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The Face of War in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan: The death of "Yusef," father of three young children

By Eric Reeves

February 9, 2015 (SSNA) -- On February 3rd, I published a brief introduction to a set of gruesome photographs taken by Dr. Tom Catena, the only surgeon working in the Nuba Mountains ( I posted the photographs of bomb victims separately from the introduction, given their extremely graphic and disturbing nature. In the interim, Dr. Catena has given a very moving and powerful interview to Radio France Internationale, which I urge all to listen to carefully (seven minutes | I conducted my own interview with Dr. Catena in March 2013 (, since the larger news organizations he approached showed no interest his extraordinarily courageous work.

Yesterday, Dr. Catena sent me one more photograph, and I believe I understand why he sent it alone. For there are all too many opportune moments for such photographs following the constant bombing raids in the area of his Mother of Mercy Hospital in Gidel (near Kauda in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan), but this photograph stands out. It came identified only in terse terms— "Antonov Bombardment. February 7th, 2015. Near Tess, Nuba Mountains. Civilian 28 years old, father of three"—but it requires little imagination to imagine the impact of his death on his three children, likely all under ten years of age, and his wife, if she has managed to survive the past three and a half years of assaults on civilian lives and livelihoods in the Nuba. Their chances for survival have been dramatically reduced.

This unnamed man is one of thousands of such victims. Dr. Catena alone has treated more than 1,700 such patients at his hospital alone since the outbreak of violence in June 2011, and this represents only the population close enough to travel by foot to Gidel---if they have not been killed outright or died of their wounds on the way to the hospital.

We have known that attacks such as the one that killed this man have been ongoing for more than three and a half years (let us call him "Yusef" to spare him the utter anonymity that is the fate of most victims). The Khartoum regime deliberately sends Antonovs and advanced military jet aircraft to inflict precisely such civilian casualties. We know from the minutes of an August 31, 2014 meeting ( of the most senior military and security officials of the regime that their goal is to "starve" the people of the Nuba into submission by disrupting agricultural production. This year's promising sorghum crop—the staple grain of the region—was targeted for burning as part of this starvation campaign ("starve" accurately translates the Arabic original in the minutes).

People live in terror because of the death of people like "Yusef," often fleeing to caves, ravines, or other countries. And this photograph suggests why terror is a predictably human response:

And yet the international community remains unwilling to do anything to halt such attacks as killed "Yusef" and threaten his family and indeed all in the Nuba Mountains,; the international community is also unwilling to compel Khartoum to permit a humanitarian corridor to reaching the more than one million human being in desperate need of relief aid in the Nuba and Blue Nile. Condemnations of Khartoum's actions, when they occur, are meaningless: nothing attaches to the dismay that comes in unctuous and inconsequential form. The impunity felt by the regime is correspondingly increased.

The Europeans in general prefer to discuss trade and development rather than halting carnage in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and Darfur. There have even been suggestions from senior officials in countries such as Germany, Holland, and France of the possibility of debt relief for Khartoum, despite continuous profligate expenditures on advanced weapons and the hugely expensive conduct of three wars. The security and military budgets together represent at least 50 percent of national budget expenditures; estimates range as high as 70 percent. It would be hard to imagine a worse candidate for debt relief, especially given the extraordinary levels of corruption that have long prevailed within the regime. Transparency International ranks Sudan 177 out 179 countries surveyed in its annual corruption survey (

The UN is hopeless, as is the African Union. Although a humanitarian corridor was first proposed by the AU three years ago, Khartoum has agreed and the balked, agreed and the balked...and is prepared to continue this absurd diplomatic dance indefinitely. The pre-condition is unconditional surrender by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-North. The UN Secretariat is paralyzed, unwilling even to speak honestly about Sudan's crises, and the African Union Peace and Security Council is far too cozy with the Khartoum regime to play any effective role in halting or diminishing aerial attacks on civilians.

