Deterioration of humanitarian situation in Kordofan

Miraya FM Special Reports
12 April 2009

Kordofan Region, the northern part in particular, is suffering from a set of problems brought about by a combination of environmental, economic and political factors. An overall turn down in the national economy, several years of civil war and a reduction of external assistance, due to political considerations, seriously undermined both the urban and rural populations' capacity to maintain adequate livelihood security.
Kordofan particularly suffers from the lack of water, especially in the northern part of the region where successive governments in Khartoum failed to address this issue seriously. In the early 1980s the region suffered from severe drought that led to mass migration from the rural areas, especially in the northern part. Most of those villagers are still living as squatters around main towns and cities including the capital Khartoum.

South Kordofan is also complaining of corruption and mismanagement by the two main partners in the state government.

Moreover, the armed movements in Darfur decided to widen the war by moving it towards the east. The Justice and Equality Movement, led by Dr. Khalil Ibrahim has done this. Dr. Ibrahim selected his deputy from Kordofan and started talking about possible links between the troubles in Darfur and Kordofan.  

Indeed there are similarities between the troubles in the two regions which are marginalization and lack of basic services and development.
North Kordofan has also seen the birth of some local armed movements. The first one was the Kordofan Alliance for Development. The most recent one is Kordofan Youths.

People from some parts of the Nuba Mountain in Southern Kordofan joined the Sudan Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the 1980s and joined civil war fighting for 20 years, which concluded on January 09, 2005 by the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). However, most of the Nuba are not happy with what they got out of the peace agreement, namely the ‘Three Areas Protocol' which some of them considered as a sell-out by the SPLM.

According to the CPA, South Kordofan State will have a government shared between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the SPLM and the south will vote for self determination in 2011 but people on the Nuba Mountains will only have local consultations.

The state government has faced many difficulties from the start. This has been due to lack of understanding between the two main partners. It took them more than one year to agree on an interim state constitution.

Recently there were many clashes between some of the militias supported by the NCP and some elements from SPLM that led to insecurity in many areas. Continuing arms proliferation in the region represents a serious threat to many areas in the west and the east part of southern Kordofan.

The eastern part of southern Kordofan was very peaceful and secure during the wartime, but recently due to the rivalry between SPLM and NCP, the area has witnessed many violent conflict the most recent one was in June 2008 which claimed more than fifteen lives.

The problems in Kordofan represent a recipe for disaster. It needs genuine efforts from all the parties to prevent the region from descending into violence.
Based on its long experience of working in livelihood security in the region, CARE organization is proposing to implement the Kordofan Emergency Water and Health Project (KEWHP) in North Kordofan State to complement its existing Food Security and Reproduction Health Care projects. This integrated approach seeks to improve the health status and well being of drought affected people in Bara Council of North Kordofan by reducing the shortages of potable water, food and primary health care services.

In the light of the above, if the government keeps ignoring Kordofan without addressing its complex crises and hard time which people are facing to make their minimum living, it may loose it as well. Probably, after the end of Darfur crises Kordofan's crises may be even worse.


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