Vestiges of An Enduring Conflict
NUBA MOUNTAINS, SUDAN – JUNE 9, 2018: The remains of student dormitories stand untouched after a 2014 bombing destroyed much of Hieban Bible Institute. During the bombing, six children from the same family were killed when a parachute bomb dropped near the Institute’s entrance. Four other adults also perished nearby from bombs dropped by high flying cargo planes repurposed by the Sudan Armed Forces, which regularly carry out inaccurate but devastating bombing campaigns in predominantly civilian areas.
In 2011, the government of Sudan expelled all humanitarian groups from the country’s Nuba Mountains. Since then, the Antonov aircraft has terrorized the Nuba people, dropping more than 4,080 bombs on hospitals, schools, marketplaces and churches. Today, vestiges of the Antonov riddle the landscapes of daily life, where more than 1 million Nuba live in famine conditions – quietly enduring the humanitarian blockade intended to drive them out of the region. The skies are mostly clear. Yet the collective memory of the bombings remains an open wound, and the Antonov itself a persistent threat. So frequent were the attacks that the Nuba nicknamed the high flying aircraft and its dismal hum: "Gafal-nia ja,” they would declare, running to the hillsides. “The loss of appetite has come."