The Nuba Mountains under attack

From our Africa Director, Derek Hammond
April 6, 2000

For the past two weeks the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan have come under a wave of attacks by National Islamic Front (NIF) forces. Word has come through today that these attacks are intensifying with many thousands being forced to flee their homes. The problem is, there is no where for these poor people to run to; they are cut off and isolated!

NIF forces are currently sweeping through large areas of the Nuba Mountain area in an attempt to drive the Nuban off its land and take control. The only way to reach the Nuba Mountains is by air. Another airstrip has been captured, bringing the total to four that are under NIF control; the newest and only airstrip for us to get into the Nuba is being threatened as NIF forces close in on this area. Should this airstrip fall into NIF hands, we will not be able to land in the Nuba.

Government troops have been building up since January with tanks and heavy equipment in Kadugli and El Obeid from where these attacks have been launched. Reports from Khartoum indicate that the Islamic Military Government has been preparing an all-out military effort to take control of the Nuba Mountains which is just a few miles from the oil fields and pipeline. This past Sunday, the President of Sudan publicly stated that the time for talking is over, "we will now do our talking with guns and mortars."

There are many good and special people in the Nuba, folk who have so little, but have given so much, have been so hospitable, often offering all they have to us as their guests. I will never forget one elderly pastor who had walked for some eight hours in the blazing sun to say goodbye to us at the airstrip, as we prepared to leave for the comforts and security of our homes. He looked at me and said "even though we are here in the fire, you need not be concerned for us, one day we will be together again, in heaven" He lives in an area that is bombed regularly!

There are many strong Churches in the areas currently under attack with one specific Church that regularly has more than 400 local people packed in each Sunday, mostly women and children. There is also that special group of young men who call themselves Bible students, spread around the Nuba Mountains, taking the word of God to the different villages. These are a special people, please pray for them, Michael, David, Peter, Cornelius, Lydia, Amani, Salawa, the students, the pastors, the school children that survived the bomb attack in February (the forces are closing in on their area).

This is their hour of need; please bring these precious people of the Nuba before the Lord Jesus Christ.

Your brother in Christ, Derek