Nuba Mountains: New borders and a village razed to the ground

An entire village was set on fire during an offensive in the Nuba Mountains by the Sudanese Armed Forces against a rebel group said MISNA sources after the announcement of a redefinition of the administrative boundaries of this economically important border region.

The village that was razed to the ground is called Almanzala and, from a political point of view, it is located in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan. Based on the MISNA’s sources, some 300 homes were torched during the offensive while a few thousand people are said to have fled.

Almanzala represent the latest episode of violence of the conflict that, since June 2011, has seen the Sudanese armed forces challenge rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM-N), considered close to the government of the new state of South Sudan that became independent last year.

Today, the vice-president of Sudan, Ali Osman Taha, announced the division of South Kordofan in States starting on 1 January next year. The eastern part, which includes the Nuba Mountains and the areas controlled by the rebels, will be separated from the western one in which all of the oil wells are located.

It is difficult to understand if and how this decision will affect the evolution of the conflict. The SPLM-N and the new government of South Sudan in Juba had demanded the creation of a unified state of South Kordofan as a condition for the signing of the peace accords that put an end to seven years ago, the second Sudanese civil war.