ancora morte e sofferenza per i Nuba
- Subject: ancora morte e sofferenza per i Nuba
- From: "Yunan" <yunan at tiscalinet.it>
- Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 09:17:06 +0200
Government offensive is aimed at starving out Sudan's Nuba rebels
By Julie Flint in Kauda
The Guardian – (U.K)
June 4, 2001
The last two weeks have seen the biggest Sudanese government offensive
against the Nuba since the first days of the Islamic holy war it declared
against them in 1992.
Within 24 hours of the shelling beginning on May 17, the artillery fire had
closed all the airstrips used to take clandestine food and medical supplies
into the blockaded mountains.
Within a week government troops and militias supported by multiple rocket
launchers had attacked seven villages in the immediate vicinity of the
burial place of Yousif Kuwa, the man who led the Nuba people's struggle for
survival until his death on March 31.
When first shells hit the rebel-controlled airstrip, civilians and soldiers
were gathering to mark the end of mourning for Kuwa.
The explosions barely interrupted the sound of music and laughter in the
village where Kuwa is buried. His successor, Abdel Aziz Adam el-Helo, danced
with a young woman in a blue dress as Nuba officers of the Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA) played traditional music on drums and lutes.
Christians and Muslims prayed together beside Kuwa's tomb, a demonstration
of the Nuba tolerance that is anathema to the fundamentalist generals who
But thousands of Nuba were forced to flee as government soldiers scaled the
mountains, destroying almost 2,500 homes and systematically burning food
In one village, Kashama, a woman of was burned alive.
SPLA forces drove the government troops back after 10 days. They expect
With more than 40,000 Nuba in SPLA-controlled areas already facing famine
after poor rains and attacks on productive land, the offensive threatens
civilians far beyond the reach of Khartoum's guns.
'It is obvious that the government is trying to seal the Nuba mountains by
taking all the airstrips,' said Yoanes Ajawin of Justice Africa, who was
meeting human rights monitors in the mountains as the offensive began.
'The way they are targeting villages and food is an indication they want to
create a famine so that the Nuba run to government 'peace villages'.'
Justice Africa's monitors reported that dozens of Nuba civilians were
abducted during the offensive, which involved attacks by more than 7,000
government troops on several fronts.
The government operation was named 'The Heroes of Adar Yel', after the place
where a dozen commanders died in an air crash on 4 April. The dead included
several high-ranking officers whom Justice Africa wanted to have tried for
On May 26, the day after Khartoum announced that it was halting the aerial
bombardment, it dropped eight bombs on the Lumon hills west of Kauda.
Catholic priests and personnel fled their compound in Kauda. In a statement
issued during a visit to Canada, Bishop Makram Max Gassis pleaded for help.
'I appeal to the international community for immediate intervention to
create a ceasefire,' he said.
'What will the world do? Will it allow another Holocaust this time of the
Nuba people - to occur?'
For the past 10 years all appeals to the international community to
intervene to save the Nuba have gone unheeded. The UN continues to accept
Khartoum's ban on the delivery of relief to rebel-controlled areas of the
The US, which has promised 40,000 tonnes of grain, does not say how it plans
to get it to the blockaded mountains.