Today's morning of a Nuba mother with a new-born in her lap
After two days on the frontline in the Kowalib mountains, we returned toward evening to the homestead of our Nuba friend and co-worker Jacob Williams in Kauda. His wife rushed to meet us with a piece of iron in her hands, pointing somewhere around the back of the house. We hurried there and found a hole in the net over the window. A bomb had exploded only a hundred and fifty meters or so away. Almost exactly in the middle of the indigenous Nuba self-help organization, today at around 11:30 in the morning.
Jacob's wife, with the four year old Kako andbarely eleven days old son, survived in a fox hole next to it.
We were told, in the only humanitarian organization that dares to help in this beseiged and forbidden enclavein Sudan, that nine bombs fell on Kaudatoday. One on the very center of the old, traditional marketplace, another on the ruins of the already almost completely destroyed British colonial school, and the others around this area, the largest place in the liberated territory controlled by Nuba freedom fighters of the SPLA.
This time, the bombshad not dug up large craters - but shrapnel cut up trees andeven the soil almost a kilometer around.
Only one boy was wounded - a little shepherd who gripped an unexploded bomb that slammed into the ground.
Today and yesterday, Russian-made Antonov bombers and Chinese-made Sukhoi Migs dropped bombs and fired missiles all over the Nuba mountains. The locals are sure that this was an act of revenge, since SPLA forces drove the Janjaweed from Daldako in the North-East of the mountains on Saturday, killing one of their important leaders. In Daldako, government forces had amassed most of their heavy military equipment, and most of the news about heavy fighting came from there.
The Janjaweed are mercenaries, hired by the military dictatorship of Omar Bashirin Chad, Niger, Mali and the whole of Sahelto murder, rape and persecute the African tribes of the NubaMountains, Blue Nileprovince and Darfur. The government in Khartoum, which calls them RMF - Rapid Mobile Forces, has confirmed the loss through its media.
Last night, we ended up in the caves at the foot of the granite mountains of the village of Tungole, with missiles exploding all around us. At first light, we escaped higher up into the mountains.
None of us considers himself a prophet, able to predict where it will strike next.
We don't know yet how many victims there were, though the number of cut-up and killed off refugees, running away from bombers andMigsandmissiles fired from government garrisons into the mountains controlled by the SPLA, is likely to be lower than in previous years, because they have learned, during the three years of war, how to hide in fox holes in the ground by each hut and in caves among graniteslabs at the foot of the mountains and further up. No one could tell me exactly how many refugees sought shelter in the Kowalib mountains - but the many that we had reached testify that there are tens of thousands.
And new ones keep arriving, mostly abandoning their homes and fields in haste and with no possessions.
None of them recieve any sort of help from any international humanitarian organization yet. All these organizations obviously obey the prohibition of access, issued by the military hunta in Khartoum, accused of the greatest crimes against humanity, including genocide.
We found the refugees living in a sort of stone age, in the most severe shortage of everything that the modern so-called civilized world boasts of, at the end of their strength. Because of the Arab policy of exterminating the African indigenous people from what remains of the old Sudan, obviously accepted by all international institutions, including the UN Security council and other agencies, they could not sow during the previous rainy season, amid incessant attacks from the air by bombers and Migs and on the ground by the Janjaweed - so they could not harvest either. They are famished and noticeably exhausted, many of them sick. There is not a single doctor among them, and they have no medicines. What kills them most are intestinal deceases and malaria. At the start of the new rainy season that already tortures them with mosquitoes, almost no family has a protective net, or a plastic canopy that in other crisis areas around the world would bear the names of respected humanitarian organizations.I have seen them cook new, young leaves and grass. Their clothing has disintegrated during the last year - higher up in the mountains I saw not only naked children but parents as well. The worst off are of course the elderly. They can not place any hope in the power of goodness.
Last year, at the school in the caves of Tungole, I asked the students and teachers to draw what they saw around them for our 2014 calendar. The principal of the school, with sixteen hundred students and only eleven unqualified teachers, told me that there have been no visits to the school since my last visit, in spite of all our reporting and lobbying. No journalists, no reporters.
"Only God can help us now!" declared the leader of the Kowalib tribe, Kuku Tutu, yesterday.
Tomo Križnar, Kauda, May 26.th, 2014