From the place on a hilltop that Ibrahim Nahar now calls home there is a commanding view of the tree-dotted savannah stretching into the distance and of the skies above. Every few minutes his eyes dart upwards, warily searching for the ghostly shimmer of an aircraft.
Next to his rough wooden bed beneath a makeshift grass-roofed shelter a solitary pig, a few goats and a skinny chicken take turns scratching in the dirt for scraps. Tangles of clothes hang from the rafters, and nearby some of his dozen children peek out from the dark gaps and caves between huge boulders.
In his cracked and weathered hands Nahar cradles an AK-47, its stock worn smooth over the years, but it is of no use against the airplanes he fears.
Since June, daily sorties by bombers and jet fighters have rained down fire and death on the people of the Nuba Mountains, forcing Nahar and thousands of others to leave their homes for the rocky hills, where countless crevices and caves offer some protection from the bombings.
The people of South Kordofan, the Sudan province where the Nuba Mountains are located, fought alongside southern rebels during a 22-year civil war and are now, once again, battling for their survival against the regime of Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.
“I am scared of the Antonov [bombers], of the MiGs and the artillery shelling, of the long-range missiles, of the random bombardments that come at any time,” said Nahar.
This is an excerpt from Tristan McConnell's four-part series for GlobalPost. Click on the links below to read specific stories.
- South Kordofan: Sudan’s latest humanitarian hotspot
Since June, daily bombings have rained down fire and death on the people of the Nuba Mountains, forcing thousands to leave their homes for the rocky hills, where countless crevices and caves offer some protection. Unable to plant crops in their fields, the civilians South Kordofan are now going hungry.
- Thousands flee to a new refugee camp in South Sudan
The Yida camp is growing quickly as Khartoum bombs Nuban civilians and deploys hunger as a weapon. Meanwhile, the international community shrugs.
- Sudan’s rebels uniting to topple Bashir’s Islamic rule
Deep in South Kordofan, GlobalPost visits the unified opposition’s military commander, who vows to install “liberal values.”
- Ragtag rebels vow to take South Kordofan
But Sudan’s air power means Nuba Mountains will continue to be pounded.