By Justin Ambago Ramba
May 11, 2009 — The people of the Nuba Mountains are still to come out of their shock, when they learned of the Sudanese president Omer al Bashir’s strange and wrongly timed appointment as governor for South Kordofan of the fugitive, Ahmed Haroun who is wanted by the ICC for over 50 crimes against humanity committed in the western province of Darfur in the periods between, 2003 – 2004.
Who will ever be surprised again following the above event if we are to hear of another presidential decree appointing the other fugitives, namely Ali Kushyeib and Musa Hilali to high security positions in the same state of south Kordofan, thus completing the National Islamic front’s conspiracy against the peaceful people of the Nuba Mountains.
The people of the Nuba Mountains should be questioning why has Al Bashir chosen to mistreat them this harsh? Is it not enough that the Nuba people were brutally killed, tortured, scattered and forcefully removed from their homeland and relocated to servitude and humiliation camps in northern Kordofan during the civil war, where they received sub human treatment and intimidations? Is it not already enough that the Nuba villages were destroyed and burned down? Is it not enough that the Nuba’s social and cultural fabrics have been detrimentally tempered with throughout the “Ingaz’s “so-called Islamic rule”? Why all these to the people of this part of the earth and region? Has it become a punishable crime in the eyes of the Khartoum based Islamist rulers of the Sudan for the people created by God Almighty as Nuba, to remain to be Nuba?
To be a Nuba is no human being’s making, and I personally take a great satisfaction in seeing them (the Nuba) posing happily and proudly in the God’s creation bestowed on them. I have lived amongst the Nuba people for no less than 20 years and I have grown to like them for what they are. The Nuba people have their Nuba-ness, something though not of their making, but are proud to posses and maintain?
To those who do not know it well, this very Ahmed Haroun, the internationally known as the architect of the Darfur massacre, is the same Ahmed Mohamed Haroun who masterminded all those ills that befell the Nuba people at the peak (1990 – 1993) of the North – South conflict (1983 – 2005) where 2 million lives were lost. Haroun was the main architect and inventor of the notorious tribal militias whom he later gave the legal blessing by converting them into the greedy; blood thirsty infamous Popular Defence Forces (PDF), locally known as al Difaa al Shaabi. It is this PDF, stuffed with lunatics and envious groups who carried out the mass killings, rapes, forced displacements and relocations of the Nuba people to the various humiliation camps in northern Kordofan, which were no less than the Nazi’s concentration camps.
The above is what Haroun did in the Nuba Mountains before he lastly shifted his same known lethal venom on the “Zurga” of Darfur, in 2003 – 2004, where he committed the crimes for which he is now being hunted down. What a fate for the Nuba people? This murderer belongs to be behind the bars in The Hague, but to the Nuba’s misfortune and as if they still have to suffer more than others in the Sudan, Al Bashir who himself is a wanted criminal by the ICC, has decided for Haroun to go back as the governor of South Kordofan bestowed with the highest security order in the Nuba Mountains, probably to accomplish his unfinished malice.
The Nuba Mountains’ unique position in the centre of the Sudan is well known for being an area contested by different the Sudanese political groups. But though it has always faced inter ethnic conflicts, its worse experience were those orchestrated by the major criminals the likes of Ahmed Haroun, Abdel Wahab Abdel Rahman and Yunis al Rehaima, when they turned Kadugli into a ghost town. But now that the murderer and fugitive Ahmed Haroun is back in Kadugli, the unhealed wounds of the past are likely to re-bleed. Whatsoever Haroun’s assignments are this time, things are not going to be easy for him as it was in the past?
The Nuba have every right to be concerned and scared of this latest development where the most internationally wanted criminal on a count of over 50 crimes against humanity and a fugitive, is now their governor and again in a political position to decide their fate for a second time. Haroun is a wounded buffalo, and given his past makes him the most dangerous human being to be in control of a region like the south Kordofan that borders other equally volatile regions of South Darfur, South Sudan, Abyei and right in the heart of the Sudanese oil fields.
The Nuba people are in troubles again, while the International community watches.
This same Ahmed Mohamed Haroun is responsible for the political assassinations and the disappearances of many Nuba teachers, intellectuals, traditional leaders, elders and politicians. All were undoubtedly carried out by the Sudanese government’s military intelligence and the Sudanese armed forces throughout the whole of south Kordofan, but in particular, the main Town of Kadugli.
It is this very Ahmed Mohamed Haroun who was the main architect in the Jihad declared against the people of the Nuba mountains in 1991, when Mujahedeen were mobilized from all the International Islamist terrorist groups of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia, and beyond, as part of the Islamists’ general war package against the SPLM/A in south Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, the southern Blue and it went even to victimize the Nuba people in the other main cities and towns in the whole Sudan. These groups were mobilised, indoctrinated, armed and set on the rampage. They killed, looted, burned, and destroyed. In short they destroyed all that they perceive to symbolize the existence, the culture and the tradition of the great Nuba people and their resistance. This was how the war was declared and fought with the Nuba people at the receiving end of all kinds of injustice. They were indiscriminately dealt with as enemies of Islam and legitimate targets by the Jihadists.
These dehumanizing and devilish acts were engineered by none but Haroun in person. His Mujahedeen and the Difaa al Shaabi operated freely and impunity where they carried out many killing raids and the Nuba cattle and livestock in their thousands were looted. Whole communities were wiped out. People of the Nuba were forced into the degrading and humiliation camps in northern Kordofan.
As an eye witness myself, I was equally removed from where I worked as a medical doctor at the Dilling hospital and compulsorily transferred to Sodari in the extreme harsh parts of northern Kordofan state, while more northern Arab doctors were brought to Dilling and Kadugli hospitals with anti-Nuba Jihad package. I refused to go to Sodari, I defied the ministerial decree and remained in Dilling , but I was later advised by my Nuba friends not to risk my life because the Islamist government had declared big political offensive targeting the Nuba people and the south Sudanese for they were considered rebel sympathizers or potential rebels. The second transfer was a halfway solution to a small village hospital at Wad Ashana in north Kordofan. I still remember that day when the whole of Dilling town came out to see me and my family “out of south Kordofan” which was been turned into hell on earth by the forces of evil.
Though I now write from the United Kingdom, I am disturbed given Haroun’s records, and I find it hard to accept that this ICC wanted fugitive has gone back to Kadugli as governor.
Whenever I think of my loved ones everywhere in the Nuba Mountains, time and time again I ask myself this question,” For how long will the world be watching while the Nuba are worried about the eruption of a new unrest that may evolve with this unfortunate and sadistic appointment?
I write this in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in the Nuba Mountains.
Oh the Nuba mountains,
You are my first love
May God Almighty put all your enemies under your feet?
May I always hear your name associated with peace and prosperity?
No room for fugitives of ICC in your strong hold of Kadugli
No foothold for those whose hands are stained with innocent blood among the gallant people of the Nuba
Oh my Nuba people I never ever doubt your ability to defend the giant ancestral Nuba stones and valleys.
The author of this article is a south Sudanese doctor living in the United Kingdom. He has worked both as a junior doctor ( Tegali al Abassiya – Dilling) and a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist( Mother Bakhita Maternity Hospital – Dilling ) in the Nuba Mountains between 1986 to 2004.