SPLA Advances in the Nuba

Frontline Fellowship
December 1997

After years of desperately fighting for survival in the Nuba Mountains, the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) launched a full-scale military offensive in the Nuba Mountains of South Khordofan. Seven garrisons of the National Islamic Front (NIF) government's occupying force were captured and two concentration camps liberated. With the fall of Bilinia, the provincial capital, Kadugli, came within artillery range of the resistance movement.

In an exclusive interview with the SPLA Commander for the Nuba Mountains, Yosif Kowa Mekki, a Frontline Fellowship mission team was told that the Nuba people had finally managed to turn their defensive war for survival into an offensive campaign to liberate the long suffering Nuba.

Approximately one million Nubans are incarcerated in the NIF government's “peace camps” (concentration camps). About 400 000 Nubans have been holding out in the SPLA controlled liberated areas. The NIF government of Sudan has declared “holy war” (Jihad) against the mostly Christian Nubans. Most of the villages in the Nuba Mountains have been destroyed. Most of the churches have been burnt down. Most of the livestock has been looted or destroyed. Even wells have been poisoned. This is all part of the NIF government's scorched earth policy called “Tamsit” or “combing”.

Commander Yousif Kowa noted that theNIF regime’s policy of genocide had only hardened the Nuba people's resistance. In fact the government of Sudan had only succeeded in driving the Nuba people to support the SPLA. If the SPLA succeeds in opening up a land route from Bahr-El-Ghazal to the Nuba Mountains then the NIF oil fields at Bentiu also will be threatened.

Peter Hammond