Periodic report January – February 2013
It is the 20th months since the war in South Kordufan began. The government of Sudan is still using its national security, military, police and tribal militias to oppress and violate peoples' rights targeting un-armed citizens, detaining and killing them. In the area occupied by government forces, the security forces have repeatedly targeted the Nuba mountains people (civilians), arresting them and hiding some in un gazette cells, torture them both physically and psychologically, as well as using tribal and racist words in dis-regard to Sudan constitution and international laws . They even harass other groups that sympathize with the Nuba people.
Most of this harassment and oppression is severely carried out in the remaining villages and gold mining areas like Talodi area. They cheat, loot and even arrest people basing on personal grudges/issues. The aggression is more severe in the IDP camps that have been created. In other places especially those neighboring the IDP camps, they burn down peoples' farms and harvests (food). On the other side (SPLM area), air bombardment is always carried out by troops from El Obeid airport on un armed people in villages instead of SPLA fighters (nubareporter.org , southkordufanmediacenter.org).
In the last two months, there has been no shelling from SPLA towards towns.
The Political situation in the Nuba Mountain region still remains uncertain due to the controversial political statements from government officials. For instance, the Vice President Ali Osman Taha on 20th Dec 2012 in his speech at Elfoula town promised to establish a new state of West Kordofan, that was to be declared on the Independence Day on 1st Jan 2013 by El-Bashir (the President of the Republic of Sudan). Since then, there has been official silence on such promise and no any concrete step is been taken, but its repercussions was extended, to effect the tribal groups within the region. This happened when different tribal groups began organizing themselves and threatening each other on which group will take the lead in upcoming new state hence the following was happened:
• The Hammar Tribe announced in a press release that they will not be part of the new state unless it's Capital is El-Nehoud town ,otherwise they will proceed their demand for a new state for Hammar.
• The Nuba groups in Lagawa area announced in a press conference held at Sudan News Agency (SUNA) conference hall on 27th Dec 2012, their rejection to the new Western Kordofan state and vowed to resort to other options if the government proceeded to it, which got a wide support from other Nubian groups.
• Some of Missiriya also began rising their concerns against the government because of domination from certain sub-tribe to all new state's government positions.
Generally the promise of the new state has created a serious tension among Nuba and Arab groups, on the other hand between Arab groups themselves, which means that it will lead to a tribal conflict. It is clear the government's goal in the promises of new state was to create more tensions and fuel the ethnic strife between different ethnic groups in the region, after its failure to end the conflict politically or militarily.
Since early last October, the government began (aggressively) distributing weapons to Missiriya. This process was fully supervised by the Higlig 0il protection garrison commander the brigade / Kamal Abdel-Marouf. This gives the implication that the promise for the new state was a plan to encourage the Missiriya group to get more involved in government proxy war in the region. This has led to a counter mobilization inside Missiriya group led by some intellectuals which also resulted into assassination attempt against the Brigade / Kamal Abdel-Marouf by a young Missiriya man during the process of distribution of weapons, after the inadvertent conversation with them when they received weapons and declared their refusal to participate in the war. This led the Missiriya area to be more closer to the opposition camp than before. The joining of Hashim Nimir(member of the prominent Nimir family) to the ranks of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) may lead to a change the shape of the conflict.