The Nuba people’s problem is a core issue in the conflict. This paper which is prepared by the above Nuba allied political parties represent the Nuba opinion on the solution of their problem to end their prolonged suffering.

1. Background

The Nuba Mountains occupy a politically important location as an intermediate zone between two distinctive cultures of Northern and Southern Sudan. The Nuba people (6 per cent of Sudan’s total population) occupy this region together with other minorities of Arab and West African groups. At present the Nuba are facing a bleak situation due to civil unrest in their area and the deplorable conditions in displacement sites in the North. Historically the Nuba have been victimized by colonial and national governments alike. Enslavement and total isolation in the so called, "Closed Districts" left the Nuba lagging behind their neighbours to the north and east.

2. The Nuba Crisis

a) On the national level

The present conflict in the Sudan stem from diverse factors such as the following:

1. There is absence of a truly democratic system of rule in the country.

2. There are wide disparities in wealth distribution, education and economic development between the regions of the country.

3. There is acute dispute over identity – Nuba are facing loss of identity through imposed policies of the domineering Islam – Arab culture.

4 The Nuba Mountains is one of the most marginalised areas of Sudan because of unequal development

5 The Nuba people are denied sharing national wealth between the centre and states.

6 The Nuba people are marginalized in both power sharing and in the control of their state (South Kordofan). The north never regarded the Nuba as equal partners in shaping the political future of the country since independence.

7 There is racial discrimination against the Nuba and other African races.

8 Human rights and norms are not observed in the country. The policies of intimidation by Northerners depict the Nuba indiscriminately as: "racists, fifth columnists, rebels and infidels"

b) On the regional level

The regional dimension to the conflict is reflected in Nuba homeland and at the displacement areas. In their homeland the Nuba face:

1. Raids by hostile ethnic militias of Arab tribes, Popular Defense Forces (PDF) and government security forces.

2. Imposition of Arab and Islamic beliefs and culture on Nuba and alienation from their indigenous African culture and identity.

3. Coercion and rampant killing and arrest of Nuba intellectuals.

4. Genocide by government forces and pro-government Arabs militias, religious prejudice, ethnic hatred, abduction and forcible migration from their homeland.

5. Denial of basic services in their homeland.

6. Forced villagization policy by government and eventual depopulation of the area by the Nuba tribes.

7. The Nuba Mountains is sealed off and so the needy Nuba have been denied access to humanitarian aid.

8. Unemployment prevails as long as the war continues in the areas.

9. Continued bombing and attacks on civilians by government forces.

10. In their areas of displacement areas the Nuba faces many problems.

a) Severe poverty

b) Deplorable health situation

c) Poor social services.

d) Unemployment – scarcity of job opportunities.

e) Deliberate and systematic deculturisation and discrimination by Arab and Islamic culture.

c) Proposed Solution.

1. A cease-fire in the Nuba Mountains and the cessation of attacks on civilians targets.

2. Secure access for NGOs and UN agencies to render services to Nuba people at their homeland or displacement areas.

3. Allow humanitarian monitors to operate on the ground.

4. Conduct economic and social development in the areas.

All previous peace initiatives forwarded to solve the Sudan problem had ignored the Nuba problem and other marginalised areas with the exception of the South.

5. The Nuba activists believe that the if the warring parties do not agree on one democratic federal united Sudan, in which the Nuba have their own con-federal state, the country would eventually split into two separate states – North and South. In this case the Nuba people have the right for self-determination as follows:

(a) to join the northern state

(b) to join the southern state

(c) to establish their own independent state.

During the interim period the Nuba Mountains should be monitored by the international community until the time is ripe for declaration of an independent state.