There has been an unfolding tragedy in the Nuba mountains. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and his government are waging a scorched earth campaign on their own people, terrorising all of Nuba because of the presence of the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) there.
Sudanese bombers randomly attack and burn villages, all in an effort to drive out the local population they suspect are in bed with the SPLA. Many now live in nearby caves, forced from their land and on the brink of starvation.
At the start of the new century, the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur and the atrocities committed there made headlines. Foreign governments and humanitarian organisations, prompted by global news reports filled with graphic images of death and mayhem, finally took action. Aid and outrage poured into the region and Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir subsequently became the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court.
But the tragedy of genocide had not been confined to just this corner of Sudan. In the neighbouring province of Southern Kordofan, and particularly in the Nuba Mountains, a similar catastrophe is underway, yet nobody seems to know about it.
It is extremely difficult to reach the Nuba Mountains, one of the most isolated and rugged environments on earth. Further, the UN and all NGOs abandoned the region when the war began in 2011 as the Sudanese government could not or would not guarantee their safety.
The Nuban population is cut off further as journalists are banned from entering by the Bashir government, so it is impossible to travel south to there from Khartoum. The only other route, from South Sudan, has its own obstacles. The best option is a relief airplane from the capital, Juba, to Yida refugee camp which sits on the border with Sudan. The next stage is the most risky, travelling overland in a 4×4 truck on a road which, suspected of being a supply route for the rebels, is often subjected to heavy bombing.
Some have sought to document the situation and you can watch this Al Jazeera report here.
Pray for the people of the Nuba mountains; for the church to respond with compassion and a passion for justice; for God to intervene and bring peace and life.