The Obama administration sees Khartoum primarily through the lens of counter-terrorism intelligence, even as the regime boasts of how little it actually gives the U.S. In the August 31 minutes, Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein comments:

“America is facing the crisis of the ISIS and the other Jihadist movements that are newly formed and can move freely outside the traditional surveillance networks. Currently, there are twenty thousand (20,000) Jihadists and fifteen (15) newly formed Jihadist Movements who are scattered all over, from Morocco to Egypt, Sinai, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, all the Gulf States, a wide presence in Africa and Europe and nobody owns a data-base on that as the one we have. We release only limited information to the Americans according to request, and the price is the armed movements file."

No one in the Obama administration has commented publicly on this or other extraordinary revelations in the August 31 minutes; and a State Department official made it clear to me that there would be no comment, even as we may be sure that the administration has certainly ascertained that the minutes are authentic (see To do so would be highly inconvenient for a Sudan policy that allows the lust for counter-terrorism to distort broader Sudan policy. It would certainly be more than inconvenient if the Obama administration were to explain exactly what Hussein means when he speaks about the "price" for the counter-terrorism intelligence as being "the armed movements file." Has the Obama administration actually given the regime intelligence assistance in its campaigns against the broad Sudan Revolutionary Front?

There are many questions the Obama administration has avoided, or not been compelled to face. Why has allowed Foreign Minister Ali Karti been given a multi-year, multi-entry visa to the U.S.—even as U.S. special envoy for Sudan, Donald Booth, can't secure a visa to Sudan for himself? Why has Ibrahim Ghandour come to the U.S.? (See Why can't Foreign Minister Karti handle whatever bilateral negotiations are underway? Does it not matter to the administration that Ghandour is revealed in the August 31 minutes as the point-person in rigging the April 2015 "re-election" of President Omar al-Bashir?

The truth is that the revelations of the August 31 minutes are too embarrassing of U.S. policy, still guided as it is by the assertion by former special envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman:

“We do not want to see the ouster of the [Khartoum] regime, nor regime change. We want to see the regime carrying out reform via constitutional democratic measures.” (Asharq Al-Awsat, 3 December 2011 | )

This is simply preposterous, as National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, certainly knows full well. Where is her voice in challenging the absurd premise represented in Lyman's remarks? Or in condemning the atrocities that are accelerating in Darfur? And what of U.S. ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power? Why is she not an "upstander" in the face of the vast suffering in Sudan, the direct result of actions by a genocidal regime?

Unwilling to hold Khartoum accountable for it countless atrocity crimes, the U.S., the Europeans, the African Union, and the hopelessly compromised UN Security Council are all ensuring that there will be many more "Yusefs"—in the Nuba, in Blue Nile, and in Darfur.

Eric Reeves is the Author of Compromising With Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007-2012 (

Have we accepted our fate?

By: Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

February 7, 2015 (SSNA) -- Once upon a time, an African story goes, Tortoise fell into a deep pit latrine. For 10 years he lived in there and gave up any hope of rescue. But one day he heard voices passing by. “Get me out of here!” he shouted at the top of his voice, “I can’t stand it any longer!”

Imagine how Tortoise survived those 10 years in a deep, dark and filthy place. He got used to the stench of human waste and all that comes with it. He got used to the darkness.

He most likely survived on the filth. He very likely began to eat the filth itself and the low life that thrives in filthy places such as worms and algae. How else could he have got his daily sustenance?

It was, therefore, quite dishonest of him to claim he couldn’t stand it any longer.

South Sudanese have lived in a deep, dark and filthy place for a long time. Some were able to escape; we call them the south Sudanese Diaspora. But the majority were not able to. They didn’t have a choice, so they chose to get used to their place.

There are many things that South Sudanese have chosen to get used to; so many bad things they now take as normal. These have now become so much a part of their day-to-day living that anyone among them who tries to point them out is taken as someone who has been smoking something.

They have even fashioned a catchphrase to go with it. They cynically say "a goat tethered to a tree must survive with what it can get around the tree" justifying their inertia.

