“Aside perhaps from the Syrian crisis there is no other that matches the compelling realities that we have seen since April, May,” that from UNHCR’s Africa director George Okoth-Obbo at a recent briefing in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
On September 11, 2012 as the world watched the deadly chaos unfold in Benghazi, Libya where an American Ambassador and three other Americans were killed, a Sudanese government plane dropped 6 bombs on a village in South Kordofan, Sudan. No one was injured but the bombs exploded in a farm destroying the crops of local farmers. According to humanitarians, political leaders, and others what is happening there is the slow, methodical murder of a people.
One method the Sudan government is using to obliterate the Nuba people is to use food as a weapon of war. And For the past eight years it denied international humanitarian aid agencies, including UN Operation lifeline Sudan (OLS) access to the Nuba Mountains.
Last May a famine hit the Nuba Mountains and over 100,000 civilians were facing starvation due to a combination of drought, government attacks, a ban on relief flights and aide.
During my assignment to South Sudan and Sudan in June I witnessed hundreds of people walking with no food or water from the Nuba Mountains to the refugee camp in Yida in South Sudan. Today, the Nuba people remain in a critical humanitarian situation. The people are still dying of hunger and disease, as well as government attacks and aerial bombardment.
More than sixty genocide scholars are calling on the Obama Administration to airlift aid to thousands of Sudanese facing starvation in the embattled Nuba Mountains. The experts believe as many as 300,000 internal refugees face imminent starvation. (See link)
Here is a tally of the devastation which occurred in the Nuba Mountains in August. (obtained from Ryan Boyette of Eyes and Ears)
August 12, 2012
- 5 bombs dropped in Jegaba Village
- 17 bombs dropped in Tongoli Village
August 14, 2012
- 5 bombs dropped in Farandalla Village
- 2 bombs dropped in Kamulalla Village
August 20, 2012
- 6 Bombs dropped in Tabanya Village
August 23, 2012
- SAF shelled the village of El Morieb with 120mm mortars wounding civilians
August 24, 2012
- 10 Bombs dropped in Calcutta Village
- SAF attacked SPLA-N near El Morieb Village (Fighting continued for 3 days)
September 5, 2012
- 2 large rockets hit near Calcutta Village
While some work is being done to help the people of South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains (Christian Solidarity International is working to emancipate slaves and eradicate slavery. And Project Education Sudan is building schools, educating teachers, and developing leaders in South Sudan, the world’s newest country.) so much more needs to be done to get the attention of the international community.
I will go back to South Sudan and Sudan soon and fellow humanitarians Dr. PJ. Perrinjaquet and George Tuto, who by the way, is Sudanese, will travel there later this month. Watch my blog for updates on their efforts to bring much needed medicine and other aide to the Nuba Mountains.
* Additional links that may be helpful in understanding the history and of the Nuba Mountains and the current crisis: