This report was researched and written by Human Rights Watch counsel and Sudan researcher Jemera Rone. Ms. Rone conducted research in rebel-held areas of the Nuba Mountains and southern Sudan, and in Kenya and Uganda, in October 1997 and April-May 1998. Other interviews were conducted in the U.S.

Repeated requests in 1998 for a visa from the government of Sudan were ignored; in a meeting on October 1, 1998, in New York, Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail promised Ms. Rone a visa but it was not forthcoming.

Many private individuals requested anonymity because they had relatives living in government-controlled areas of southern Sudan or in northern Sudan. Some representatives of agencies requested anonymity because of fear that the government would take reprisals against their work in government areas.

Human Rights Watch acknowledges with gratitude the assistance of the Nub Relief and Rehabilitation Society, the Sudan Human Rights Association (Kampala), the Sudan Human Rights Organization (London), the Sudan Human Rights Organization (Cairo), the Human Rights Unit of Amal Future Care Trust, and the Sudan Rights Project of the Inter-Africa Group (formerly African Rights-Nuba Mountains branch). Human Rights Watch also thanks John Ryle and Philip Winter for their review of the draft report; all errors are the responsibility of Human Rights Watch.

The report was edited by Deputy Program Director Michael McClintock and Executive Director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch Peter Takirambudde. Associates Juliet Wilson and Zachary Freeman provided production assistance, as did special assistant Nicole Shanor.

This report could not have been written without the assistance of many Sudanese whose names cannot be disclosed.


Ansar Sudanese Sunni Muslim religious sect headed by Sadiq al Mahdi; base of the banned Umma Party

Anyanya the southern Sudanese rebel army of the first civil war, 1955-72; Anyanya is the word for a poison made in southern Sudan

Anyanya II southern Sudanese forces formed on a local level in the south before and after the second civil war started in 1983; some helped form the SPLA in 1983. Some defected from the SPLA later and became (mostly Nuer) militia forces in Upper Nile supported by the Sudanese government. Several Anyanya II groups were wooed back to the SPLA in 1986-87 but some, including those of Paulino Matiep, never joined the SPLA

Arakis an oil exploration company listed on the Vancouver (Canada)

Energy Stock Exchange which lead a consortium to develop oil resources

Corporation in Upper Nile region; it was acquired by Talisman Energy Inc. of Canada in 1998

Baggara Arabized cattle-owning nomad tribes of western Sudan, including the Misseriya of southern Kordofan and the Rizeigat of southern Darfur; their name is from the Arabic bagara, meaning cow (plural bagar)

Belanda an African Luo people living south of Wau in Bahr El Ghazal, related to the Jur

DUP Democratic Unionist Party banned in 1989; it was a junior partner in several 1986-89 coalition governments and is associated with the Khatmiyya traditional Sunni Islamic sect and its spiritual leaders, the Mirghani family

Dawa Islamic nongovernmental organization that engages in relief work

Islamiyya in over fifteen African countries, including Sudan

DHA U. N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs (now OCHA)

Dinka an African Nilotic people living in the Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile regions of Sudan; the largest ethnic group in Sudan. They practice the Dinka religion but many have been converted to Christianity and a few to Islam; they speak Dinka

E.U. European Union

Fellata the name for West Africans who settled in the Sudan, often in transit to or from Mecca

Feroge one of the Arabized Muslim families ruling over the Fertit in western Bahr El Ghazal

Fertit a name given the many small tribes, including the Kreish (the largest ethnic group in western Bahr El Ghazal), Banda, and Binga, all of African Bantu origin, who live in western Bahr El Ghazal, mostly non-Muslims and non-Arabic speakers

FAO U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization

ICRC International Committee of the Red Cross

IGAD Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (formerly the Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Desertification, IGAAD), comprised of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda

jellaba a southern term for the diaspora community of small traders of Arabic-speaking Muslims from different parts of northern Sudan; refers to their typical white robe of rough cotton

jihad holy war or struggle

Jur an African Luo people living south and east of Wau, Bahr El Ghazal; they are agriculturalists and blacksmiths and mostly non-Muslims and non-Arabic speakers

Khatmiyya Sudanese Sunni Muslim religious sect headed by Mohamed Osman al Mirghani; base of the banned Democratic Unionist Party

LRA Lord's Resistance Army, Ugandan rebel group noted for its gross abuses of human rights, including kidnapping of Ugandan children; the LRA is admittedly supported by the Sudan government

MSF Medecins Sans Frontieres, an international emergency medical nongovernmental organization often working in war zones

Misseriya a Baggara subgroup living in southern Kordofan

mujahedeen holy warriors or participants in jihad

muraheleen (murahiliin), the Misseriya word for "travelers," now referring to Baggara tribal militias of southern Darfur and Kordofan who have been incorporated as a government militia under army jurisdiction to fight the Dinka in Bahr El Ghazal

NDA National Democratic Alliance, umbrella group of political parties and armed groups opposed to the current government and headquartered in Asmara, Eritrea; members include the SPLM/A, Umma Party, DUP, SAF, Beja Congress, and others

NGO Nongovernmental organization

NIF National Islamic Front, the militant Islamist political party which came to power in 1989 after a military coup overthrew the elected government of Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi; formerly known as the Muslim Brotherhood, after the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; in 1998 renamed the National Congress

Nuba the African people living in South Kordofan's Nuba Mountains, comprised of fifty tribes/subtribes with over ten distinct language groups using Arabic as their lingua franca. Some are Muslims, some Christians, and some practice traditional Nuba religions

Nuer an African Nilotic people living in the Upper Nile region of Sudan; the second largest ethnic group in southern Sudan. They practice the Nuer religion although many have been converted to Christianity (usually the Presbyterian church) and some to Islam, and they speak Nuer

OCHA U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, formerly Department of Humanitarian Affairs

OFDA Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, part of the U.S. Agency for International Development

OLS Operation Lifeline Sudan, a United Nations emergency relief operation for Sudan which began operations in 1989, serving territory controlled by the government and by the rebel forces. It is divided into southern and northern sectors. UNICEF is the lead agency of OLS (Southern Sector) and serves as the umbrella and coordinator for more than forty nongovernmental agencies operating in rebel-held areas of southern Sudan

PDF Popular Defense Forces, an Islamist government-sponsored militia under the jurisdiction of the Sudan army

Rizeigat a Baggara subgroup living in southern Darfur

SPLA-United the name a rebel group based in the Shilluk people of Tonga, Upper Nile formed by Dr. Lam Akol after his February 1994 expulsion by Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon from SPLA-United

SPLM/A Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army, the political organization and army of Sudanese rebels formed in 1983, of which Dr. (Colonel) John Garang Mabior is chairman and commander in chief

SRRA Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association, relief wing of the SPLM/A

SSIM/A South Sudan Independence Movement/Army; faction of the SPLA, led by Commander Riek Machar, that broke away from the SPLM/A and Garang's leadership in August 1991. It was based in Nasir, Upper Nile, and for a time was referred to as "SPLA-Nasir." On March 27, 1993, others joined it and it was renamed "SPLA-United." In November 1994, it was renamed South Sudan Independence Movement/Army. In April 1996 it signed a political charter and in April 1997 a peace agreement with the government. After that, its forces were designated the South Sudan Defense Force whose associated political wing was the UDSF

SSDF South Sudan Defense Force, umbrella group for former rebel factions which entered into a 1997 peace agreement with the government, headed by Dr. Riek Machar

Talisman An independent, Canadian-based international upstream oil and

Energy Inc. gas company with its headquarters in Calgary, Canada, heading an international consortium developing oil resources in Upper Nile and Blue Nile regions of Sudan. Talisman, which acquired Arakis Energy Corporation in October 1998, was formerly British Petroleum Canada and is one of Canada's largest corporations

UDSF United Democratic Salvation Front, the political umbrella group for ex-rebels headed by Riek Machar

UNCERO U.N. Coordinator for Emergency and Relief Operations in Sudan, based in Khartoum

UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund, lead agency for OLS (Southern Sector)

USAID/FEWS United States Agency for International Development/Famine Early Warning System

Umma Party the banned political party which was the senior political party in coalition governments between 1986-89, associated with the traditional Sunni Islamic sect of the Ansar and its spiritual leaders, the Mahdi family

WFP World Food Programme, a United Nations agency headquartered in Rome that supplies foodstuffs in the emergency relief operation in Sudan

WHO World Health Organization


No one knows how many people have died in Sudan's most recent famine or how many remain at risk-one reason the famine of 1998 was not recognized sooner as the catastrophe it was. But the United Nations estimated that as of July 1998 there were 2.6 million people at risk of starvation in Sudan, out of a total population of about 27 million. This famine was caused and is being perpetuated by human rights abuses by all parties to the civil war, now in its fifteenth year. Indeed, 2.4 million of those at risk of famine were in southern Sudan, the main arena of the war.

Southern Sudan occupies almost one third of the territory of Sudan, which at 2.5 million square kilometers is the largest country in Africa. The largest concentration of the population most vulnerable to the famine is in Bahr El Ghazal, in southwestern Sudan, where the famine of 1988 killed an estimated 250,000 people.

The failure of the international community to respond to the 1988 famine lead to the creation of the United Nations' Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), a cross-border emergency relief program. When the 1998 famine began to take shape, critics charged that OLS failed its original mission to prevent famine. Human Rights Watch's investigation, conducted during and after an April-May 1998 visit to southern Sudan and Kenya, reveals that the fault lies primarily with Sudanese government and militias and opposition forces that precipitated the famine and deliberately diverted or looted food from the starving or blocked relief deliveries.

Systematic human rights abuses were the direct cause of the famine in Bahr El Ghazal. The famine agents are the government of Sudan, including the muraheleen or militia of the Baggara (Arab cattle nomads), and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The Dinka warlord Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, who has twice changed sides in one year, provoked famine mostly as the leader of a government militia. The Bahr El Ghazal famine affected-and continues to assail-approximately one million people, a majority of them Dinka, the largest ethnic group in Sudan.

The famine thus was not caused by incomprehensible forces. There is a very straightforward story line to the famine, set forth in detail in this report describing the integral role of war-related human rights abuses in causing this famine. It is fair to conclude that, but for these human rights abuses, there would have been no famine in Sudan in 1998.

The civil war is waged by means that expressly violate human rights and humanitarian law-the laws of war. The government's counterinsurgency plan in Bahr El Ghazal, the central Nuba Mountains, and elsewhere is to attack civilians as a means to destroy the rebels social base, displacing, killing, or capturing civilians and stripping them of the meager assets that provide the means of survival in a harsh land. An important instrument of this policy are ethnic militias armed by the government to divide southerners against each other and enable non-southerners to attack southern civilians perceived to support rebel groups. The impoverished Baggara militias who help carry out the plan in Bahr El Ghazal are motivated by the prospect of booty: Dinka cattle, grain, children, and women. The Baggara, who live north of the Bahr al Arab River (which the Dinka call the Kir River), also saw they could freely use the traditional Dinka lands in northern Bahr El Ghazal and southern Kordofan, which have good grazing land and water sources, if the Dinka were displaced from them.

The SPLA's strategy and tactics also disproportionately affect civilians. In particular, its sieges to force the surrender of government garrison towns and the "taxation" of or diversion of relief food from the starving population are abusive of civilians on both sides of the elusive front line.

The government's divide and conquer militia strategy is applied even in southern areas under control of its allies: in oil-rich Western Upper Nile a Nuer faction has waged a scorched earth campaign against the main ex-rebel army. Both forces are supplied by the government and their fighting has resulted in significant displacement of Nuer from oil areas.

At the height of the 1998 famine, the international community was paying U.S. $ 1 million per day for famine relief, about the same amount the war is estimated to cost the Sudan government. The cost of rebel operations is not known.

Bahr El Ghazal and the Famine of 1998

The Bahr El Ghazal famine of 1998 had one natural cause: a two-year drought caused by El Niño that provided the natural conditions from which human violence and repression would generate the famine. But the famine itself was a product of human action.

The famine became inevitable when several types of human rights abuses converged. These included the government-backed muraheleen militia's raiding of Bahr El Ghazal Dinka since the mid-1980s, pauperizing the rural population through the theft of cattle, looting of grain, burning of crops and homes, and seizing women and children as booty. The military train that supplied Wau and Aweil, government garrison towns in Bahr El Ghazal, also brought muraheleen horsemen and troops of the Sudanese army, who rampaged through the Dinka communities along the rail line. The railway served both to bring in the raiders and their horses and to remove their booty -cattle, grain, and women and children abducted into slavery.

The rural Dinka communities were also assailed by raiding and looting by the government-backed forces of former rebel commander Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, himself a Bahr El Ghazal Dinka, from 1994 until late 1997, further reducing the population's capacity to survive. Finally, the government's persistent obstruction of relief in the region for many years and the SPLA's looting of relief goods and "taxation" of civilians greatly reduced the already slender amounts of outside assistance. The cumulative effect was that by late 1997 some 250,000 people in Bahr El Ghazal, many of them internally displaced, were predicted by the U.N. to be at risk of starvation in 1998.

Help for these 250,000 might have been manageable by the OLS had it been adequately funded. Then the unforeseen intervened: Kerubino defected to the SPLA and with the SPLA tried and failed to capture the three garrison towns on January 29, 1998. Violations of the laws of war- looting by Kerubino and SPLA forces during the assault-contributed to the rebels' defeat.

This defeat, in an ethnically polarized town, lead to an exodus of tens of thousands of Dinkas and Jur, fearing persecution and pogroms, out of the towns into rural mostly Dinka areas controlled by the SPLA and already predicted to be at risk of famine.

Government forces killed many civilians as they fled Wau during the fighting, and for ten days afterwards, the feared attacks that may have generated the exodus proceeded, as government troops, militia, and what were believed to be mujahedeen not from Wau scoured the marketplaces and went from door to door in Dinka and Jur neighborhoods, killing many Dinka and Jur men, women, and children. Witnesses saw hundreds of bodies on the streets; and one source said the Red Crescent carried three lorries full of the bodies of those civilians to common graves during this period. Mass graves were reported near the Nazareth quarter, in the Marial Bai/Marial Ajith areas, and elsewhere, while other bodies were seen dumped into the Jur River. Bodies in an advanced state of decomposition were burned on the spot. Civilians sought sanctuary in several locations, including the governor's residence, the Wau hospital, and the Catholic mission, but government forces reportedly entered all but the Catholic mission, killing many people inside. Estimates of the numbers killed range from several hundred to several thousand.

As soon as the OLS announced it was making emergency deliveries of relief food to the approximately 100,000 civilians who escaped this slaughter, the government on February 4 banned all relief flights into the entire rural (rebel-held) Bahr El Ghazal; the ban lasted, in essence, until March 31, 1998. The ban could not be justified as of immediate military necessity and went far beyond the geographical area of the brief fighting, in violation of customary rules of war. It was imposed to punish Kerubino, the SPLA, and the civilians living in areas they controlled. Since most food relief was delivered to remote Bahr El Ghazal by airdrops, and land and river travel-even where logistically feasible-was subjected to attack, the flight ban prevented the OLS from making sufficient food deliveries to head off or blunt the famine. The small exception to the ban-on February 26, permission to deliver food to four locations in rebel-held areas and two government garrison towns-exacerbated the situation by creating "aid magnets," causing migration.

The famine did not diminish when the flight ban was lifted on March 31, however, or when the government gave permission for additional planes with the enormous capacity needed to deliver massive amounts of food to the starving. The start-up lag time, slow funding, and logistical difficulties cost weeks in getting food to those in need. But continued violations of the rules of war played probably a larger part in deepening and prolonging the famine.

The famine was further extended by Kerubino. As allies with the SPLA his forces were no longer raiding the Dinka, but Kerubino took the conflict into Baggara territory in April 1998, killing civilians and looting Baggara cattle (while claiming to recover cattle looted from the Dinka).

Continued government attacks on civilians-raids and bombings-further drove the famine. Although some muraheleen raids in Bahr El Ghazal may have been conducted in part in retaliation for Kerubino raids, the large army/muraheleen/Popular Defense Force (PDF) campaigns in April-July 1998 involved considerable planning and government logistical support. These raids were carried out with renewed viciousness. The government forces abducted thousands of children and women, stole tens of thousands of cattle, burned many villages to the ground, and destroyed or pillaged food supplies. The planting season (usually April to May) was also disrupted, as thousands of famine victims fled hunger and the terror of muraheleen raids, migrating from their home areas to concentrate around a few relief sites. The government's bombing of several relief sites, in turn, killed some civilians on the spot and destabilized relief efforts.

The provision of relief to famine victims was further disrupted by the SPLA and by local chiefs, who appropriated relief food from needy civilians for redistribution to constituents according to their own criteria. The displaced without local kin, widows (who are at the bottom of the social scale even in normal times), and families with one child already receiving food from a feeding center suffered most. This diversion was an additional reason why the famine gained momentum in the rural areas despite international efforts. Hunger and muraheleen raiding together ultimately caused many Dinka to flee for safety and food into the garrison towns under the government's control-where they faced the threat of renewed ethnic violence.

The actions of government and opposition forces combined to make the death rate on account of the famine shoot up, including in the largest town in Bahr El Ghazal, Wau, where 72,000 famine migrants were registered from May to August, again filling up a town where whole neighborhoods were deserted on January 29. Restrictions on movement of the displaced in Wau and other towns threatened to limit their ability to cultivate. The reported detention and torture of many adult male displaced and the harassment of others, as well as a lack of protection for the displaced from the theft of food by town residents, meant they remained at risk.

In Aweil, northern government military forces were reportedly responsible for the June 1998 massacre of thirteen southern men, mostly bodyguards of the governor. Although Riek Machar, leader of the former rebel groups who signed a peace agreement with the government, complained that justice had not been done, it appears that the abusive army forces were never punished.

After a July 15 cease-fire for humanitarian purposes took effect in Bahr El Ghazal, a joint task force of rebel, U.N. and nongovernmental organizations, the SPLA/SRRA-OLS Joint Targeting Vulnerabilities Task Force in SPLM Controlled Areas of Bahr El Ghazal (Joint Task Force), conducted an assessment of the reasons relief was not reaching the neediest people in Bahr El Ghazal. They, too, recognized the rights abuses that propelled the food crisis into a famine, while citing non-human rights factors as well. Their ranking of the complex set of factors contributing to the famine during its first three phases is attached as Appendix A to this report. The Joint Task Force recommended improvements in the system of food distribution to help protect the vulnerable.

The cease-fire was extended by the government and SPLA in Bahr El Ghazal at the behest of the international community in three-month increments, to last until April 15, 1999. This positive development was clouded by the announcement that Kerubino, after an apparent assassination attempt on SPLA leader John Garang in Nairobi in November 1998, had returned to the government town of Bentiu, Western Upper Nile, having again left the SPLA, and was negotiating with the government to return to his role as a government-sponsored warlord in Bahr El Ghazal.

Western Upper Nile: Ex-rebel Government Militias Fight Each Other

The famine afflicting the Western Upper Nile region to the immediate east of Bahr El Ghazal has related origins in that the abusive military tactics used are similar: scorched earth attacks on civilians by government-funded militias. There are an estimated 150,000 people at risk of starvation in Western Upper Nile, mostly Nuer, cousins of the Dinka.

This area of southern Sudan is nominally controlled by the government, through Riek Machar, whose former rebel forces are an important part of the government-created South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF) he heads. The famine has spread there because Paulino Matiep, a Nuer warlord based in an oil field area of Western Upper Nile, has fought Riek's forces for more than a year.

Paulino also is armed and supported by the government of Sudan. That is what makes this different from the Bahr El Ghazal situation: the famine-producing tactics are not the product of a counterinsurgency fight against the SPLA. They are used by these two Nuer government militias against civilians for a very different objective: political and military control of strategic oil fields in Nuer lands. Regardless of who wins that fight, however, the real control at the end of 1998 remained with the government, which granted contracts to many foreign companies to extract the oil and build a pipeline to the north and a refinery there, on an accelerated basis. Revenue from the development of oil will enable the government to finance an expanded war.

The two Nuer militias raided back and forth in late 1997 and in 1998, with civilians taking the brunt of the fighting and the meager civilian infrastructure being demolished: huts, clinics, and other facilities were burned to the ground. The fighting made it difficult for the population to stay in one place, to find food, to protect their animals from capture, or to cultivate. Although there was no government ban imposed on OLS flights into this area, unlike Bahr El Ghazal, the fighters' rapid and widespread raiding created insecurity that forced the OLS to suspend service. From July to December, with one exception, no relief was distributed in Western Upper Nile because of insecurity. Several cease-fires were broken and in a dramatic move in October, Paulino's top commander and some 1,000 militia members defected to the SPLA. Riek's forces claimed in December that the war in Western Upper Nile was over, maintaining that the remainder of Paulino's forces, disgusted at the destruction of their Nuer homeland, deserted to Riek's SSDF.

Nuba Mountains: Under Siege by the Government

The Nuba Mountains, in the center of Sudan, are not contiguous to any rebel area but since 1989 the SPLA has controlled territory there. The Nubas are Africans, half Christian and half Muslim, who speak many different Nuba dialects and use Arabic as a lingua franca. The government of Sudan has never permitted access by the U.N. or any relief agency to the SPLA areas of the Nuba Mountains. While even preventing ordinary traders from doing civilian business with these rebel areas, the government has facilitated U.N. assistance to garrison towns, particularly to the "peace camps" where captured Nubas from rebel areas are interned and are subjected to abuse. The government's strategy is to starve the estimated 400,000 civilians in SPLA areas, presumed to be the SPLA "support base," out of their traditional lands and into these "peace camps."

Because the valleys of the Nuba Mountains are fertile, there has usually not been a need for outside food assistance. After the government captured a key valley in 1997 and the whole area suffered from drought, a nongovernmental organization, conducting a clandestine survey in defiance of the Sudan government's ban on travel there, found that more than 20,000 people were at risk of famine in early 1998. With additional scorched earth campaigns and drought, that number has increased in late 1998.

Sudan's Foreign Minister promised U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on May 20, 1998, that the U.N. could conduct an assessment mission in the rebel areas of the Nuba Mountains. That promise has never been kept. The governments' continued refusal of all access mocks the U.N. In the meantime, in September, twelve of Sudan's twenty-six states, in northern Sudan and far from the war, experienced the worst flooding of the Nile River in decades, leaving about 100,000 Sudanese homeless and exposed to malaria, cholera, and acute respiratory infections. The U.N. appealed for U.S. $ 9 million to help the most vulnerable flood victims. Yet the needs of the rebel-held Nuba Mountains have never been addressed.

Ambassador Tom Eric Vraalsen has made some headway since his appointment in mid-1998 as the U. N. secretary-general's special envoy for humanitarian affairs in Sudan: he concluded an agreement on rail and road use and security for relief operations, worked out an extension until April 15, 1999 of the Bahr El Ghazal cease-fire, and secured the government's agreement in principle to a needs assessment for the rebel areas of the Nuba Mountains. Only time will tell if this marks a real turning point.

Recommendations to the Government, its Army, the SSDF, Muraheleen, PDF, and Other Government Forces and Militias, including Kerubino's and Paulino's Forces; and the SPLM/A:

•           cease alltargeted and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian objects, andwithout delay investigate those believed involved in such acts and promptly trythem, subjecting the guilty to punishment;

•end lootingand pillaging and punish the looters and pillagers, whether operatingindividually or under command, and punish those who buy and sell looted goods;

•punish allarmed persons, whether under responsible command or not, who engage indiversion or theft of food and nonfood relief items, and those who buy and sellsuch items;

•permit fullinternational monitoring of relief efforts, with unrestricted access for foodmonitors and nongovernmental organizations not aligned with any party;

•allow thedeployment of full-time U.N. human rights officers to operate throughout Sudan,in government and rebel-held areas, with a mandate to promptly inform the worldcommunity of human rights abuses, particularly those that in the past have leadto famine;

•respectfreedom of movement so that anyone may move to and from rural areas tocultivate and to benefit from relief food;

•end arbitrarydetentions of persons displaced by famine and the war, and protect the safetyof the displaced; and

•punish allpersons who engage in slavery-like practices, including capturing civilians whoare not charged with any crime.

Recommendations to the Government:

•permit a U.N.assessment team (and relief if the team determines there is need) into therebel-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains as agreed upon in May 1998,without any further delay;

•participatewith OLS agencies in a joint task force to assess the failure of relief toreach those in need in government-controlled areas, following the model of theJoint Task Force;

•establish aprogram to put an end to the capture and exploitation of children and othercivilians by army, muraheleen, and militia, and an end to their confinement inslavery-like conditions; identify and release those held in captivity; enforcethe criminal laws against kidnapping, child abuse, and forced labor; establish,in consultation with experienced international agencies, a central agencyresponsible for assisting family members to locate their relatives missing inraids or war; ratify relevant international instruments, and cooperate withnational, international, and U.N. agencies in the investigation of slavery; and

•disarm anddisband all militias, both public and private..

Recommendations to the SPLM/A:

•implement therecommendations of the Joint Task Force, particularly to take measures toreestablish the neutrality of humanitarian assistance, prevent diversion fromneedy members of the community by anyone, and increase the amount of attentionand resources given to issues of law and order in areas where the OLS andnongovernmental organizations are operating;

•develop aprogram to end slavery in Sudan;

•support thedissemination of international human rights and humanitarian law and monitoringby OLS (Southern Sector); and

•disarm anddisband all armed groups operating in SPLA territory which are not directlypart of the SPLA nor are subjected to SPLA discipline.

