Despite an agreement signed only days ago to bring peace to this part of central Sudan, it seems to be sliding inexorably toward war.
Young men here in the Nuba Mountains are being mobilized into militias, marching into the hills to train. All the cars in this area, including humanitarian vehicles, are smeared with thick mud to camouflage them from what residents describe as unrelenting bombings. And opposition forces vow to press their fight until they win some form of autonomy, undeterred by the government’s push to stamp them out.
“It’s going to be a long war,” said Ahmed Zakaria, a doctor from the Nuba Mountains who recently quit his job to become an opposition fighter. “We want a secular, democratic state where we can be free to rule ourselves. Like Kurdistan,” Dr. Zakaria said, smiling. “And we will fight for it.”
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At a small, mountainside hospital here in Lewere, an entire ward is filled with victims who said they were at a well, fetching water, when they were bombed. Most are children. Their whimpers filter through the mesh windows, along with the pungent smells of antiseptic solution and decaying flesh.
Inside, Winnasa Steven, a 16-year-old girl, writhed on a cot. From her hip, doctors cut out a three-inch chunk of ragged shrapnel, which her mother keeps, wrapped in white paper.
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Aid workers said hundreds of civilians had been killed in the bombings. The Sudanese Army is also blockading roads and bombing airstrips, essentially cutting off food supplies. “These people are going to starve,” one Western aid worker said.
Meanwhile, in the world of democracy promotion, the Malaysian National News Organization identifies NDI (The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs) as “one of four branches of the National Endowment of Democracy (NED), a United States-based nongovernmental organization led by a Jew, Carl Gershman.” They say that it is not appropriate to have democracy assistance in Malaysia because “there is no restriction for the people and politicians”.