The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) supported by the Popular Defense Forces (PDF) committed atrocities, including summary executions, wanton killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, arson and disappearances in addition to destruction of physical infrastructure and burning of churches in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan state. These attacks have left at least 92 people reported dead, 116 others detained or missing and approximately 1,000,000 people displaced as they flee for their lives.
The fighting which began in Umdorain, east of Kadugli, spread rapidly to engulf the entire Nuba Mountains region. In this conflict, the government armed forces are using heavy artilleries and aerial-bombardments indiscriminately. Many villages and properties have been destroyed in many parts in the Nuba Mountains; this evidently led to more than 40,000 inhabitants of Kadugli, the states capital, alone fleeing for fear for their lives. Reports from the area revealed that thousands of people are now displaced and are living in appalling conditions – no shelter, no food and no water. Evidence revealed that many Nuba people were killed by the government air-bombing the area, armed forces, popular defense forces and allied militias. Mines have been planted in and around Kadugli and 9 civilians have been reported dead as a result. Latest reports revealed continuation of aerial bombardments.
Some of these horrific crimes are committed not far from the (United Nations Mission in Sudan) UNMIS Compound and in the presence of the Egyptian UN Peacekeeping Forces who have failed to protect the helpless Nuba people. It appears that the Egyptian peacekeeping forces are not neutral they have been accused of not cooperating with civilian requests and are responding to orders and threats from the government security forces.
UNMIS in Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan appears to be completely unable to provide the civilian protection required and ensure delivery of urgent humanitarian aid. It has also been accused of indirect cooperation with the security forces of the (National Congress Party) NCP, in addition to its failure to protect civilians who sought refuge in the UNMIS compound. There are numerous cases of abductions, forced disappearances and summary executions, including that of local staff of the mission, which allegedly took place inside and outside the premises of the mission, suggesting a complete state of paralysis in terms of UNMIS capacity to conduct core functions. At least 3 UNIMIS staff members were executed in front of the organizations compound.
In a number of instances, requests to the UNMIS to evacuate individuals who were in danger were met with silence and/or refusal based on “the mission mandate does not allow”. The mission appears also to have been unable to communicate effectively and provide information on the humanitarian situation and the scale of the crimes that are being committed in the region
Currently a house to house search is being carried out by armed forces, popular defense forces and Arab militias. This is taking place in Kadugli and other cities, looking for Nuba SPLM members and anti regime. Those found were executed; their homes looted and burned down. It is said that people who fled the area and managed to get to El-Obeid in North Kordofan were searched and the suspected people were taken away by the government agents for questioning. Those who have no relatives or friends to stay with were taken back to the Nuba Mountains to be used as human shields. As the situation in the Nuba Mountains continues to deteriorate, the government is denying access to the international NGOs to deliver humanitarian assistance. This gives the impression that the government is using food as a weapon of war.
It is reported that the Arab militias have been allowed to arrest and to kill Nuba, destroy their homes and villages.. This increasingly looks like a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign conducted under the order of Ahmed Mohammed Haroun, the governor of South Kordofan who committed the same grave human rights violations in the Nuba Mountains in the 1990’s before he was transferred to Darfur to commit genocide for which he is now wanted by International Criminal Court (ICC). He was brought back to the Nuba Mountains to complete the unfinished job that will wipe out the Nuba people and leave their land in the hands of the Arabs. Numerous reports by members of UNMIS and witnesses who fled the fighting in Southern Kordofan State affirmed that SAF Antonov and MIG fighters conducted more than 30 attacks around the Nuba Mountains over the last week. This is part of a genocidal campaign targeting civilian population in areas predominantly inhabited by Nuba ethnic groups.
Since the beginning of the organized violence in the Nuba Mountains, the security agencies of the NCP have obstructed the flow of information to hide massive crimes ongoing in the region. Both international and local media outlets were prevented from getting into the region. Censorship of stories and papers which published stories about violations against civilians and the humanitarian situation were confiscated after printing. A team from Al Jazeera TV were detained by security while they were about to arrive to Kadugli and some of its staff were severely tortured before they were ordered to leave the state. Al Arabiya TV team which was stopped on the highway on their way to Kadugli was told they would not be allowed to access the town and to go back to Khartoum. In Khartoum, newspaper editions of Al Sahafa and Ajrass Alhurria were confiscated prior to distribution because they contained stories about violations and the humanitarian situation in the region. Pro NCP media outlets were active as part of the war propaganda. They were provided with intelligence information to function within the propaganda of the military operation carried out by the security forces and the militias’ of the NCP.
President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir was the overall authority that gave orders to his soldiers to disarm SPLA Joint Army Unit which had a mandate according to Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA) signed in Nairobi 2005 to remain in the area until the 9th July 2011. However, it is clear that the Khartoum Regime wanted to have full control over the region of South Kordofan before the 9th July 2011, the day CPA come to an end. Prior to the fighting the tension has been building with heavy military presence from the Khartoum government. The SPLM Northern Sector disputed the results of the state elections held last month, Following the disputed election, the Khartoum government started military invention to South Kordofan with heavy artillery machineries and air bombardment.
Therefore we Nuba community in Kenya appeal to the international community to intervene urgently and seek;
1. Stop military operation in the Nuba mountains ( call for a cease fire)
2. The parties involved must protect civilians and respect the laws of war and human rights.
3. Provide and allow unlimited access for humanitarian aid to reach the people of the Nuba Mountain
4. UNMIS must actively seek to stop the ethnic cleansing, protect civilians and monitor the human rights, humanitarian and military situation.
5. Provide security for civilians and aid workers as stipulated in the mandate entrusted to them by the Security Council under chapter vii of the UN charter.
6. Replacement of the Egyptian UNMIS forces in the Nuba Mountains because of their lack of neutrality and the violations of victims within their sanctuaries especially raping of women.