Recommendations to the International Community,Particularly the Donors to OLS and the IGAD Partners Forum:

•require thegovernment, without further ado, to live up to its promise on May 20, 1998, toU.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to permit a U.N. assessment team (and reliefif needed) into the rebel-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains;

•support therenewal of the mandate of the special rapporteur on human rights in Sudan atthe U.N. Commission on Human Rights in 1999;

•fully supportand fund the establishment by the U.N. of a contingent of full-time U.N. humanrights officers with a mandate to operate throughout Sudan in government andrebel areas, and to promptly inform the world community of human rights abuses,particularly those that might lead to famine;

•support andfund the recommendations of the Joint Task Force;

•support andfund the dissemination of human rights and humanitarian law and monitoring byOLS (Southern Sector);

•refuse tofinance, support, or supply spare parts or repair track for the Babanusa-Wautrain, or use it to deliver relief on the grounds that the historical militaryuse to which the track and trains have been put (raiding civilians) are humanrights abuses which are root causes of the famine, and that such repairs arethus counterproductive to famine relief;

•closelymonitor the relationship between repair of roads and track and the commissionof human rights abuses, particularly raids and attacks on the civilianpopulations living in range of the roads or railway. Be prepared to switch toalternative means of delivery, even if more costly, if these modes oftransportation are ultimately facilitating the commission of human rightsabuses or the spread of famine;

•devise aplanned response to government, rebel, or warlord forces' refusals of access tocivilian populations in need and act promptly on that plan when access isdenied, to protect civilians from further displacement and rights abuses;

•develop aninternational program to end slavery in Sudan;

•require allparties to the conflict to:

•cease alltargeted and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian objects, andwithout delay investigate those believed involved in such acts and promptly trythem, subjecting the guilty to punishment;

•end looting andpunish the looters and those who buy and sell looted goods;

•punish all thosewho engage in diversion or theft of food and nonfood relief items, and thosewho buy and sell such items;

•respect freedomof movement so that anyone may move to and from rural areas to cultivate;

•end arbitrarydetentions of persons displaced by famine and war, and protect the safety ofthe displaced; and

•establish aprogram to put an end to the capture and exploitation of children and othercivilians by army and muraheleen and militia forces, and an end to theirconfinement in slavery-like conditions; identify and release those held incaptivity; enforce the criminal laws against kidnapping, child abuse, andforced labor; establish, in consultation with experienced internationalagencies, a central agency responsible for assisting family members to locaterelatives missing in raids or war; ratify relevant international instruments,and cooperate with national, international, and U.N. agencies in theinvestigation of slavery.

Recommendations to the United Nations and its Agencies,including OLS, UNICEF, WFP, the Commission on Human Rights, the HighCommissioner for Human Rights, and Others:

•require theSudan government to live up to its promise on May 20, 1998 to U.N.Secretary-General Kofi Annan to permit a U.N. assessment team (and relief ifneeded) into the rebel-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains;

•insist onfull international monitoring of relief efforts, with unrestricted access forfood monitors and nongovernmental organizations not aligned with any party;

•act urgentlyand firmly to deploy full-time U.N. human rights officers to operate throughoutSudan, with a mandate to promptly inform the world community of human rightsabuses, particularly those that lead to famine;

•support andact according to the recommendations of the Joint Task Force, particularly tourgently request UNCERO to initiate a joint UN/NGO/government of Sudaninvestigation into humanitarian abuses in government-controlled areas, and toconduct more OLS workshops on humanitarian principles and humanitarian law;

•support andfund the dissemination of human rights and humanitarian law and monitoring byOLS (Southern Sudan); and develop a program to end slavery in Sudan.


There is a longstanding war between the Islamist centralgovernment and its southern warlord and militia allies, and the rebel SudanPeoples' Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in southern Sudan and the centralNuba Mountains. The war was extended to eastern Sudan in 1995, and is aboutmany issues, including regional independence or autonomy, whether the centralgovernment should be a secularor Islamic state, control of valuable southernresources including oil and the waters of the Nile, political participation ingovernment, and human rights abuses.

The government forces include the troops of its regulararmy, militias, and allied southern warlords. The SPLM/A rebels draw heavily onDinka fighters, but also include other southerners and marginalized people fromother regions outside the south, such as the Nuba Mountains. Bahr El Ghazal isat the center of the 1998 famine and is the heartland of the Dinka, the largestethnic group in Sudan.

Starvation has become a promiscuous weapon of this war, asforces of both sides use hunger as a means to achieve military goals: thegovernment, through the use of militias and soldiers, attempts to control,displace, or to annihilate the civilian population believed to support therebels, and the SPLA attempts to starve southern garrison towns into surrenderthrough years-long sieges and attacks on overland and river transport. Bothsides divert food (relief and other) for their own commercial or survival needsas well.

In 1988, the use of starvation as a weapon of war killedthousands, estimated as high as 250,000, in Bahr El Ghazal and adjacent areas.The 1998 famine in Bahr El Ghazal by July 1998 put at risk of starvationapproximately one million people.

In 1988 as in 1998, famine was a consequence of bothgovernment design and rebel tactics. The government's arming and mobilizationof ethnic militia on its behalf, including defecting former rebel leaders, wasinstrumental in both campaigns. The government's support for militia raisedfrom ethnic groups that had been rivals of the Dinka appeared to offer a way towin the war at minimum economic and political cost while making responsibilityfor abuses committed "deniable," attributing them to "ancient tribalanimosities." When Dinka warlords were recruited to support the governmentagainst the Dinka population of Bahr El Ghazal, their abuses, too, would beattributed to actions and personalities beyond the government's control.

A scholar of the 1988 famine concluded that "the arming andencouragement of militia attacks, though it directly created famine,represented a solution rather than a problem for successive governments inKhartoum."[1][1]These governments were facing several pressures. Mounting international debtand economic recession, deepened by the war, prevented access to oil depositsand the building of the Jonglei Canal to capture Nile water that wouldotherwise evaporate. At the same time, the war required substantial securityspending. Politically, the government needed to accommodate the Baggara (wellarmed, discontented, and capable of becoming a dangerous anti-governmentforce), while it faced pressures from a growing Islamist movement. The militiastrategy appeared to offer a way to win the war at minimum cost, and it remainsunchanged today. Because it pits southerners against each other and neighboragainst neighbor, it makes the likelihood of establishing a lasting peaceremote.

There are also famines in 1998 in Western Upper Nile and inthe central Nuba Mountains induced by the same military tactics. In the NubaMountains, through local Nuba militias known asnafir al shaabi, the government uses starvation tactics to forcethe civilians living in rebel areas into "peace camps" in government garrisontowns. Consequently its forces not only loot or burn animals and foodstuffs andburn houses, but also impose a strict siege or blockade of the rebel areas,preventing any relief or even ordinary commerce from reaching the approximately400,000 civilians there.

In Western Upper Nile, the same starvation tactics areemployed, but not in pursuit of victory over the rebels. In that Nuer area, twogovernment-aligned Nuer militias are fighting each other for political andmilitary control of the state where the valuable oil fields are located, inorder to benefit from the current extraction efforts there. The government hasalready contracted out rights to the oil to a foreign consortium, and pumpingas well as refinery and pipeline construction in the north are underway on anaccelerated basis.

The preconditions for the famine in Bahr El Ghazal wereestablished through raids on Dinka communities by regular army troops,muraheleen, and other militias. They conducted sustained campaigns targetingcivilian communities, robbing them of their livelihoods (cattle and grain),abducting women and children for slavery purposes, and killing the men who gotin the way.

Obstruction of relief deliveries by the governmentexacerbated the suffering resulting from attacks on the civilian communities.Diversion of relief in Bahr El Ghazal by the SPLA and the local chiefs alsoplayed a role in prolonging the suffering.


The 1998 Bahr El Ghazal famine might not have developed hadgovernment militia forces of the muraheleen and the Dinka warlord KerubinoKuanyin Bol, a former SPLA commander, not stripped the land of cattle andgrain, causing massive civilian displacement and deprivation, and hadgovernment obstruction of humanitarian relief not cut the international safetynet for tens of thousands of the hungry. Kerubino's defection to the SPLA andtheir attempt to capture Wau and two other towns on January 29, 1998 caused theDinka and Jur population of these towns to flee to the rural areas alreadysuffering from a food shortage.[2][2]The fighting also caused the government to put in place a punitive flight banon all relief into Bahr El Ghazal; all contributed significantly to the famine.

Kerubino's Background Leading up to Wau

Kerubino, a founder of the SPLA, was held by SPLACommander-in-Chief John Garang in prolonged arbitrary detention from 1987 to1992, for allegedly having plotted a coup against Garang.[3][3]He, his deputy Faustino Atem Gualdit, Arok Thon Arok,[4][4]and other former SPLA commanders escaped south to Uganda in late 1992, wherethey eventually were recognized as refugees. They made their way to Kenya wherethey joined an SPLA breakaway faction formed in 1991 and headed by former SPLACommander Riek Machar, a movement later called the South Sudan IndependenceMovement/Army (SSIM/A).[5][5]

Kerubino proceeded to recruit followers from among his ownDinka of Bahr El Ghazal (he was born in Paywayi in Bahr El Ghazal and went toschool in nearby Gogrial[6][6])and formed a separate fighting force based close to the government garrisontown, Gogrial. His alliance with the government of Sudan dated from 1994; hewas expelled by Riek Machar from his rebel force (then SSIM/A) in January 1995for that reason.[7][7]From 1994-97, he fought the SPLA, but mainly inflicted substantial damage onhis own people in Twic, Abyei, and Gogrial counties, parts of Aweil East, andsouth into Wau County, all in Bahr El Ghazal. While the SPLA had support fromlocal Dinka chiefs and people in Bahr El Ghazal, Kerubino, allied with the"Arabs," did not.

Riek and Kerubino were reunited in the SSIM/A upon signingthe Political Charter with the government in April 1996. They were the onlyones to sign for the rebels.[8][8]In this charter the parties pledged to end the civil war, and to conduct areferendum, "after full establishment of peace" and at the end of an interimperiod, "to determine the political aspirations" of the people of southernSudan.[9][9]On April 21, 1997, that charter was incorporated into a Peace Agreement withthe government, which Kerubino signed as Commander-in-Chief of SPLM/A (Bahr ElGhazal). Among the former SPLA commanders who signed the Peace Agreement, Riekand Kerubino were the ones who actually headed fighting forces. In 1997,Kerubino relocated his forces close to Wau.

Wau in 1997

Wau, the second largest town in the south, with an estimatedpopulation of 120,000 at the end of 1997,[10][10]was tense from the time that the SPLA, in a surprise move in May-June 1997,captured three towns on the road leading northwest to Wau: Tonj (only sixtymiles to the southeast of Wau), Rumbek, and Yirol.[11][11]This campaign rolled on from a major March 1997 SPLA offensive from the Ugandanborder in which Yei was captured and thousands of Sudan government troops (andtheir Ugandan rebel protégés, the West Nile Bank Front based ingovernment-controlled southern Sudan) were killed or captured.[12][12]

One high-ranking Wau civil servant described the panic inWau at the fall of Tonj:

When the government forces went to Tonj [to fight theSPLA in April 1997] the people in Wau thought that the government forces wereso huge that none could defeat them. They were defeated by the SPLA and therewas panic in Wau. We found out about the defeat when the soldiers ran back toWau.

First to run back was the BM [multiple rocket launcherfiring 122 mm rockets singly or in a salvo], mounted on a truck. Other soldierscame on swollen feet, wounded. The northerners wanted to run away. If the SPLAforces in Tonj had gone to Wau then, Wau would have fallen. The northernerstook their families by air to Khartoum, even the senior officers.[13][13]

In May 1997 Kerubino fought the SPLA in and around Gogrial(one hundred kilometers northeast of Wau), and succeeded in preventing the SPLAfrom capturing this garrison town. One Wau resident said this fighting cameclose enough to Wau so that those in Wau could hear the sound of heavy guns.They also heard rumors of hundreds of people killed, Dinka on both sides. Inone opinion,"Kerubino certainly did a favor for the government bystopping the SPLA from taking Wau at that time. Kerubino defended the Arabs bykilling his own people."[14][14]However, the SPLA succeeded in May 1997 in capturing Wunrok to the northeast ofGogrial;[15][15]Wunrok had been a Kerubino stronghold until then, and was the place where heheld an ICRC plane and crew hostage in late 1996.[16][16]

After Tonj fell in May 1997, the governor of Western Bahr ElGhazal state, Ali Tamim Fartak, said,"All in the state are currently in astate of maximum alert... The government, the national peace forces in thestate and forces of Kerubino Kwanyin [sic] are (gathered) in one bunker for thedefense of the nation."[17][17]The government made it very difficult for men to leave Wau for outlying ruralareas; women were permitted to leave and return after a thorough search.[18][18]The SPLA also detained some people leaving Wau; there are reports thatdisplaced in the camps on the outskirts of Wau limited their movement due toSPLA attacks on the more venturesome.[19][19]All these factors made it hard to cultivate beyond the perimeter of Wau. Thesame appeared to be true in other government villages; in the small village ofAriath on the railway north of Aweil residents feared venturing out of thenarrow secure radius to cultivate because of the SPLA, limiting their economicrecovery.[20][20]

After May 1997, some educated Dinka who held positions asgovernment officials defected to the SPLA from Wau, disappearing to the other side.Theseincluded two of the very few medical doctors in Wau,[21][21]and Dr. Martin Marial, dean of the college of education and vice chancellor ofthe University of Bahr El Ghazal.[22][22]

The security situation in Wau, tense since the SPLAvictories in April and May 1997, worsened in October, when there was an SPLAmortar attack on Wau. Starting in November 1997 there was shooting nightly inWau, either by nervous government forces or in exchanges of fire with the SPLA.The military supply train, so notorious and so vital to the garrison town ofWau, reached Wau in October 1997, stayed a few weeks, and moved north from Wauin late October, with six closed cars.[23][23]

The People of Wau and Dinka-Fertit Rivalry

Wau has been an ethnically mixed town. Among the southernnon-Arab groups of Wau town are the Fertit, the Dinka, and the Jur.[24][24]The Bahr El Ghazal region was populated by Dinka (From the northwest tosoutheast of Wau), Jur from to the south and east of Wau, and Fertit from thewest, centered on the town of Raga.