South Sudanese have forgotten what democracy is, so they remain quiet when their civil liberties are trampled upon. They have accepted they have no power to demand accountability from their government.

So when they see all the corruption, the nepotism and the tribal killings that goes with our daily living, they take it as normal.

They have been made to forget all the important pillars of democracy. When they see their leaders removing an elected official for self-interest and looting government funds, they are not moved. In fact, all they say: "who are we to talk."

All those women who agree to be abused by singing the praises of despots at political rallies; all those opportunists who bribe people to forget their direction and intimidate them into toeing the party line — they are all a sign that some people believe it is all right to live in filth.

We have accepted mediocrity. Our leaders don’t have to be achievers; all they need do is sing the loudest slogans, pummel into submission anyone who raises an eyelid and use State organs such as the police to keep people on leash.

The state of our hospitals is of no concern to them because they and their kith and kin get preferential treatment getting access to medicines that the ordinary people are denied. If they can’t get these, they have the wherewithal to go anywhere on the globe to access world-class healthcare.

Our education system continues to decline because of poor priorities; the ratio of textbooks to pupils is a joke.

Schools in some communal lands look like pigsties. The children don’t have the most basic of resources.

Needless to say the majority of our children do not have a chance in heaven to succeed.

But the state of our roads is the most glaring example of national failure.

The scale of road carnage shows just how primitive our transport system has become. But it seems our government thinks that declaring one traffic accident after another a national disaster is an achievement.

Government ministers seem to even cherish the occasions where they have to dish out “help” to bereaved families. This they do, not because of their compassionate nature, but to entrap people into their scheme of things – it’s a show of artificial benevolence meant to dupe people into supporting them during election time.

Analysts from across the globe are agreed the trouble with South Sudan is its leadership. Granted, politics is about contestation for power; one group fighting another or others to lay its hands on the reins of power. But when such contestation becomes an end in itself it becomes destructive and, therefore, fails to move the country forward.

In the past 9 years South Sudan politics has been about holding on to power by a ruling elite that feels a sense of entitlement that it has to hold on to the levers of power to eternity. This became its only motivation even when it became clear the country was going to be fragile because of it.

In the period of old Sudan, South Sudanese have seen how politics is not a life-giving force. The most disillusioned have begun to compare the present and the past and have yearned for a bygone era when, in spite of the political oppression, they seemed to thrive better. Of course this is a result of the irony that their liberators have often behaved worse than the oppressors of the past.

This feeling is now almost all-pervasive and has deadened the people’s political consciousness. When people cease to believe in hope they reach a stasis that enslaves them. Some who seem to succeed in the cocoon give the others a false sense of optimism that all will be fine when it is clear the only way to move forward is to break out.

Do South Sudanese need a passing voice to remind them they can’t stand it any longer?

Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is a writer and commentator and He is the Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt he can be simply reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

South Sudan and Uganda Soldiers Backed By Thousand of Militants Are Ready to Wage War Against Lou Nuer

By John Chuol Bol

February 7, 2015 (SSNA) -- We, the Lou Nuer sons and daughters in Diaspora have learnt the Genocial Regime comprised of Salva and Museveni of Uganda soldiers back by various notorious soldiers have prepared to attack you, the Lou Nuer at anytime this February 2015. Please be prepared to discipline them (Uganda and Salva Kiir with their blood money) accompanies based on your experiences of war. Use it now

