Nuba children shelter in foxhole at the first sound of an Antonov bomber. Photo by Peter Mosynski-IRIN. 

The CPA, which ended Sudan’s civil war between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) and prompted the 2011 independence of South Sudan, placed the regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile (also known as ‘the Two Areas’) within the borders of Sudan; though many in those regions identified with and fought alongside the South. Factions of the SPLA remained in those regions calling themselves the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

Growing discontent ahead of South Sudan’s independence, and disputed elections in 2011 (ICC-indicted Ahmed Mohammed Haroun won a governorship in the summer of 2011, beating a SPLM candidate in an election many felt to be fraudulent) led to uprisings in the two states. The government responded with attacks against civilians, including door to door executions, indiscriminate aerial bombardments, and the blocking of humanitarian aid. The relentless assault by the government of Sudan has made the population in the Two Areas severely food insecure. Between missed planting seasons, the denial of humanitarian aid, and direct military assaults, the conflict has caused over one million people to be displaced–many fleeing into war-torn South Sudan and Darfur.

The SPLM-N and the government of Sudan continue to exchange heavy hostilities. Bombings by Khartoum in the Nuba mountains are relentless, forcing many to flee their homes and seek shelter in caves.


New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof provides tremendous coverage of the violence in the Nuba Mountains.

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