Strategically positioned like a cushion between Black Christian and Arab Islamic Africa, the Nuba Mountains are located in the center of Africa’s largest country. The Nuba sought refuge in the mountains when they rebelled against the sharia (Islamic) law imposed by the government in Khartoum in 1983 and joined sides with southern Sudan (largely black animist and Christians) in the war.
The Nuba population has been subject to ethnic cleansing, the forced “Arabization” of the population, repeated aerial bombings of schools, hospitals, refugee camps, churches and other civilian targets. The conflict has caused at least 2 million deaths and over 4 million displaced.
Early in June 2011, the Nuba population has once again been targeted by ethnic cleansing performed by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and other paramilitary forces, after violence exploded in the North’s only oil-producing state of South Kordofan, following contested elections and a failed disarmament campaign in the state.
Francesco Zizola traveled several times to the Nuba Mountains between 1997 and 2005 and has documented the Nuba’s struggle, as they sought to survive and maintain their traditions in one of the most remote places in Africa. Please also visit the project page about the Nuba in Sudan.