May 22, 2011

Analysis: Nuba Mountains vs Khartoum

The BBC has written an article describing the situation in the Nuba Mountains. Since the people there are black Africans, they are distinctly different from the Arab leaders in Khartoum. This ethnic difference may lead to a new conflict, a civil war in the north of Sudan.

Some Beja think that they too will be targeted by the central government, that their distinctive cultural elements would be lost as a pan-Arabic, pan-Islamic citizenry is encouraged.

The BBC article outlines some history: "The SPLA is often seen as a southern movement, but its stated aim was to reform the whole country, creating a new Sudan, a secular state where diversity was respected.

"This resonated very strongly with many Nuba. The fighting in the Nuba mountains was particularly fierce. In 1992, a jihad or holy war was declared, allowing northern troops and Arab militias to kill even those Nuba who were Muslim.

"Human rights organisation Africa Watch likened the attacks on the Nuba to genocide.

"A ceasefire was signed in 2002, but it is no surprise that feelings against President Bashir still run high"

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