The Fertit, a group of many small African tribes related tothe Bantu of central Africa, traditionally have been ruled by Arabized Muslimfamilies, including the Feroge family of Fartak. The Fertit areagriculturalists and most follow traditional African religions.[25][25]

The Dinka are Africans living mostly in Bahr El Ghazal,Upper Nile, and Lakes regions. Many live in Wau. As a result of the war andfamines, many have migrated to urban areas of the north where there is no war.[26][26]

The Jur are a Luo (African) group from east and south of Wauwho live in proximity to the Dinka in Bahr El Ghazal.[27][27]They were forced westward in Bahr El Ghazal in the nineteenth century by theDinka, who were in turn being pushed westward out of Western Upper Nile intoBahr El Ghazal by the expansionist Nuer.[28][28]In the process, the Jur lost their cattle to the tsetse fly and becameagriculturalists and blacksmiths.[29][29]The Jur language is close to Acholi, a Luo tribe that straddles theSudan/Uganda border.

Wau also has a Fellata community of Muslim West Africans whomigrated to Sudan following trade routes to Mecca;[30][30]many northern Sudanese Arab traders, known asjellaba,also live in Wau.

The Arabized Baggara cattle nomads, whose militia is themuraheleen, live to the north of Bahr El Ghazal, in Darfur and Kordofanregions.[31][31]They visit Wau en masse when they accompany the military train to Wau.

Wau has intermittently been the scene of fighting, oftenalong ethnic lines. During the first civil war (1955-1972), in January 1964,the southern separatist guerrilla force called Anyanya attacked Wau. The attackfailed.[32][32]In July 1965, northern troops conducted mass killings of southerners in Wau,sparking an exodus of southerners into border states.[33][33]

The ethnic, cultural, and political polarization of westernBahr El Ghazal-including Wau-was evident in the first civil war and increasedin the current war. Some Arabized, Islamized people from western Bahr El Ghazalwere attracted by the NIF's militant Islam as a means of vindicating their roleand presence in a sea of non-Arab non-Islamic southerners. The centralgovernment mobilized Muslim groups as well as the Fertit in Bahr El Ghazalagainst the SPLA-which was viewed as a Dinka army- arming the Fertit militiaand exploiting historical animosities between the Fertit and the Dinka.[34][34]

The Dinka were the primary victims of the 1988 famine inBahr El Ghazal that was caused in large part by raids by government-backedmuraheleen who stole cattle, burned huts and grain, and abducted women andchildren. In 1987 and 1988 Dinka famine victims streamed into Wau in search offood; their numbers reached almost 100,000. While some were able to draw onkinship ties to Dinka born in or earlier displaced to Wau, the many who werenot able to do so remained at a great disadvantage. They were forced to selltheir remaining assets-cattle-cheaply, work for little or no pay, and made tolive in camps. In part because of the suspicion of SPLA sympathies with whichrural Dinka were viewed, they were prohibited from movement out of displacedpeoples camps. The prohibition on movement outside the camps to cultivate,gather firewood, or to leave to find work in the north was tantamount to a"sentence of death by starvation."[35][35]Many did starve in Wau in 1988.[36][36]After the famine subsided, many migrated north to work or, especially after1993 when relief began to reach the rural areas, returned there to cultivate.[37][37]

The SPLA strategy was to lay siege to garrison towns, cutoff all means of transport, and force them to surrender. Wau was under siege bythe SPLA since about 1986. In February 1992 the government forces opened anoffensive from Wau to break the SPLA siege, but did not succeed. In April 1992,those war-displaced without relatives in Wau were relocated to two camps on theEast Bank of the Jur River six kilometers east of Wau, and at Marial Ajith, tenkilometers to the north of Wau. "They served to consolidate a security zonearound Wau."[38][38]The government military strategy for Wau, as for many garrison towns after1992, involved relocating and settling the war-displaced into peace villages,and the separation of these displaced from other kinds of populations.[39][39]

By 1996 many of the displaced in these camps had fledKerubino's attacks as well as muraheleen raids.[40][40]Some ran from the SPLA. Following a flight ban by the government from April23-May 15, 1997, the OLS found that "the situation [in the camps] was indeedcritical with little food and virtual lack of feeding center activities...malnutrition in the displaced camps is approaching 20 %... while efforts forcultivation are hampered due to insecurity."[41][41]After food distributions, a nutritional survey in Wau town and the camps stillshowed moderate levels of malnutrition in under five year olds.[42][42]The U.N. projected "major food deficits" for the displaced camps around Wau in1998.[43][43]

By 1998, two of three Wau camps for internally displacedwere exclusively Dinka: Marial Ajith (population about 6,000) and Eastern Bank(about 6,200).[44][44]The third camp was Moimoi, to the south, where about 3,000 Zande (a largeSudanese African ethnic group near the Uganda/Congo border) lived. At least twoneighborhoods of Wau were heavily Dinka: Hilla Jedid (Der Akok in Dinka) andNazareth. Hilla Jedid (Der Akok) had an estimated 8,700 people and was locatedin the northern part of Wau-and just south of the Girinti army base-where Dinkafamily members of the military (and families of SPLA "defectors") also lived.Nazareth in south central Wau had an estimated 21,000 population, 75 percent ofwhich was said to be Dinka and Jur. By 1998 some estimated that 42,000 lived inDinka neighborhoods and displaced camps and elsewhere in Wau, although numbersare notoriously unreliable.[45][45]

The Fertit Militia and the Dinka Police

The government formed and armed a Fertit militia in the mid-1980s.[46][46]The relationship of the government with the Fertit militia, called ofJeish el-Salam(Peace Army), and AnyanyaII, both known as "friendly forces," was regulated through a charter that thenewly elected parliament of Sudan adopted in a secret session in August 1987.The charter recognized a parallel set of military ranks for these militia, whowere to participate in joint operations and convoys with the army, and supplyit with intelligence. The Fertit militia was officially under the jurisdiction ofthe army's military intelligence department, and like Anyanya II, they receivedtraining, arms, ammunition, uniforms, and other supplies from militaryintelligence.[47][47]

The Fertit militia has been described as "one of theclearest examples of a militia formed and developed as part of a deliberate[government] military strategy,"[48][48]by one authority. Their leader was Tom Al Nour, who as major general commandedthem still in 1998.

The Fertit, like other less numerous southern peoples,feared the potential of the Dinka to dominate by virtue of their largepopulation. In Wau the police force was predominately Dinka and the othergovernment posts were precariously balanced between the Dinka and Fertit.[49][49]

Initially the Fertit militia was intended to protect smallFertit towns from the SPLA. Many Fertit had been forced to flee to Wau toescape SPLA attacks around Wau in which Fertit civilians were deliberatelykilled by SPLA troops.[50][50]In 1987 the SPLA attacked Khor Shammam (twelve kilometers from Raga), the homeof the Fartak ruling family; the Fartak were considered an inveterate enemy ofthe SPLA.[51][51]

The Fertit were divided among themselves, and most Fertitleaders distrusted those chosen to lead the Fertit militia. They regarded themilitia as a dangerous escalation of the war, according to one source.[52][52]In 1987 the Fertit militia was withdrawn to Wau where it was coordinated by thearmy. This set the stage for ethnic clashes that claimed many civilian victims.As one report described Wau in 1987:

Three mutually antagonistic elements were prepared toloot and kill for food and vengeance: The army controlled the barracks, therailway depot, and the airport; the Fertit militia -armed by the government,made up of the hodgepodge of Sudanic peoples, and in large part Muslim andcommitted to oppose Dinka expansion-controlled half the city; and finally, theDinka dominated the police force and thesuq(market),markaz(administrative headquarters), and half of the residential area. In January[1987] the Fertit militia took advantage of food riots to kill their Dinkaadversaries and burn their living quarters.[53][53]

In July 1987, Major General Abu Gurun was appointed armycommander in Wau and greatly exacerbated Fertit/Dinka tensions:[54][54]

In summer 1987 Wau's agony continued without surcease... WauTown had fallen into a state of veritable anarchy. Civilians disappeared atnight and were found dead the next morning; corpses, many riddled with bulletsand showing signs of torture, were dumped along the town perimeter. Armed bythe government and led by Missiriya Baqqara, the Fertit needed little excuse toattack the Dinka, particularly the Dinka police... Thanks to [Major GeneralAbu] Gurun's dispensation, the militia roamed through Wau, throwing grenadesinto Dinka huts and murdering Dinka civilians in the streets. In June a scoreof Dinka were killed and mutilated in the Lokoloko quarter; after a government[large cargo aircraft] C-130 was hit by an SPLA SAM-7 [anti-aircraft] missileover Wau airport on 3 August, General Abu Gurun supervised a search of theDinka quarters that resulted in the deaths of more than 100 persons... Later,in a single evening the Sudanese army lobbed nearly a dozen mortar shells intothe Dinka quarter, creating confusion and death...[55][55]

The Fertit militia, with the loan of army tanks,[56][56]finally attacked the police headquarters, leaving twenty-five Dinka police deadin the heart of Wau on September 6, 1987.[57][57]Army tanks attacked the Dinka sector of town and burned or destroyed nearly sixhundred Dinkatukuls(huts), killing300 civilians.[58][58]The Dinka police fought back for three days, defeating the Fertit militia whichthen retreated to the Jebel Kher area three or four miles outside of Wau("The Dinka do not go there.").[59][59]The transfer of Maj. Gen. Abu Gurun out of Wau at the end of 1987 eased thesituation considerably, but a low level of killings continued.[60][60]

Famine was also taking lives in Wau during the killings of1987 and 1988. Thousands of displaced Dinka from Aweil and Gogrial, as well asFertit and Luo from other areas, sought food and shelter at four camps theRoman Catholic Diocese created in June 1987. More than 200 people reportedlydied in the camps by the end of August, in a situation that was described asincreasingly desperate:

By September the markets in Wau were bare; thejallabawere escaping to Khartoum andthose who remained sold sorghum on the black market for more than twenty timesthe prevailing price in Khartoum...

In early October 1988, Angelo Beda, the chair of thegovernment's hapless Council for the South, visited Wau and informed the pressthat ‘62 people die daily of hunger.'[61][61]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)announced an airlift to Wau more than a year later, in 1989, but foodconditions were not much improved, and security was also bad:

The Fertit militia was still active. It had attacked adisplaced camp in January [1989] and the following month burned to the ground300 huts in the Hay-Fellata quarter. Murder was a nightly pastime. Food relieftrucks were habitually commandeered by the army, civil servants went unpaid,sugar was selling for the equivalent of $15 a pound, the hospital was low onmedicines, and corruption was rampant.[62][62]

After the coup d' etat on June 30, 1989, the newNIF-military government began to impose stringent restrictions on the reliefeffort and on foreign eyewitnesses. Expatriates working in government garrisontowns in Sudan, including religious personnel, frequently confronted theproblem of travel permits. Often they would forego or delay taking leave forfear that they would not receive government permission to return, since evenlong residence did not and does not guarantee the right to return.

Although there were an estimated 70,000 displaced persons inWau in September 1989,[63][63]the head of military intelligence reportedly refused access to any foreignerswithout clearance from Khartoum.[64][64]A rash of violence similar to that of 1987 again broke out in mid-1989, asFertit militia and the military attacked Dinka civilians and Dinka policeseeking to protect them:

On 18 July [1989] the tenuous peace was shattered whenarmy soldiers ran amok after one of their comrades was badly injured by anantipersonnel mine planted two kilometers north of the Wau military base.[65][65]

The massacre was conducted by soldiers in the 311thField Artillery Battalion who rushed to the Zagalona neighborhood of Wau andthere began an indiscriminate attack on the Dinka. They seemed to target thedisplaced, including women and children living in camps set up by the ICRC.

The Dinka police tried to intervene to stop the killing butthe military stopped them and the police, outgunned, retreated. When theslaughter was over, one hundred Dinka civilians were dead and scores were badlyinjured. The soldiers collected the dead and the mortally wounded and dumpedthem down a well located northwest of the military post.[66][66]

Justice was never done in this case; the authorities actedas if the massacre had never happened. Although its details were widely knowninside Wau, neither the military nor the local government bothered toinvestigate or punish the guilty.[67][67]

In 1991 the Fertit militia together with the muraheleenattacked Dinka civilians and police in Wau, according to one source. The Dinkapolice defeated them and captured muraheleen cattle. The Fertit then soughtpeace negotiations, mediated by then Governor (Major General) George KongorArop, a Dinka army officer who is now second vice president of Sudan. Theagreement was signed by the Dinka police and the Fertit militia. There was nomore fighting inside Wau until January 1998.[68][68]

The economy of the garrison town of Wau was skewed by thewar and dominated by a military/merchant cartel, according to a 1996 review ofthe OLS:

The formal economy of the region has collapsed,although the government has managed to keep some resources flowing into thetown [of Wau] to support civilian and military administrations... [Land hasbeen set aside for agricultural production but] the ability to derive asubsistence income from this production is undermined... by a cartel of tradersand military officers who have combined to control the food market. With amonopoly on trucks and military protection, the cartel has been able toregulate the import of food to Wau... Seasonally, food prices are subject tothe manipulation of the cartel, and since 1989 they have consistently beenamong the highest in Sudan.[69][69]

When the south was administratively divided from threestates to ten in 1994, Wau became the capital of Western Bahr El Ghazal,considered a Fertit area. The rest of Bahr El Ghazal was divided among NorthernBahr El Ghazal (Aweil), Warab (Tonj and Gogrial), and Lakes (Yirol), allconsidered to be Dinka. Some Fertit were said to believe that the Dinka shouldmove out of "their" town, Wau, into the Dinka areas.[70][70]This did not happen until January 1998, and within months, about one-third ofthe Dinka who fled Wau returned, in desperate condition.

