Since 2013, Operation Broken Silence has been funding emergency relief missions to the Kao-Nyaro-Warni area of South Kordofan state in Sudan, where the Nuba Mountains are located. Much like other areas of South Kordofan state, tens of thousands of civilians living in the Kao-Nyaro-Warni area are under siege by armed forces loyal to the government of Sudan.
The government-enforced humanitarian blockade of this part of South Kordofan has been especially devastating and violent over the past few years for a number of reasons. Kao-Nyaro-Warni is largely isolated from the rest of the Nuba Mountains, where armed resistance against the government of Sudan's genocidal actions continues to grow. Tens of thousands of people remain trapped in the area with virtually zero escape options. A particularly brutal incident in June of 2013 witnessed hundreds of people attempt to flee the area and ended with government militia murdering 40 children.
The past 9 months in Kao-Nyaro have seen conditions continue to deteriorate. 242 people are reported to have died between July and December 2015, 145 of which were attributed to lack of food. Almost 10% of those who died from lack of food were under the age of five.
97% of the population is considered to be food insecure (64% considered severe and 36% as moderate).
To be clear, this humanitarian situation is not the result of natural occurrences such as severe drought, although rainfall in the area has been poorer than usual. Sudanese government forces and militias have blocked people from accessing farmland and are blockading most humanitarian access points into Kao-Nyaro-Warni. Fear of attacks by government-supported militias is the most prevalent factor preventing people from moving out of the area, and the main limiting factor when searching for wild foods such as roots and insects (2).
Outside Assistance Urgently Needed
We expect hunger-related deaths to continue and most likely accelerate underneath this exceptionally high level of food insecurity. Unless outside humanitarian assistance reaches the area in the coming months, more hunger-related deaths are inevitable.
The international community should do everything in its power to permanently lift the Sudanese government's siege of Kao-Nyaro-Warni, just as countries are working around the clock to lift humanitarian sieges in Syria.
However, it is important to note that outside assistance is needed immediately to save lives. With much of our relief funds depleted, we need you to get involved so that we can once again reach the people living here with lifesaving aid.
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is working to accelerate their ability to generate lasting change through storytelling, education, advocacy, and emergency relief programs. Here's 3 ways you can help the people of Kao-Nyaro-Warni:
1. Make A Donation. Our lifesaving relief missions to Kao-Nyaro-Werni only happen with the support of generous individuals just like you. GIVE NOW »
2. Become A Fundraiser. You can start an online fundraising page and ask your friends and family to donate to the people of Kao-Nyaro, Warni. START FUNDRAISING TODAY »
3. Share This Information. The crisis in Kao-Nyaro-Warni is off of the world's radar. You can help change that by sharing the link to this page via email, Facebook, and Twitter.
(1) You can see dozens of more photos from Kao-Nyaro-Werni we've taken over the years by clicking here. As recently as January 2016, we also accomplished another relief mission with local partners to the Kao-Nyaro-Warni area and are waiting on photos from it to arrive.
(2) Statistics pulled from Food Security and Monitoring Unit Special Bulletin: Food security situation in Warni and Kau-Nyaro of South Kordofan State, results of a rapid needs assessment, February 2016. Report available upon request from coordination [at] skbncu [dot] org.