Treatment afforded to Nuba by state authorities particularly those who are rightly or wrongly perceived as supportive of the opposition (such as UMMA or SPLA) [SDN35537.E]

The Nuba (also called Nuba) live in the Nuba mountains in the Kordofan region of southern Sudan (Africa Rights 1995; The Independent 30 June 1999). They are the "most indigenous" people of Sudan (ibid.). They are a mixture of Christians and Muslims though the government of Sudan wants convert them to Islam (ibid.). According to The Independent,

Of the original million or so Nuba people, only about 500,000 remain. The rest have been killed, have fled from the war zone or have died of starvation...the Nuba's allegiances lie with the south and they fight with the rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) (The Independent 30 June 1999).

Youseff Kara Harun, a Nubian and second in command of the SPLA said that there were 22 attacks on the Nuba in 1999 (ibid.).

In March 2000, John Garang, the leader of the SPLA, claimed that the government had "launched a major ground and air offensive on all areas held by the armed opposition, including schools" (Africa Research Bulletin Apr. 2000). According to the Manchester Guardian Weekly,

The Nuba are in their 13th year of struggle for a democratic, secular state in which the country's African south would be the equal of its Arab north. Since the fundamentalist generals of the National Islamic Front (NIF) came to power in 1989, an attempt to defeat the Nuba rebellion has grown into a scorched-earth holy war of annihilation against a people whose tradition of political and religious tolerance threatens the Front's whole project of a conformist Islamic extremism.
Today hundreds of thousands of Nuba starved out of the mountains are imprisoned in "peace villages" where men are armed and compelled to fight against fellow Nuba; where children are separated from their parents and conscripted into Islamic militias; where women are raped to dilute Nuba ethnicity.
Nuba who refuse to leave SPLA-controlled areas are being driven off the fertile plains and into the mountains where survival is a struggle. Even the UN acknowledges that women venturing down to the government-controlled plains to fetch water and mangoes are subjected to rape "often of the most horrendous kind" (Manchester Guardian Weekly 17 May 2000)

A detailed account of the history of the Nuba, their struggle, and relationship with the government of Khartoum is contained in the 1995 Africa Rights report, Facing Genocide: The Nuba of Sudan, available at Regional Documentation Centres.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. April 200. "Nubans Bombed."

Africa Rights. July 1995. Facing Genocide: The Nuba of Sudan. London: Africa Rights.

The Independent [London]. 30 June 1999. Damien Lewis. "War-Ravaged Nubian Tribe Pleads for Aid Help Aid." (NEXIS)

Manchester Guardian Weekly [London]. Julie Flint. "Nuba Face Destruction." (NEXIS)