WFP Director Permitted To Visit Nuba Mountains

the visit is the first one in eight years

Posted by Mark Hackett on October 23rd, 2019

In a major development, Sudan’s Council of Ministers granted permission for the World Food Programme (WFP) to visit Kauda, the rebel capital in the war-torn Nuba Mountains region, for the first time in more than eight years.

People in the Nuba Mountains have been living in emergency conditions since June of 2011, when the former Bashir regime launched another genocidal war against their communities. The regime banned all humanitarian aid and media organizations from the Nuba Mountains in an attempt to cover up their war crimes and further harm the Nuba people. Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a military coup in April 2019.

Sudan now has a fledgling transitional government that is seeking to move the country toward civilian, democratic rule. The new government has not lifted the humanitarian blockade on the Nuba Mountains, nor has a permanent peace been achieved. But while this WFP visit to Kauda was merely symbolic in nature, it would have never happened as recently as just a few months ago. In a statement earlier today, the transitional government said the WFP visit is part of a larger humanitarian delivery framework that is being prepared for Sudan.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley was warmly welcomed in Kauda by Abdul Aziz El-Hilu, the commander of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N):

The SPLM-N is a well-organized, indigenous armed force of Nuba civilians that has prevented Sudanese government forces from wiping out the Nuba people. This armed movement is also the most powerful of Sudan's multiple rebel groups. The Sudanese government has prevented larger humanitarian organizations like WFP from working in SPLM-N-held areas for more than 8 years. 

Right now, a fragile ceasefire is holding together in the Nuba Mountains. This year has seen reports of targeted government attacks in several frontline areas, as well as some government warplanes flying overhead. While no actual aerial bombing has occurred, these bomber flights do disrupt daily life at farms, schools, and markets since people do not know if the area they are in is about to be targeted or not.

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The Sudanese people are bringing an end to the violent governance that has plagued their country for decades. One of the many ways Operation Broken Silence is helping them do that is by fundraising for Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains. While we are encouraged by this WFP visit to Kauda, the illegal humanitarian blockade on the Nuba Mountains has still not been lifted.

Mother of Mercy is the only referral hospital in the Nuba Mountains warzone. This life-saving facility is led by American Dr. Tom Catena and an incredible local Nuba staff. They refuse to leave and do their best to save lives, sometimes treating over 400 patients a day. Access to basic medical supplies is extremely limited and the hospital is frequently short on funds. The team at Mother of Mercy Hospital depends entirely on private fundraising and donations to treat the wounded and train the staff.

Here are three ways you can help support the lifesaving work being done at the hospital:

1. Give Monthly. This is the easiest way to support the lifesaving work being done every day at Mother of Mercy Hospital. Signing up takes less than a minute, and you'll be effortlessly provide consistent support moving forwards. LEARN MORE »

2. Become a Fundraiser. You can start a personal fundraising page for Mother of Mercy Hospital and ask your friends and family to give towards your goal. This is the best way to support healthcare work in the Nuba Mountains and get your community involved at the same time. START FUNDRAISING »

3. Give. If you're not ready to make a monthly giving or fundraising commitment yet, making a one-time donation to the hospital is the perfect next step for you. GIVE HERE »

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