Dinka and Baggara Rivalry in Bahr El Ghazal

The Dinka/Baggara rivalry has escalated from tribalanimosity to a government counterinsurgency strategy whereby the Baggara havebecome government proxies against the Dinka, perceived as the backbone of theSPLA. This role for the Baggara was forged under the government of PresidentNimeiri (1969-85) and applied by the Umma Party when it was in power in aseries of coalition governments from 1986-89. Although the Umma Party coalitionwas an elected government, the elections were not entirely satisfactory becausethe civil war that restarted in 1983 prevented most living in the south fromparticipating.

The armed horsemen of the Baggara militia, known as themuraheleen, played a crucial role in the generation of the famines of 1988 and1998. Their government-sanctioned raids transferred Dinka cattle wealth to theBaggara, enslaved Dinka women and children, and played a major role in causingthe Bahr El Ghazal famine of 1988, as has been abundantly illustrated innumerous studies.[71][71]Muraheleen raids of the 1990s contributed to the 1998 famine through the sameprocess.[72][72]

The Baggara Militia-the Muraheleen

The Baggara are Arabized cattle nomads (bagarais the Arabic word for cow) living in the southern parts ofKordofan and Darfur, in western Sudan. The Baggara include subgroups such asthe Rizeigat of Darfur and the Misseriya of Kordofan. Most Baggara today stillbelong to the Ansar Sunni Muslim religious sect and the Umma Party.

Misseriya militias were active as early as 1983. Under thegovernment of President Nimeiri they and the Anyanya II, a mostly Nuer militia,coordinated raids with the army.[73][73]The government may have turned to arming the Baggara as a militia in partbecause conscription was unpopular in Sudan; it was canvassed as an option byPresident Nimeiri in 1984 and was apparently so unpopular that Nimeiri droppedthe idea and armed tribal militias to increase the forces at his disposal tofight the war.[74][74]

After electoral democracy was restored, the Umma Party,partly out of fear that the Islamist NIF was making inroads into itstraditional Baggara base, armed its Baggara supporters to raid the southernersand take war booty, and granted the Baggara impunity for these crimes.[75][75]

Mechanisms used to exist for settling conflicts between theBaggara and the Dinka, mostly by inter-tribal conferences backed up by thepower of the state. Since the beginning of the second civil war in 1983,however "the government has not intervened to try to settle disputes betweenthe Baggara and the Dinka."[76][76]The national government has intervened to mediate disputes between other tribessince that date, however.[77][77]

Agreements between the two sides have produced truces fromtime to time. During the first civil war (1955-72), the Baggara entered intograzing agreements with local commanders of the Anyanya southern separatistguerrilla movement, whereby the Baggara paid taxes in currency and bulls inorder to graze and water their livestock in Bahr El Ghazal during the dryseason. These were not renewed at the outset of the second civil war, however,and the Baggara began to make annual armed incursions into Bahr El Ghazal andUpper Nile, taking advantage of local unarmed populations.[78][78]

The Baggara tribes suffered economically fromdesertification and drought, encroachment on grazing lands by mechanizedfarming, and other factors in the 1980s.[79][79]They were a persistent threat of rebellion to all central governments. In 1977the Ansar (including the Baggara) came close to overthrowing President Nimeiriin an armed insurrection from bases in Libya. The government militia strategywould appease the Baggara with war booty and channel their economicfrustrations against other sources of rebellion: the Dinka and the Nuer.[80][80]

"Muraheleen" is the Misseriya word for "travelers,"referring to groups of young Misseriya Baggara men who accompanied herds ofcattle ahead of the rest of the tribe in the seasonal movements of the herds.The muraheleen travel on horseback, and were traditionally armed with firearmsto protect themselves and their herds against wild animals and cattle raiders.The families followed behind. The equivalent among the Rizeigat Baggara tribeof southern Darfur are called"fursan,"Arabic for"cavaliers orhorsemen."The muraheleen tribal militias were formed in the mid-1980s.They were incorporated into the army after the 1989 coup that brought the NIFto power. After that, the term muraheleen came to cover not only Misseriya butalso Rizeigat and other Baggara, and to denote tribal militias who raidvillages in the south operating under the authority of the army.

One important muraheleen function since 1989 has been toaccompany the military supply train that descends on Bahr El Ghazal along thesole rail line that goes to the south, ending at Wau. They put their horses onthe train. When they reach Bahr El Ghazal they bring out the horses to use inraids on Dinka villages along the railway and beyond; with the horses, they canreach a greater number of villages. Armed by the government with modernweapons, the muraheleen and other government forces periodically devastated theDinka communities along the rail line as they traveled with the military train,looting food stocks, rustling cattle, burning villages, and abducting women andchildren into slavery[81][81]-andcontributing to the preconditions of famine. The Dinka, who do not have horses,also lacked modern weapons and protection, as the northern Bahr El Ghazal areawas not an area of strategic military importance to the SPLA.

The muraheleen have not settled in Wau, but usually are seenthere when the train arrives. They have been seen selling looted cattle andother goods in the Wau market, usually transported there by the military train.(See Appendix C for more details of the historical role of the train in humanrights abuses.)

Their role in the looting and killing civilians and causingfamine is known, even in Khartoum. Dr. Toby Maduot, a leader of a politicalparty registered with the government, the Sudan African National Union (SANU),called for the disbanding of all the militias, be they private or belonging tothe government. He specifically blamed the muraheleen for marauding in southernSudan.[82][82]

Those Dinka Displaced from Abyei County, Kordofan

The border between Darfur and Bahr El Ghazal was set by theBritish in 1924 some twelve miles south of the Bahr al Arab River (Kir River)[83][83]and has been a source of Baggara/Dinka conflict ever since.[84][84]The border between Kordofan and Bahr El Ghazal was also set south of thatriver.

The Ngok Dinka lived in the Bahr El Ghazal-Kordofan areanorth and south of the Bahr al Arab River, with their center at Abyei. In 1951their chief agreed to the demarcation whereby the Abyei area remained part ofKordofan, north of Bahr El Ghazal, and technically not in the south, and atindependence in 1956 it remained part of Kordofan.[85][85]

This demarcation of Abyei is important now because NgokDinka lands have been in the jurisdiction of Kordofan (now Western Kordofan)for decades, and peace negotiations have foundered, among other things, onwhether the Abyei area should be included in the southern region for purposesof voting on self-determination.[86][86]

Many Ngok Dinka have been displaced from their homes inKordofan by muraheleen raiding; some moved south to Bahr El Ghazal and sufferedfamines there in 1988 and 1998. Human Rights Watch interviewed communityleaders from Abyei County in Wunrok (Twic County, Bahr El Ghazal) in May 1998;they said they had been displaced "by the Arabs" from their land in 1977. OneNgok Dinka civilian leader said that their troubles with "the Arabs" started in1964 over cattle; the fight was settled by the chiefs but in 1977 it flared upagain, this time with the muraheleen armed by the Nimeiri government (1969-85).Since then, the muraheleen have had their own garrison in Abyei. Theirmotivation for attacks on the Dinka, this man believed, was to expel them fromthe area and take over Dinka land. This is a widely-held belief among theDinka. After the Ngok Dinka moved south to Twic County to get away frommuraheleen raiding they could no longer take their cattle to water on the KirRiver (Bahr al Arab).[87][87]

A white-haired elder of the Ngok Dinka from Dung Ap village,one hour on foot (four miles) north of the Bahr al Arab River, said that he andmany others left Dung Ap years ago, after the Arabs raided it three times andkilled people. The family split up; two wives and four children went toKhartoum, and he and his other wives and children went to Mayen Abun in TwicCounty, Bahr El Ghazal. When asked why they left Dung Ap, he replied, "Becausethe enemy destroyed the area and there was no food. Dung Ap is now a no man'sland." The enemy burned all the houses and killed people. The "Arab" was theenemy. "They want to occupy our land and take our property. They live on myland during the rainy season. Our area is very fertile." He grew groundnuts(peanuts), simsim (sesame), okra, and sorghum, and harvested honey in theforest. He had cattle. "We fought them. We defended ourselves for two years.After that they joined with the government, in 1977, and defeated us. Theybecame stronger. They had rifles (many) and we had only spears, no guns. Thishappened before the SPLA."[88][88]

Even after he and his community moved south into the Dinkaarea of Mayen Abun, and lived there many years, they were not safe from the"enemy," the Misseriya Arabs, who raided Mayen Abun and their cattle camp at Akwachin 1988. "They had uniforms which they had from Khartoum. We had no rifles sowe escaped and left our cows for them. The SPLA was far away." After the cattleraid, he lived around the Lol River to fish for food for his children. When themuraheleen left he returned to Mayen Abun. His herd was replenished by themarriage of one daughter (twelve cows), but ten were taken by the raiders in1997.

We have not returned to Abyei since we left. We sent ourwomen to Abyei to buy food, durra [sorghum]. They sold butter for durra. Lastyear [1997] was the last time they did this. This year, we have no cows [theywere taken by muraheleen] and therefore no butter. We did not go to Aweil orGogrial. They are very far from here. We do not know those towns.

His family lived in Mayen Abun for many years, and was thereduring the "time of the war between SPLA and Kerubino [1994-97]. All the housesand goats were looted by Kerubino's forces. Kerubino was looting because he hadjoined with Khartoum and we refused him. We refused to join the Arabs becausethey destroyed our things, looted, took slaves, and other things." The samesource described the seesaw battle for control of the area:

Kerubino went to the Arabs. We do not know the reasonhe was angry [with us]. He went there. Kerubino captured our children to armthem as his soldiers. Even the older men. I escaped and hid. Kerubino did notget any of my children. None joined him...

The SPLA was not allowed in Mayen Abun; Kerubino'sforces were in Mayen Abun. The SPLA attacked Kerubino in Mayen Abun threetimes. During those attacks, Kerubino's men were killed by the SPLA. ThenKerubino withdrew to Gogrial with some goats, about three years ago [1995].Then he returned to Wunrok again and destroyed the area, burned houses andmoved with the muraheleen and took the rest of the goats. The SPLA stayed inMayen Abun, in the outlying villages. They did not take cows or goats orcapture people. Kerubino chased the SPLA away. The SPLA returned in 1997, in anattack on Wunrok. I escaped. Kerubino withdrew to Gogrial and Abyei. Thishappened twice.

Ten cows were taken from me in 1997 in Mayen Abun. Themuraheleen came by surprise and took the cows. Usually when we heard they werecoming, we hid with the cattle but this time they reached us by surprise. Thiswas May last year [1997].

Wunrok was not a permanent settlement for them, only one ofa series of refuges from continued raiding. Wunrok was raided by the muraheleena few days after this interview, and those who survived were uprooted again.

Those Dinka Displaced from Twic County, Bahr El Ghazal

A Widow's Story: Famine and Child Slavery

One Dinka woman, Alet, born in Wunrok, Twic County, Bahr ElGhazal, had a typical story of family devastation and displacement by raiders.Alet gave birth to twenty children, of whom ten died when they were young. Herchildren died in the first famine and in the second famine; she did not knowthe years. Five children were abducted, in different years, by the muraheleen.When asked her age, she said, "one hundred years," laughing. Like most ruralDinka women, she is illiterate.

She lived in Wunrok and Panthou, on the other side of theLol River, while her husband was alive. The land was fertile and she and herhusband cultivated many crops, including sorghum, groundnuts, maize, okra, andsesame. "I worked very hard," Alet said. Nevertheless, ten children died in thefirst famine (perhaps 1973) and the second famine (1988).

They were raided by the muraheleen on a frequent basis. Thefirst three children were captured by the muraheleen from Wunrok "before thesecond famine." Three were taken at the same time: two boys (Piol age four andAjal age six) and one girl (Abuk age seven). The family moved to Panthou. Afterthe second famine, the other two, both girls, were taken (Aker age nine andAluel age eleven), "during the time of Omar Bashir, when Kerubino was still inthe SPLA."[89][89]

One son, Bui Ngor, went to Ethiopia to study in the refugeecamps there after the abduction of his siblings. He was eight years old. Heleft with many boys from this area. He has not returned and his mother knowsnothing of him. (In Ethiopia he was almost certainly conscripted into the SPLAas a child soldier).[90][90]

The muraheleen came with horses and on foot. When they came,the children scattered and she ran also. "Other children from Wunrok were takenalso, not mine alone." When they were captured, the SPLA was far away. When theSPLA arrived, the muraheleen left, taking cows, goats, and sorghum they hadlooted.

After loosing five children to the muraheleen raids, herhusband went to look for them "in the land of the Arabs, north of the Bahr alArab (Kir)." He was angry when he left. He told his wife, "I will go and lookfor the children. If I cannot find them I will kill myself." He went alone, andspent two years there, in alien territory. He could not find the kidnappedchildren. He was worn out by the search, and returned to Panthou, where he fellill because of the "shock"and heartbreak, and died. She was left a widow withfour young daughters.

