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June 21, 2011

By El-Tahir El-Faki

June 20, 2011 - During the height of the Darfur crisis the Islamic regime of President Bashir lead massive ethnic and genocide campaigns against the indigenous Africans to replace them with Arabs from countries such as Chad, Central Africa, Niger, Mauretania and Mali. While the international community was concentrating on the Darfur crisis, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) was reminding all concerned that the issue was national requiring holistic solutions. Furthermore it stressed that it would only be a matter of time before Bashir would repeat the same scenario in Kordofan. The indicators were clear and copious. The Nuba of Kordofan are indigenous multi-religious Africans who are mostly supporters of the SPLM and perceived by Islamic regime of Bashir as infidels whose rich and fertile lands must be evacuated and given to the Arabs. -A period of relative peace and stability ensued until the recent events on the 5th of June 2011.

-. On the 5th of June 2011 war suddenly erupted in Kadugli, the capital city of South Kordofan, between the Sudanese armed forces (SAF) and the SPLA units under the command of General Abdel Aziz Al-hilu. The incident took place when the SAF went to disarm the SPLA units with fatal confrontations. GoS accused SPLM northern sector of instigating the tragic events in collusion with foreign agents to muster discord in bid for regime change. Now Kordofan has exploded and thousands of Nuba have already perished at the hands of Bashir's troops. Reports from the region estimated that hundreds of thousands including women, children and the elderly have by now joined the uncountable millions of the internally displaced in Sudan.

Following the incidents on the 19th of May 2011 in Abyei tensions ran high leading to massive build up of heavy military presence in South Kordofan. The rising tensions spiralled when the SPLM Northern Sector accused the NCP of rigging the gubernatorial elections in favour of the indicted and ICC wanted war criminal Ahmed Haroun and refused to participate in his government.

Fighting rapidly erupted and has involved the entire Nuba Mountains. The SAF resorted to its indiscriminate old tactics in Darfur. MIG-29 jetfighters and Antanov aerial-bombardments preceded the artillery shelling to pave the way for ground forces, popular defence and allied militias to pillage and burn the Nuba villages down. The cities of Kadugli, Dilling, Kouda, and Taloudi witnessed extensive air raids killing civilians and destroying their properties. The bombing terrorised civilians in Kalimo in Kadugli, Taferah, Kaiga Al-Khayil, Hajar al-Nar, Abugeibaiha, Miri, Dilling, Lagawa and Kouda and drove them into displacement. The livestock on which the population depend did not escape the assault and thousands perished as result. 'Nuba Survival Foundation' estimated that more than 40,000 inhabitants fled the city of Kadugli in fear for their lives. Hundreds of thousands of people including children, women and the elderly left their mountain dwellings into uninhabitable situations. It is painful to describe the appalling living conditions they are now experiencing. Mines have been planted in and around Kadugli while dead bodies litter the streets and remained scattered in the centre - strong reminder to the Nuba of what awaits them. - SAF, popular and Arab militias are hunting down supporters of the SPLA and Nuba in house to house search. Those found were subjected to brutal executions and their homes looted or burnt down. Families and individuals who fled the area and managed to reach El-Obeid, the capital city of North Kordofan, were subjected to inhumane interrogations or sent back.

GoS resorted to usage of food as weapon of war by refusing to allow access for independent observers or international NGOs to assess the needs of the population and deliver humanitarian aid. Reports are rife that Arab militias have been allowed to apprehend and kill Nuba or destroy their homes and villages. The incidents in south Kordofan increasingly emulate the systematic ethnic cleansing and genocide campaigns in Darfur orchestrated by Ahmed Haroun while he was Interior State Minister. He is the same thug who years back in 1990s committed serious human rights abuses in the Nuba Mountains before he was assigned to Darfur to conduct a campaign of genocide. Undoubtedly most areas of South Kordofan are facing major humanitarian crisis. The Nuba describe it as 'Rwanda genocide revisited' in their Mountains. Tenth of thousands of children, women and the elderly people are left in appalling conditions where the heavy rains make access to food extremely difficult.

- The Islamic Regime has supplied the Arab tribes in the region with sophisticated weapons. Recently it deployed more than 200 tanks to South Kordofan, to quell what it alleges as armed mutiny and insurgency. These are the same sequels that led to the Darfur crisis. The government agenda towards the Nuba people are beyond doubt clear. The appointment of the war criminal Ahmed Haroun as Governor is a strong testimony to the genocide intentions of Bashir against the Nuba people. It is the starting process of Darfurising the Nuba of Kordofan. He is the same person who in 1990s was behind the ethnic cleansing of the Nuba. In a nutshell having orchestrated the Darfur genocide, Haroun is the right choice for GoS to complete the unfinished job to ethnically cleanse the Nuba People and bring in Arabs to occupy their lands.--

The Nuba of Kordofan have experienced painful historical discrimination and marginalisation in all aspects.

And finally Nuba civilians deserve protection. The continuous air attacks by the Sudanese Air Forces must be neutralised. A no-fly-zone in the Nuba Mountains has become a necessity. The evidence of civilian sufferings has surfaced and has become media-clear. The obligation for the International Community to protect the Nuba requires urgent intervention.


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