The Next Darfur?

The New Republic
South Kordorfan, Sudan

Mother and child rest in a cave outside Tess, South Kordofan, in Sudan (AFP/Getty)
Mother and child rest in a cave outside Tess, South Kordofan, in Sudan (AFP/Getty)

The squat, tin-roofed buildings of the Mother of Mercy Hospital lie surrounded by rocky hills in a natural amphitheater in Sudan’s rebel-held Nuba Mountains. The hospital was made for 80 patients, but last month there were four times that number. Beds lined the corridors and the outside verandas. Injured civilians and wounded soldiers lay alongside the sick, diseased, and malnourished. Continue reading The Next Darfur?

Solitary hospital struggles to treat Sudan’s civilian victims

The Times
Nuba Mountains, Sudan

Hawatif Dalamia is recovering from her wounds, but does not know what happened to her husband and children (Marc Hofer)
Hawatif Dalamia is recovering from her wounds, but does not know what happened to her husband and children (Marc Hofer)

A grimy plaster cast covers Taqueen’s left leg from toe to hip and a bandage is wrapped around his right ankle. The slight 16-year-old has been in the male ward of a simple hospital in Sudan’s rebel-held Nuba Mountains for the past month, another victim of an indiscriminate aerial bombing campaign by Khartoum against rebel villages. Continue reading Solitary hospital struggles to treat Sudan’s civilian victims

Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-I

GlobalPost
Nuba Mountains, Sudan

Sudanese families from Tess now live in caves after their town was destroyed by bombs dropped by the Sudan Armed Forces. They survive on leaves from trees and what little grains they have left. As much as 50 percent of the population has left for the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan (Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)
Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting

Part 1: South Kordofan: Sudan’s latest humanitarian disaster

From the place on a hilltop that Ibrahim Nahar now calls home there is a commanding view of the tree-dotted savannah stretching into the distance and of the skies above. Every few minutes his eyes dart upwards, warily searching for the ghostly shimmer of an aircraft.

Next to his rough wooden bed beneath a makeshift grass-roofed shelter a solitary pig, a few goats and a skinny chicken take turns scratching in the dirt for scraps. Tangles of clothes hang from the rafters, and nearby some of his dozen children peek out from the dark gaps and caves between huge boulders.

Continue reading Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-I

Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-II

GlobalPost
Yida, South Sudan

(Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)
(Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)

Part 2: Thousands flee to a new refugee camp in South Sudan

One night, driving in a pick-up on a road that was no more than tire tracks through the thick sand, we stopped for some hitchhikers: one was a rebel soldier, eight others civilians, one slumping heavily against a wooden crutch.

Later we passed a truck that rattled and shook, belching dark smoke and the stink of burned engine oil into the black night and pulled over among the acacia trees. It was rammed full of refugees.

Continue reading Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-II

Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-III

GlobalPost
Nuba Mountains, Sudan

(Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)
(Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)

Part 3: Sudan’s rebels uniting to topple Bashir’s Islamic regime

We were smuggled into South Kordofan, the province in Sudan in which the Nuba Mountains lie, by rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-North).

The people here fought alongside southern rebels (the SPLA) during a 22-year civil war that ended in 2005. SPLA leader John Garang had a vision of a reformed but unified Sudan in which all tribes and religions would get along together.

Continue reading Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-III

Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-IV

GlobalPost
Nuba Mountains, Sudan

(Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)
(Trevor Snapp/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)

Part 4: Ragtag rebels vow to take South Kordofan

The war against Khartoum is political and ideological, but increasingly it looks as if it must be won or lost on the battlefield.

On a stretch of wooded savannah encircled by a natural amphitheater of hills, new recruits to the rebel army clutch sticks instead of guns as they practice drills. Among the spirited newcomers is 23-year-old Osman Hussein. “I am fighting for the rights of the Nuba people,” he says. “I am not afraid. Even if I die it will be fighting for my people and my land.”

Continue reading Nuba Mountains: Sudan’s Next Darfur? Part-IV

Hidden war that threatens Africa with spectre of another Darfur

The Times of London
Nuba Mountains, Sudan

Nuba woman and child
A woman holds a child in a cave in the mountains of Tess (Times photographer, Marc Hofer)

The two bombs exploded in quick succession, sending large chunks of shrapnel whirring across the rocky hillside. Inside a grass-walled restaurant at a nearby market, people dived to the floor, sending plates of food and scalding cups of tea on to the dirt. “Stay inside! Stay down!” someone shouted as the attacking jet roared overhead. Continue reading Hidden war that threatens Africa with spectre of another Darfur

In Abyei

London Review of Books
Abyei, Sudan

Last month the Northern Sudanese army, helped by Misseriya tribesmen, attacked the disputed town of Abyei, which lies on the border between North and South Sudan. President Bashir said the invasion, which was preceded by artillery and aerial bombardments, was in retaliation for an attack on his own troops. Most of those who live in Abyei, which has a population of 40,000, are Southern Sudanese – and thousands more returned there from the North in the weeks before and after January’s independence referendum. After the attack most of the town’s inhabitants fled across the sluggish brown river they call the Kiir. More joined the exodus, until something like 100,000 people were moving south on foot. Continue reading In Abyei

The Hell’s Angel on a Mission to Save Africa’s Forgotten Children

The Times Magazine

Sam Childers was a violent drug addict who went by the nickname Savage. Now he’s a God-fearing, gun-toting vigilante intent on rescuing the child victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army. No wonder Hollywood is intrigued.

Childers
Sam Childers outside the orphanage for rescued children he built in Nimule, Sudan (Jack Hill for The Times)

The Rev Sam Childers leans back in a plastic chair, crosses his tattooed, bear-like arms over a broad expanse of chest and regards me from behind wraparound sunglasses. Finally, after an unnerving minute, a smile gradually spreads out beneath his ragged and greying walrus moustache and he chuckles.

“I never said I killed anybody, did I?” says the man who calls himself the Machine Gun Preacher. “I never shot anybody that didn’t need shot. If a gun’s pulled on you, you shoot.” Continue reading The Hell’s Angel on a Mission to Save Africa’s Forgotten Children

Survival of wildlife offers tourist hopes to Southern Sudan

The Times of London
Boma National Park, Southern Sudan

Boma migration
A vast migration of kob antelope sweeps across Boma National Park. Environmentalists say that tourism could underpin the economic future of Southern Sudan (Jack Hill for The Times)

“When we first came up here after the war there was a real sense of discovery,” said Dr Paul Elkan, a conservationist in Boma National Park in Southern Sudan. “People were saying that there were no elephants, that there was nothing left, but on the first day we saw a bull elephant, giraffe, oryx . . .”

Flying their small aircraft over the plains, a joint team from the Government of Southern Sudan and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), funded by the US Agency for International Development, discovered one of the world’s largest migrations, as 1.3 million antelope crossed the land. Continue reading Survival of wildlife offers tourist hopes to Southern Sudan