Raiding continued after his death. During one raid she andothers crossed the Lol River and escaped to Paliet. When they returned home toWunrok they found that everything had been burned by the muraheleen. There wasraiding on Panthou when they lived there, also; they escaped to Paliet withtheir cattle. The muraheleen followed them, took the cattle, and left. ManyDinka were killed: "they could not be counted." In all she remembers four raidson Panthou, by the muraheleen, the Nuer, and Kerubino, when he was based inWunrok.

Alet is a widow who has not remarried. She is angry that herchildren were abducted and her husband died. But this was not the end of theabduction of her children: a few years ago, after her husband died, themuraheleen raided again and took her four remaining children, all girls.

Alet pursued the raiders for three days, on foot. She foundthem when they were still on the road. The muraheleen were many, and wereriding on horses. Her four daughters and other captives were on foot, tied bytheir hands together, with one rope. She pleaded with the muraheleen.

"I went and cried in front of them, ‘Give me my children, ifyou refuse, I will go with them, and if you won't let me, you should kill mehere.' I told them they already took five children, and I wanted my last fourchildren back." They relented and gave her the four girls.

When her oldest girl married one year ago, the dowry(bridewealth) to be paid by the bridegroom's family to her family was fortycattle. In cases where the bride's father is dead, the cattle are divided amongthe bride's relatives, but her widowed mother has no right to keep cattle underDinka customary law, according to this widow. Most of the bridewealth cattlewent to the bride's father's brothers and uncles. Alet, the widow, receivedonly two cows and they went to her father and brothers. This underlines thegreat social disadvantage widows suffer, as pointed out in the Joint Task ForceReport.

"Our area is totally destroyed and we're very hungry. Theother areas are the same. The people cannot survive this year. We have no beds,no mosquito nets. There are lots of mosquitos here. Now the muraheleen are inthis area so many people have fled and most are now in the bush.

"I am thin from hunger, not disease. Our problem now ishunger, not abduction," she concluded.[91][91]

Another Dinka Family, Torn Apart

Ajak is a Dinka mother whose oldest child is a twenty-fiveyear old girl. Ajak does not know her age. She was born in Ayen village andmoved to Mayen Abun when she married. They were displaced from Mayen Abun bytwo muraheleen raids. The muraheleen destroyed all their property, looting andburning houses and killing people. During the two raids they took all onehundred cattle her husband had, and one hundred goats. Everything else wasbroken and burned. The muraheleen came early in the morning during these raids,on foot, and accompanied by soldiers.

During the second raid, the muraheleen killed about 200people after surrounding the Dinka village. They abducted about fifteenchildren, who have not returned. After the second raid, her husband took thetwo oldest boys and went north. Ajak moved to Ayen where she lived with asister and a brother.

Kerubino and the SPLA fought in Ayen. Kerubino thendevastated the area and took what little sorghum they had cultivated. Afterthat her family went to Mading, to safety. There was, however, no fooddistribution there, and they ate wild leaves of the lalob and other trees. Theywere not in good health, and Ajak ended the interview with heavy coughing.[92][92]


Operation Lifeline Sudan in Southern Sudan

Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) arose out of the failure ofthe international community, ten years ago, to prevent the 1988 war-relatedfamine in Bahr El Ghazal,[93][93]in which it was estimated that approximately 250,000 people died. What littlerelief was sent to Bahr El Ghazal during that famine failed to make a dent:

Relief deliveries to Bahr El Ghazal in 1987 wereextremely inadequate in relation to an increasing need. With the U.N.estimating that 690,000 people were at risk of famine in Bahr El Ghazal at theend of 1986, an aid agency/U.N. team estimated that 38,250 MT [metric tons]would be required for Bahr El Ghazal to cover just the first six months of1987... This figure dwarfs the 4,000 MT of relief administered in the whole of1987.[94][94]

Relief to Bahr El Ghazal even dropped significantly the nextyear: in 1988, the nadir of the famine, only 1,300 MT of food were delivered toBahr El Ghazal.[95][95]

The OLS started up in 1989, and by the end of August 1989delivered 17,700 MT of food to Bahr El Ghazal, two-thirds of it to governmentareas such as Wau and Aweil. By then the famine had subsided for other reasons.[96][96]

The OLS evolved, and its operations were divided into anorthern Khartoum-based sector and a southern Nairobi-based sector. Bothnorthern and southern sectors report to the Office for the Coordination ofHumanitarian Affairs (OCHA), formerly the Department for Humanitarian Affairs(DHA) at the United Nations in New York. After seven years of OLS operations,an experienced team conducted a comprehensive review of OLS.[97][97]

OLS (Northern Sector) serves beneficiaries ingovernment-held territories, including southern garrison towns, the transitionalzones (Nuba Mountains, Darfur), and the Khartoum internally displaced camps. InBahr El Ghazal, the garrison towns of Wau, Aweil, and Gogrial are served by thenorthern sector and the surrounding SPLA-held areas of Bahr El Ghazal areserved by the southern sector.

OLS (Northern Sector) does not provide any assistance toSPLA-held areas in the Nuba Mountains of Southern Kordofan, which are in thecenter of Sudan. The government forbids any U.N. or other relief operation toserve this area. The northern sector is coordinated by the overall coordinatorfor all U.N. relief operations in Sudan, the U.N. Coordinator for Emergency andRelief Operations (UNCERO), based in Khartoum.

OLS (Southern Sector) serves areas of southern Sudancontrolled by rebel forces. Its hub of operations is in Lokichokkio, Kenya, onthe border of southern Sudan. The lead agency in the southern sector is UNICEF,which works alongside WFP and some forty international and Sudanesenongovernmental organizations. Activities carried out by OLS (Southern Sector)agencies include not only traditional relief activities-food aid, health, waterand sanitation, distribution of seeds and shelter-but also primary education,teacher training, family reunification, livestock programs, training of communityand animal health workers, and capacity building for local institutions.[98][98]

Southern Sudan is a huge area 640,000 kilometers square,about the size of Texas.[99][99]The OLS (Southern Sector) comprises most of the territory impacted by the 1998famine, with the exception of the garrison towns such as Wau and Aweil. Forhistorical reasons the southern sector continues to serve the areas under thecontrol of the former rebel movement, the SSIM/A, in Upper Nile, Jonglei, andWestern Upper Nile, despite the fact that this movement is now aligned with andreceiving arms from the government.

The OLS (Southern Sector) is characterized by 1) operationsduring an ongoing conflict to internally displaced and other needy people inwar-affected areas; 2) approval sought from both sides for operations; 3)non-military means used for relief delivery; 4) the development of its ownsecurity apparatus to protect staff, including use of planes to evacuate stafffrom insecure situations on short notice; 5) use of air delivery for about 80percent of the goods transported; and 6) an innovative program fordisseminating information about human rights, the Ground Rules (a 1994tripartite agreement among the OLS and two rebel factions) which obliged therebel movements to adhere to a code of conduct with regard to relief operationsand to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the body of internationalhumanitarian law (the rules of war).

A 1996 review of the OLS done for the U.N. noted:

From the end of 1992 the nongovernment areas of SouthSudan emerged as a form of "safe area". While lacking military protection-forexample, through U.N. peacekeeping troops- a sophisticated security apparatushas nevertheless emerged which monitors the level of insecurity forhumanitarian operations in the conflict zones. This monitoring has allowed forthe development of a system of flexible access for humanitarian aid in thecontext of on going warfare.[100][100]

It has been up to the OLS in practice to determine ifmilitary activity in any given location jeopardizes its programs, and toevacuate staff whenever the fighting imperils the ability to deliver goods andservices. The government has the right to deny access, which it doesfrequently, often for "security reasons," whether or not the OLS shares thegovernment's assessment of security. In many cases "security" is a pretext toprevent U.N. access to recently captured locations, or locations the governmentintends to put under siege.

Almost since its inception, the OLS (Southern Sector) wasforced, by inadequate and land- mined roads, and ambushes of overland and rivertransport (usually by the SPLA but sometimes by government militia),[101][101]to conduct the relief operation mostly by airdrops.[102][102]For accountability purposes, U.N. and NGO staff may be based in or frequentlyvisit program locations; the nongovernment agencies operate the feedingprograms for which the World Food Programme supplies the food. As of October1998, when the southern relief program was operating at its greatest evercapacity, there were a total of 700 staff working for OLS (Southern Sector) inSudan. This included all the nongovernment organizations, WFP, and UNICEF staffin the field but did not include staff in Nairobi or at the logistical center,Lokichokkio.[103][103]

The airborne relief operation is expensive. Being airborne,however, serves several purposes: areas inaccessible due to remoteness and lackof infrastructure can be reached; staff can be protected through air evacuationand more efficiently deployed by plane than by Land Rover or barge; places ofmilitary activity can be hopped over. In theory air delivery can distributegoods more widely than can land transport or barge. Before internationalpressure was brought to bear in 1998, a combination of government restrictionsand weather meant that the airstrips were restricted to only one or two toserve a vast area of assessed need, and they became aid ghettoes, provoking newmovements of population. The lack of planning on the part of the agencies andthe unpredictability of deliveries provoked small speculative populationmovements and exacerbated social disruption. People died trying to get to aid,and second-guessing OLS schedules.[104][104]

The Ground Rules/Humanitarian Principles aspect of OLS'operations has been singled out for praise by the U.N. review:

by the very fact that it is one of the few programmesin South Sudan that is actually documenting how the war is being fought andattempting to do something about it, the use of Ground Rules deserves specialmention. Indeed, the use of Ground Rules has achieved a rare thing in reliefwork. Whereas usually aid agencies disregard human rights as the price to bepaid for access, the Ground Rules have brought human rights and humanitarianaid together.[105][105]

As one of the architects of the program stated,

The underlying ethical position of the humanitarianprinciples programme was based upon two fundamental assumptions:

•That theprotection of the safety and dignity of victims of conflict is an integral partof a humanitarian mandate. Though this stance flew in the face of conventionalwisdom, it was difficult to see how a normatively based position could beotherwise.

•That accessto humanitarian assistance is a fundamental right and that the integrity ofhumanitarian assistance-ensuring its timely arrival to the right people-must beprotected.[106][106]

The Ground Rules were based on the principles of the rightto humanitarian assistance, neutrality, accountability to donors andbeneficiaries, impartiality, transparency, capacity building, and protection ofcivilians and relief staff.[107][107]One of the tasks was to promote adherence to humanitarian principles among theinfluential parties in southern Sudan: military, civilian, and humanitarianofficials, religious leaders, women's leaders, Sudanese NGOs, traditionalchiefs and elders. The dissemination of this message was done by means ofworkshops held for the different groups, often together: when talking about therecruitment of children into the military, it was important "to tell both themilitary commanders and the parents of the childrentogetherthat this was not to be allowed under the movements' owncommitment" to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[108][108]This introduction of human rights language and concepts to a wide spectrum ofsouthern Sudanese society, together with other programs to aid civil society,has had a positive impact on the conduct of the SPLA, according to Human RightsWatch's own observations. It is too early to say whether these changes arepermanent; some relief groups observed that the SPLA has failed to continue thereform momentum it had in 1994-96.[109][109]

All the programs and plans of OLS depend on adequatefinancing by the international community. At the onset of the 1998 famine, OLSadmittedly "lacked the financial resources to respond on the scale needed."[110][110]It faced a major funding crisis in 1997, receiving only 40.4 percent of thefunds required, and had to scale down several programs and ground flights as aresult. This compounded the under-funding in 1995 and 1996, when only half therequired funds were provided. Early responses to the 1998 ConsolidatedInter-agency Appeal for Sudan (issued in February 1998, before the extent ofthe famine was known) were also disappointing but by May 1998 donor support hadgrown considerably,[111][111]while continued adequate funding still remains a serious concern.

Government Denial of Access, and Cost of Air Bridge

Although the government of Sudan grants OLS (SouthernSector) permission, on a month by month, site by site basis, to deliver reliefto sites with assessed need, it was never comfortable for military orsovereignty reasons with this system. The government has had greater control ofOLS (Northern Sector) based in Khartoum. The OLS Review observed that in "thenorthern sector of OLS, the scope and coverage of OLS was determined on thebasis of government approval, rather than actual need. The Nuba Mountains, forexample, have always been excluded from OLS."[112][112]

The government's denial of access north and south is amilitary strategy, based on the premise that by cutting off aid to the civilianpopulation the SPLA will be starved out. This is in line with acounterinsurgency doctrine developed and employed by the European powers andthe U.S. against national liberation and opposition guerrilla movements in pastdecades. They sought to turn Mao Tse Tung's dicta that "the guerrillas are thefish and the people are the sea they swim in" on its head, and to "drain thesea" of civilians by displacing and killing them. A variation of thiscounterinsurgency approach was utilized by the British in Malaysia and Kenya,where the population was cut off from the insurgents by protected villages.

The track record of the current government toward relief forcivilians living in the south is scarcely better than that of its predecessors.It has done everything possible to undermine the OLS, drawing back only at thepoint when the international community shows signs of taking stronger measuresagainst the government. It has developed two main tools to undermine the reliefsystem: refusal of access to locations in need and refusal of permission to uselarge capacity aircraft, namely the C-130 Hercules.

