Conflict, repression and severe human rights violations continue across Sudan. Since 2006, HART has worked with local partners in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States (the 'Two Areas'), where the Government had blocked humanitarian access to those in desperate need of assistance. Since the fall of former President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, we are pleased to hear from our partners of the slow influx of international aid into these historically oppressed regions.
The video below, made by HART following a visit to Blue Nile in January 2015, features interviews with civilians who describe the current situation and its impact on their lives.
The Situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
Since the latest wave of conflict broke out in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in 2011, the Government of Sudan (GoS) has targeted civilians with aerial bombardment and ground assaults, killing thousands and displacing more than 500,000. In the Nuba Mountains (South Kordofan), many have taken shelter in caves in the mountains. In the Blue Nile, even that shelter is not available.
Aerial bombardments are directed towards schools, churches, mosques, villages, marketplaces and other infrastructure central to the wellbeing of the community. A number of hospitals and humanitarian facilities were destroyed in 2017, with some attacks preceded by drones flying overhead, suggesting deliberate targeting. Attacks often correlate with the planting and harvesting season, as the GoS is able to easily locate farming communities, preventing people from growing crops and exacerbating hunger across the region. Food insecurity is at crisis levels. The people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are extremely resilient, but this relentless onslaught is taking a heavy toll.
A team from HART visited the Two Areas in January 2017 to hear firsthand about the ongoing Government led offensives against civilians. We witnessed the devastating effect that the persistent attacks are having on the well-being of the locals. You can find a copy of the report below.
You can also read some of the stories we heard from our visit in 2016 in this Photo Essay.
We are encouraged by Sudan’s transitional government’s commitment to grant access to humanitarian organisations to Darfur and eastern Sudan. It remains unclear whether this entails lifting the humanitarian embargo imposed by the former al-Bahsir regime on the large opposition-controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. However, during our visit to Blue Nile in January 2020, we were relieved to hear that the World Food Programme delivered some aid to Blue Nile in December 2019.
The Government has blocked humanitarian access to the region which is why the work of local organisations, such as our partners, is a lifeline. We are continually humbled and inspired by their courage and commitment. Despite the conflict and the challenges to operating in this area, their work is efficient and effective and we always receive excellent financial and narrative reports from our partners.
Nuba Reports are a group of citizen journalists in the Nuba Mountains. Follow @NubaReports for updates and latest news.