nuba Mountains. Nuba are also fighting alongside opposition forces on four fronts yet there is little recognition of their political rights –especially the right to self-determination.

The Nuba Vision believes it’s high time that Nuba should ask themselves this question, whose war are they fighting? It is clear enough that the Nuba are being exploited over and over by all sides whose vast interests in the Nuba Mountains region do not extend to the well-being of its people.