The refusal of the government of Sudan to permit OLShumanitarian access to a large number of locations has been a greater obstacleto relief delivery than actual military activity, with perhaps the exceptionsof the 1998 fighting in Western Upper Nile, and the 1993 SPLA faction fightingin the "Hunger Triangle" of Upper Nile.[113][113]It has even blocked assessment teams from entering areas where it does notintend to permit aid, such as the rebel areas of the Nuba Mountains, where noU.N. assessment has ever been conducted despite a 1992 famine and a seriousfood shortage in 1998. In 1996, the U.N. review team concluded that "The maincost inefficiency of OLS is not the mode of transport, but denial of access."[114][114]

This is a strong statement, considering that the cost of airtransport is generally agreed to be astronomical: in 1998, each C-130 airdropof food costed an average of $15,500 and delivered sixteen metric tons of food.[115][115]According to the WFP, the total cost per ton to send corn to Maper, a villagein Bahr El Ghazal, was $1,788.[116][116]Sixteen metric tons of food is usually carried on one C-130 flight, which isenough to feed 40,000 for one day.[117][117]Thus it costs roughly $0.715 per person per day to buy and ship corn from theU.S. to southern Sudan. This does not include the cost NGOs incur indistribution and allocation to special classes, such as children.[118][118]

During the initial stage of OLS, the Sudan governmentimposed a flight ban on almost all rebel areas from early 1990 until December1992.[119][119]The exception was that relief flights were permitted to about seven locationsin Upper Nile where Riek Machar's forces were located, after Riek and othersset up a rebel faction separate from the SPLA. The change in internationalclimate forced a change on the government: starting with the assistance to theKurds of Iraq in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War, and the establishment thereof a safe haven protected by U.S. troops, the notion of "militaryhumanitarianism" began to gain international currency, linked to "safe area"strategies and the protection of humanitarian aid. In December 1992, thisapproach had been extended to Bosnia and to Somalia, a development that mayhave had some influence on the government of Sudan, which in turn eased theflight ban on rebel areas of southern Sudan in late 1992, the same month thatU.S. troops arrived in Mogadishu.[120][120]

What was given was always in jeopardy of being taken away.The OLS eventually received access to more than one hundred locations insouthern Sudan for most of the period from 1994 on, but the denial of flightaccess to SPLA areas gradually increased. According to the OLS Review, "From anaverage of four denials per month in 1994, there was an increase to ten denialsper month in 1995, and twelve denials during the early months of 1996."[121][121]

The government has denied access for "security reasons" tolocations served by particular airstrips even when there has been no fightingfor weeks at these locations. Midway in the history of the OLS, the governmentinsisted on the division of needy areas into "war zones" and areas "affected bywar." With the agreement of UNCERO, it restricted U.N. access to "war zones."According to the OLS review, "this resulted in the first imposed no-go area inthe South, in Western Equatoria between December 1995 and March 1996."[122][122]Thus the government has denied access to locations that can be reached by roadas well as by plane: for many months access to areas served by road from Kenyaand Uganda was refused.[123][123]

Impeding relief operations in rebel areas is accomplished bya second tool in the hands of the government: it withholds permission to usethe large aircraft necessary to airdrop food, airdropping being a deliverysystem used more in rural rebel-held areas than for government garrison towns.The C-130 plane has been the only one-until late 1998-with a large capacity toairdrop food in remote regions. It can carry sixteen metric tons of food perflight (enough to feed 40,000 for one day) and make two round trips in one day.[124][124]Barring mechanical failures, fuel shortages, and bad weather, the C-130 has anairdrop capacity of 1,100 MT per month. The smaller Buffalo aircraft in use bythe OLS can drop 400 MT per month.[125][125]

In early 1995 the government banned use of a Belgian AirForce C-130 Hercules aircraft by the OLS, "alleging that it had been droppingarms and ammunition to the rebels," although the OLS protested that nosupporting evidence to this effect had been produced.[126][126]In November 1995, as a result of a unilateral flight ban imposed by thegovernment, the OLS Review noted that "more than 250 agency staff were strandedwithout warning in South Sudan. Apart from the disruption to programmes, thequestion of possible medical emergencies, and so on, the flight ban wastantamount to a hostage situation."[127][127]In July 1996, the WFP took the unusual step of publicly appealing to the Sudangovernment to allow food to be airlifted, alerting the international communitythat almost 700,000 people in southern Sudan were facing starvation due to theSudanese ban on large aircraft since September 1995. The government relentedand permitted the use of the C-130,[128][128]but banned it again from late March 1997 to mid-June 1997 with similardevastating nutritional effects.[129][129]

All OLS (southern sector) locations were affected by thesepolicies, but perhaps none as much as the rural Dinka population of remotenorthern Bahr El Ghazal, which historically had been almost entirely cut offfrom OLS and other assistance-by air, road, railway or barge-until about 1993:

During the first year of OLS [1989], when the SPLA andgovernment agreed to the use of the railway for food deliveries, only 17 MT offood were delivered to stations under SPLA control north of Wau. No furtheroverland deliveries took place until early 1992, when SCF-UK [Save the ChildrenFund-UK] sent a convoy from Uganda, which reached only to Thiet [east of Wau].[130][130]

Air access to the remoter areas of northern Bahr El Ghazalunder OLS has been "problematic," according to the U.N. review team:

A blanket flight ban from [1990-92] effectivelyinhibited the development of any relief programmes. Since 1993, air access hasbeen irregular. The withdrawal of permissions to fly to certain locations,often following attacks by GOS [government of Sudan] troops or allies, andrestrictions on the size of aircraft, have exacerbated the impact ofdisruptions on the ground in the renewal of insecurity since 1994. This has measurablyaffected the quality of relief offered to local populations.[131][131]

The early bans resulted in no medical services going intothe SPLA-held areas and what OLS described as a drastically lowered standard ofhealth: "The combined effect of denial of relief access and labor exodus duringthe period 1990 to 1992 was that, by early 1993 when access was resumed, therewere instances of high malnutrition and mortality... A major contributingfactor to high levels of morbidity was also the long-term lack of any healthcare."[132][132]Food drops by air began in April 1993, when Akon was the main airdrop centerfor Gogrial County, producing the "relief center syndrome" or "relief magnet"whereby the existence of only one center attracts persons from a wide radius.Although additional Bahr El Ghazal drop sites were added later in the year(seven by July 1994), further attempts to expand the area served were hinderedby government refusals. In early 1994, the WFP was able to meet only 45 percentof the assessed food needs for Bahr El Ghazal.[133][133]

The year of 1995 was much worse. "The entire region of BahrEl Ghazal received only 19 percent of its assessed needs for food aid in 1995,"the U.N. study concluded.[134][134]The region continued to be affected by these constraints, and in 1994 by anadditional famine-producing agent not present in other regions: Kerubino'smilitia.

Kerubino Obstruction of Aid to Bahr El Ghazal

Kerubino's arrival on the scene as a military presence in1994 meant that insecurity increased. Even when the government of Sudan did notban access, the OLS often had to call off deliveries because of Kerubino'sraids. One study described Kerubino's deleterious impact on Bahr El Ghazal andthe OLS operations there:

Kerubino is a warlord who appears to be motivatedmainly by a desire for vengeance against John Garang, and by loot. Since 1994he has been marauding throughout northern Bahr El Ghazal from his base in thegovernment enclave of Gogrial. He targets the places that produce most food orhold stocks, stealing what he can and destroying much of what remains. Reliefdeliveries are prime targets, and the way that OLS works in the region hasundergone a progressive change, largely as a result...[E]ventually the conceptof a semi-permanent base in the area was abandoned. Airstrips had now beencreated at a large number of locations; WFP and nongovernmental organizationswould visit one place for up to a week at a time, to organize distributions andother programmes... Kerubino would learn its location by monitoring the reliefradio communications, and sometimes arrive even before distribution had takenplace. So by 1995 the agencies had made the relief procedure much quicker, andwere taking precautions against publicizing dates and locations.[135][135]

The OLS Review similarly noted that there was a strongcorrelation since the 1980s between population displacement and militiaraiding, with displacement in Wau in July 1996 following the same pattern:

Between January and April 1996, there was an influx ofbetween 1,200 and 2,300 newly displaced in Wau, in the wake of muraheleen raidsthat brought 5,000 cattle to Wau for sale. In Ajiep [Bahr El Ghazal],Kerubino's raiding and the muraheleen have frequently coincided with theharvest season. People have survived, but only "through partial displacement,and increased reliance on wild foods."[136][136]

The warning signs of economic destruction with the potentialfor famine were there: OLS also observed that the timing of the attacksappeared designed to have the maximum impact on the Dinka population: theattacks would appear to be aimed at [the] modest recovery of the (northern BahrEl Ghazal) rural economy... Increased PDF activity along the railway line toWau in 1994/95 also appears to have been timed to cause maximum disruption todry season cattle movements and late dry season/early wet season clearing andplanting cycles. Raids out of Western Upper Nile [the area ofgovernment-aligned Nuer militias] into the northeast and eastern grazinggrounds have also disturbed seasonal cattle movement, forcing cattle owners tosend their livestock farther away to more secure pastures.[137][137]

Kerubino's military activities in Bahr El Ghazal weredescribed as a "major setback" for civilians in another report:

Kerubino and his forces have consistently raidedGogrial, Twic and Abyei Counties, parts of Aweil East and south into WauCounty, destabilizing the region generally and causing even furtherdisplacement. Kerubino also severely restricted OLS and non-OLS (e.g., takingICRC and SPLA hostages in Wunroc at the end of 1996) relief activities byconsistently raiding WFP food interventions. What food he could not carry away(usually by captured civilians from the local population) was simply burned.[138][138]

One witness described Kerubino's abuses around Wunrok: hisforces looted cows, goats, and sorghum, and burned houses. They raped women andtook girls as wives. They did not abduct children, although some men and boyswere forcefully conscripted. Some of the women taken as wives returned to theirfathers, and some of them stayed with Kerubino's troops, as wives but "withoutcows" (i.e., no dowry was paid to the fathers in violation of Dinka custom).[139][139]


A full range of government forces had a presence inside Wauin late 1997. Not only were there regular army forces in Wau, and at themilitary base in Girinti north of Wau, but there were also Fertit militia, PDF,muraheleen, and splinter militias (breakaways from the army).[140][140]Added to these were the police and game wardens, a majority of them Dinka, andthe Dinka forces of Kerubino-who would defect to the SPLA on January 28, 1998.Most of these forces were ethnically based, except for the army, many of whoseofficers were northerners and most of whose conscripts were from marginalizedareas of western and southern Sudan. All circulated with their arms inside Wau,where there was a 6:00 p.m. curfew.[141][141]

The Army, Security Forces, and Other Government Forces

In 1997 the main army base was at Girinti, north of Wau, andwas reported to house 7,000 soldiers and their families.[142][142]The Wau security committee was composed of the governor as chair, the Officerin Charge (O.C.) of the army, the Wau police commissioner, and the Wau directorof security.[143][143]

According to former Wau civil servants, all of the topechelon of government in Wau were northerners or southern Muslims: the seniorsecurity officer and his deputy; the commander of the army base at Girinti; thearmy Officer in Change and his assistant; and other senior army officers,including the area military commander.[144][144]The top four judges in Wau were northerners. Among the police chiefs, thesuperintendent and senior officers were northerners,[145][145]although 60 to 80 percent of the rank and file police were Dinka and Jur. Thegovernor of Western Bahr El Ghazal (Wau) state from 1992 or 1993 until 1997 wasa NIF stalwart, Ali Tamim Fartak, of a Feroge family that historically ruledpart of western Bahr El Ghazal.[146][146]He was said to be highly unpopular with the Fertit, nor was he liked by theDinka of Wau.

The Popular Defense Forces and the University of Bahr ElGhazal.