Under Maj. Gen. Cde Dor Monjur and under the overall command of Lt. Gen. Chief of Staff Cde Simon Gatwech Dual  Hoth, A.K.A. Gatwech Loka, I and others who are very far away from you have trust  in the Lou Nuer, your campacity to defend our children, women, and elders. Simon Gatwech Dual Hoth contributed enormously then any commander during South-Sudan Civil War or South Sudan’s struggle for our freedom. He was the one who received and took hunderds of thousands of unarmed men and women who came along way from Bhar el Ghazal via Bor into Lou Nuer Land. Gatwechd Dual escorsted them from Lou Nuer areas to Bil Phaam, Gambella Ethiopia. He did that because he was a real son from the area who earned respect from his people. Guses what, Simon Gatwech Dual, Mabor Dholand Gabriel Tang were jailed multiple times right after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 and had been under detention until December 2013. Simon was humilated and finally attacked at his resident home in Juba before escaping for his life. In the meantime, James Otong Liah was jailed by the same regime to cover up the atrocities committed against Murles and Lou Nuer by Kuol Manyang Juuk while he was the Governor of Jonglei State by then. Kuol disarmed you, Lou Nuer first and armed Murles at the same time. James was jailed in Juba for no reason and was only released after Juba Genocide.

Meanwhile, Kuol Manyang Juuk was promoted to bring Ugandan armies to Juba and some to Jonglei to bomb you. Now, Simon Gatwech, Mabor Dhol, and James Otong are in Lou Nuer with hundreds of our sons who came with them from Juba, the capital terrorist regime to be with you and face the enemy together unlike other politicians and their body guards who are siding with the killers. I remember Lou Nuer Community members have never witnessed South Sudan Independent in terms of development leave alone basic services.  Rather, those politicians who claime to be representing the Lou Nuer constituencies have prayed for Kuol Manyang to survive. Those politicians have kneeled (knelt) down before Kuol Manyang like when those who used to do that under Longor, the past prophet. If you look closely the selection of the three illegal commissioners, two of them are the Member of Perliaments (MPs) representing Uror and Akobo at the South Sudan National Government respectively. Now they are mobilizing UPDF and SPLA of Juba to come and kill all Lou Nuer children, women, elders, and disabled persons.  I hope you fight for the death and make sure this planned attack against you becomes a turning point. Use what you have and deal with them accordingly.

Since 2005, Greater Lou Nuer areas have never received developments under those criminals of Juba of Kuol Manyang, Paul Malong Awan, Malual Ayom Dor, and the three illegal commissioners claimed to be in the frontline towards Lou Nuer Land. My message to all Lou Nuer Sons of Gojam Division is this. This is the last battle that will trun the page in the hisory of South Sudan. If you capture Ugandan People Defense Force (UPDF) Mercenary soldiers, do not waste your bullets. Just use the spears and sticks that our foregreat grandfathers used when fighting against colonizers. Mi wiak wa rom elong, dong be yie moi ke thiaal mi ciken bi nen;  yiathe ke ke bieeth tin coali yocni kie gang gangni. Malual Ayom and Kuol Manyang are the ones who have killed the Lou Nuer since 1984 till now. Now is their time to face it. Please do what you know to get them. This is another Battle of Pading of Nyirol that made the Jaang Ngok to lose for ever under the below symbol. Kabe ke kabe ke…ka yiathe ke…

Salva’s Battle to conquer Lou Nuer Land but history will tell.

Please, be prepared in all fronts and God is with you. Whoever comes to attack you in your blessed land, the individual will confess later. In 1984, Lou Nuer was attacked from multiples fronts by the same enemies of today to destroy the Prophet Ngundeng Bong’s historical place of Wech Deng. All of you may still remember what happened during the battle. The numbers of fighters at Wech Deng from our side was very small compared to the invaders, but the controller of Lou Land sent rain with foggy that came from nowhere and confused the invaders. Now you know the rest of the story………………………… talk to your fathers there. Now is the time for elders to back up Gojam Division and ask the owner of the land to send the help. I hope the controller is ready to fight back the invaders. Yien kabe Malual Ayom Dor e teke en nini titi…..

The author is a former SPLA Soldier (a veteran), former chairperson of SPLM Chapter who led the defection from the genocidal SPLM Juba into SPLM-IO and formed the SPLM-In Opposition Chapter of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2014. He is now a senior SPLM-IO Member & a Political Analyst in Canada. He is reachable at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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