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Story Publication logo July 10, 2012

South Sudan: Death in the Nuba Mountains

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In the year since the new nation of South Sudan celebrated its first independence day, Khartoum has waged a war against the people of the Nuba Mountains and the neighboring state of Blue Nile -- two areas sympathetic to the South that remained in Sudan when the country split apart last year. Khartoum, broke and unable to suppress a growing rebellion, has resorted to a brutal bombing campaign that seems designed to terrorize the Nuba, who number a little over 1 million people spread across some 19,000 square miles, into fleeing south.

Many families initially hid in caves in the rugged mountains to escape the bombardment. But now, after missing last year's harvest, Nubas are facing a much more deadly weapon: starvation.

Thousands of hungry families have made their way south to Yida, a refugee camp across the border in South Sudan. The United Nations and its associated agencies have shunned the camp, worried that providing relief would only fuel the ongoing conflict. Meanwhile, Khartoum refuses to grant aid agencies permission to cross the border, allowing the Sudanese regime to continue using hunger as a weapon of war.

Photographer Trevor Snapp documented the beginning of this round of conflict, in July 2011, and this year's more recent escalation to a humanitarian emergency.

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