December 10, 2018

Allegations of ethnic cleansing in the Nuba Mountains

For 19 days, media cut off from direct access to the Nuba Mountains in Southern Kordofan, which lies in northern Sudan, have been struggling to verify information emerging about the situation there. On Wednesday, a long-time Sudan analyst who was in the Nuba Mountains when the bombing began on June 5, and who only just got out, sent the following letter to friends and forwarded it to journalists covering Sudan.

The analyst, who is Western, has asked for his identity to be protected for fear of retaliation against his friends and colleagues still in Sudan. On Wednesday night I did a lengthy phone interview with him. Much of the content in his letter aligns with what information has been filtering out of the region to journalists through diaspora networks and the United Nations over the past week. However readers should note that it contains some second-hand information, obtained through his interviews, in addition to his eyewitness testimony. In particular, regarding the allegation of the use of phosphorous-like bombs, he told me he had no direct knowledge of this. The basis for the allegation was an interview with a source he trusts, who said that after certain bombs fell in Kadugli there was “a strange burning substance that you couldn’t put out.”

Commenting on what media coverage of the crisis he has read since he left the area, he had one message to convey: “This is not a north/south war. This is not an Arab/black war. This is not a Muslim/Christian war. This is a war against one of the minority groups in northern Sudan.”

Here is his letter

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