The Popular Defense Forces, trained and armed by the army,under whose jurisdiction they operate, were recruited in Wau mainly fromsoutherners and students at the University of Bahr El Ghazal which was openedin 1993.[147][147]The PDF is an Islamist militia created by the NIF and the training its membersreceive reflects that. In addition to military marching and weapons handling,it includes daily lectures by Islamists, religious studies of the Koran, andMuslim prayers five times daily, although Christians seem to be exempt fromthese prayers. All PDF trainees are exhorted to participate in a"jihad"or holy war against the infidels.[148][148]Participation in this training is mandatory for many groups in the population,including civil servants and, as of 1997, students seeking to receive theircertificate of graduation from high school. Among the PDF in Wau were boysyounger than high school age, according to one observer who saw many young(Dinka) boys in PDF uniforms fleeing Wau after the fighting in January 1998.[149][149]

Even before 1997, PDF training was required of universitystudents, who would not be permitted to graduate without it.[150][150]Students at the college of education in Wau were trained in the PDF, andmilitant NIF university students were given guns through the PDF. This gaverise to problems with other students on campus, who were intimidated by thisarmed presence. Although the guns were collected after the dean complained,they were given back when the military supply train neared Wau and during thefighting in late January 1998.[151][151]

Governor Ali Tamim Fartak as well as Sudan Security weresuspicious of the nascent university, particularly after four students and oneteaching assistant were found to have joined the SPLA in the mid-1990s. At agovernment rally in 1996 the governor accused the university of being full ofSPLA supporters, although the majority of the student body was not southern butnorthern and western in origin. Southerners were handicapped in reaching highereducation, often lacking sufficient proficiency in Arabic and coming from areasthat lacked an adequate educational system in any language.[152][152]

The University of Bahr El Ghazal was intended to includemedical and veterinary schools, but these faculties were never relocated fromKhartoum; the college of education, a four year college, was the only facultyto operate in Wau, with classes starting in 1993, and the first graduation in1997.[153][153]Some 300 students attended the college of education, with each class of no morethan seventy-five students. More than one hundred were accepted each year, butmany would not enroll because Wau was in a war zone. The graduating class in1997 was of only thirty-four.[154][154]

When Kurmuk in Blue Nile State fell to the SPLA in January1997,[155][155]universities and colleges nationwide were closed to permit the students to bemobilized through the PDF and go to the front.[156][156]The only exception to closure was the college in Wau, because it was in thesouth and thus on the front already. The Wau PDF university students wereindeed armed for the fighting in late January 1998, but at the end of February1998, after the Kerubino/SPLA attack on Wau, this college also was relocated toKhartoum, ending the government's short experiment with higher education inWau.[157][157]

Kerubino's Government-armed Militia

Also present in Wau were the pro-government forces ofKerubino, headquartered in Marial Bai in an old dairy farm some eighteen milesfrom Wau.[158][158]He kept them separate from the government's regular forces at its main base atGirinti. One former Wau resident remembered that after Kerubino signed theagreement with the government, his forces began coming daily to Wau. Kerubino'sbase at Wunrok was captured by the SPLA in mid-1997.[159][159]

Kerubino reportedly had taken some 2,000 troops to defendthe government against attacks on the eastern front near Damazien in early 1997but later that year withdrew his forces back to Bahr El Ghazal, supposedlyafter an altercation with Vice President Zubeir at the front.

Some in the government doubted Kerubino's loyalty. Behindhis back, they dubbed him the"criminal general"(liwa mujiriim). He was consideredunpredictable,[160][160]as the Khartoum government discovered numerous times when trying to persuadeKerubino to release the ICRC plane and crew he took hostage in Wunrok in late1996 (thirteen months before his defection and the fighting in Wau).[161][161]

According to another source, Kerubino, having failed to winthe position of deputy chairperson of the South Sudan Coordinating Council(SSCC), the interim body organized for governing the south prior toself-determination elections pursuant to the Peace Agreement (see below), leftKhartoum for Bahr El Ghazal. He settled at Marial Bai rather than his previousbase at Gogrial, sixty-three miles distant from Wau. "From there he issuedthreats to the regime and began to court the SPLA."[162][162]There were an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 Kerubino forces in Marial Bai.[163][163]As usual, exact counts are elusive.

The SPLA "Defectors": the Trojan Horse Plan

In December 1997 and January 1998, a dramatic new elementwas added to the armed presence in Wau. Hundreds of mostly Dinka SPLA soldiersbegan "defecting" to the government side, bringing with them their wives andchildren from the rural areas controlled by the SPLA around Wau. Theysurrendered to Kerubino, and took up residence near his headquarters in MarialBai.[164][164]The influx of SPLA soldiers to Kerubino's forces started shortly after December25, 1997, according to press accounts.[165][165]One SPLA source said that two SPLA brigades (each of 600 men)"surrendered"to join the Kerubino forces.[166][166]

Somewhat alarmed by the unannounced appearance of"surrendering" rebels, First Vice President Al Zubeir Mohamed Salih soonvisited them. He announced they would be absorbed into the government's armedforces.[167][167]Whether former rebels would be permitted their own military organization orwould be absorbed into the government army has always been a difficult issue:in settlement of the first civil war, units of Anyanya fighters were absorbed,under command of Anyanya officers, into the Sudan army.

The defections from the SPLA to Kerubino's pro-governmentforces were announced with great fanfare by the government on nationaltelevision, with celebrations of the SPLA surrendering in Marial Bai videotapedand broadcast.[168][168]It seemed as if, little by little, the efforts to attract other defectors fromthe SPLA to the "Peace from Within" program were bearing fruit, and the SPLAwould be reduced to a shadow of itself. Efforts were announced to assist theneedy returnees. By mid-January they included an estimated 2,500 SPLA fightersand 6,000 family members, called "returnees."[169][169]

It became easy to come and go from Wau, a change from thetight restrictions on movement put in place in May 1997 after Tonj fell to theSPLA. The defectors, who had surrendered but had not given up their guns, movedfreely in and out of Wau with their arms. This frightened many northerners inWau. The government authorities were suspicious, particularly when Kerubinoprovided government weapons to the defectors.[170][170]

As it turned out, these "defectors" were part of a TrojanHorse plan by Kerubino and the SPLA, whereby they would infiltrate SPLA forcesinto Wau and then capture the town with a surprise attack from within.According to SPLA Alternate Commander Marial Camuong Yol, who participated inthe affair, Kerubino contacted the SPLA by radio in August 1997, but the SPLAwas wary because his forces were still fighting against the SPLA. In November1998 a secret meeting between officers of both sides took place and a secondmeeting was held one month later, which this witness attended. Since thepresence of SPLA troops near Kerubino's base at Marial Bai could not be keptsecret, this commander and his men posed as defectors from the SPLA. ThereKerubino told them he had three enemies: the NIF, Riek Machar, and the SPLA. Hecould no longer work with the others but felt he could work with the SPLA.[171][171]

Kerubino also was garnering other forces in the Wau area. Inlate 1997 or early 1998 Kerubino is reported to have supplied weapons to theBelanda in the Fertit militia, and they reportedly joined the Kerubino forces.[172][172]


The Political Charter (1996) and the Peace Agreement(1997)

On April 10, 1996 the government of Sudan signed a PoliticalCharter[173][173]with Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and Kerubino Kuanyin Bol as representatives ofthe SSIM/A. Riek Machar had been an SPLA field commander in Upper Nile in 1991when he, Dr. Lam Akol (a Shilluk intellectual and SPLA strategist), and othersattempted an internal SPLA coup; when that failed they formed their own rebelfaction which came to be known as the South Sudan Independence Movement/Army(SSIM/A). At the time of the 1991 split, Kerubino was still in an SPLA jail. Heand others, including his deputy Faustino Atem Gualdit, were detained in 1987on suspicion that they were plotting a coup against Garang, among other things.Kerubino, who escaped with Faustino and Arok Thon Arok from an SPLA bush jailin late 1992, claimed he did not learn of the Riek coup attempt until hisescape.[174][174]

In 1993 the three joined Riek's faction. The SSIM/A waspredominately but not entirely Nuer, and Kerubino's Dinka troops were animportant political element in the SSIA. Kerubino's troops only attackedcivilians and the SPLA from 1994 to 1997, never attacking the government priorto January 1998-a pattern in common with the rest of the SSIA forces.

The Political Charter provided for a referendum to determinethe political aspirations of the people of southern Sudan. A Southern StatesCoordinating Council was to be formed for the interim government of thesouthern states, which were the ten southern states formed from the formerprovinces of Bahr El Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile, as boundaries stood atindependence in 1956.[175][175]These ten states were, in contrast to the sixteen northern, eastern, andwestern states, little more than garrison towns in a sea of rebel-heldterritory. After the garrison town of Yirol fell in 1997, the state of which itwas the "capital"-Buheirat (Lakes)-had no territory whatsoever that wascontrolled by the government. In the state of Warab, only Gogrial town remainedin government hands after Tonj fell in 1997.

On April 21, 1997, the parties to the Political Charter andothers signed a Peace Agreement with the government of Sudan.[176][176]Although the government presented this Peace Agreement as a significantbreakthrough for peace, the fact is that the only "rebel" parties to the PeaceAgreement that had any military capacity had been fighting the SPLA, not thegovernment, since 1991, or, in Kerubino's case, since 1994. The principal rebelsignatories to the Peace Agreement had already made peace with the governmentpursuant to the Political Charter of 1996. The SPLA did not participate inthese negotiations nor did it sign the Political Charter or the PeaceAgreement.

The SSCC was established on August 7, 1997 with PresidentOmar El Bashir's appointment of Riek Machar as its chair.[177][177]The official government radio noted that the appointments of the deputy chairand other members would follow "soon."[178][178]Other members were to include the governors of the ten southern states.[179][179]

Just one week later, Kerubino demanded that the post of vicepresident of the SSCC be given to a Dinka. He accused Riek of "Nuer domination"of the council, and refused to place his forces under Riek's command.[180][180]Shortly after this demand Kerubino, his deputy Faustino Atem Gualdit, Arok ThonArok, and Nikanora Achiek were reinstated in the Sudanese Army by presidentialdecree, a measure to help them "regain confidence in the government."[181][181]All were Dinka, and received higher ranks than they had when they defected fromthe Sudan army in 1983. Kerubino was given the rank of major general and Arokthe rank of brigadier.[182][182]

Under Sudan's federal system, members of state parliamentswere to elect the governors (walis)of each state from a list of three nominees selected by the president of Sudan.The governor of Khartoum was elected in June 1997 and elections for governor infifteen northern states took place in late August 1997,[183][183]after the state governors were summoned to Khartoum in early August andinformed that they would be dismissed pending elections to replace them.[184][184]

The governorships in the south were to be decided upondifferently, pursuant to the Peace Agreement, which provided for the presidentof the SSCC to recommend his cabinet including the governors to the Sudanpresident for appointment.[185][185]According to the U.S. spokesperson for Riek's political group, the UnitedDemocratic Salvation Front (UDSF), a disagreement arose between Riek andKerubino over the governors. Kerubino wanted to adhere to the Peace Agreementand have Riek (in consultation) name a governor for each state then send thegovernors to President Bashir for appointment. Riek wanted to deviate from thispart of the Peace Agreement and select three candidates for governor for eachstate. These names would be sent to Bashir for approval, and the state assemblieswould then vote for governor[186][186](as was done in the northern states).

Kerubino rallied many southerners to his position, based inpart on his argument that the NIF controlled the state assemblies (composed ofpeople who lived in the garrison towns) and therefore the results of theelections would be NIF governors. Riek's position was that if they let thepresident of Sudan interfere in the selection process at this early period, hewould be precluded from interfering later, after elections.[187][187]

Riek's strategy prevailed. President Bashir decreed that thesouthern parliaments hold elections for governor for each state, the governorsto be members of the SSCC.[188][188]This was preceded by a presidential decree dissolving the parliaments of theten southern states and appointing new ones, whose members were recommended byRiek Machar.[189][189]The new southern state parliaments were ordered to convene on November 27,1997.[190][190]

Riek recommended three candidates for the governorship ofeach southern state to President Bashir, who forwarded the names he approved tothe newly appointed state assemblies for a vote.[191][191]

The majority of the population was disenfranchised in theseelections for governor. Only some forty persons in each state had thevote-appointed members of state assemblies, according to Riek's UDSF-althoughthis procedure was not provided for in the Political Charter nor PeaceAgreement. This was a tiny democratic step forward. Many state legislators didnot actually live in the south, but began to travel there as "invited" by PresidentBashir in late November for the elections.[192][192]

Contests developed as some non-NIF candidates were nominatedfor governorships. Incumbent NIF governor Ali Tamim Fartak of Wau (Western BahrEl Ghazal) was a candidate for governor, and the Fertit militia leader Tom AlNour led his electoral campaign. But Ali Tamim Fartak was not popular withKerubino, who backed a rival candidate in the election for governor: CharlesJulu Kyopo, of the Jur (Luo) tribe, which is associated with the Dinka. Riek'speople also regarded Charles Julu as "our man."[193][193]

Perhaps to the surprise of the Khartoum government, NIFcandidates lost in some southern states. In Wau, Julu defeated the incumbentFartak by twenty-three of forty votes. The Riek candidate in Northern Bahr ElGhazal (Aweil),Kwac Makuei (a signatory of the Peace Agreement), prevailedagainst the NIF candidate, Joseph Ajuang.[194][194]

Kerubino did not have a clean sweep, however. In Warab,Kerubino's candidate Faustino Atem Gualdit lost to Arop Achier Akol. Theunderstanding among Kerubino sympathizers in Wau was that Achier was a NIFcandidate.[195][195]

Kerubino protested that Arop Achier was elected with amajority of only two votes, and that state ministers (who were not legislativeassembly members) were allowed to vote in Warab. Riek supported the election ofArop Achier over these protests.[196][196]

Riek's candidate Taban Deng Gai won in the crucial oil-richstate, Wihda or Unity. This led the Khartoum government-supported warlordPaulino Matiep to clash in Western Upper Nile with Riek's SSDF forces manytimes in 1998, as related below. Lam Akol was defeated in Upper Nile[197][197]by a Nuer medical doctor formerly with the SPLM/A and SSIM/A, Dr. Timothy TongTutlam, a Riek candidate.[198][198]Lam Akol was later appointed Minister of Transportation by President Bashir.

Some sources said that the NIF lost in nine of ten southernstates; others said seven of ten. One press report said that the results weresplit almost equally among candidates loyal to Riek Machar and those fielded bythe government.[199][199]Riek's supporters claimed many winners as allies.[200][200]

Efforts to Placate Kerubino

In mid-January 1998, after the SPLA "defections" toKerubino, Sudan television announced that President Bashir had appointedKerubino as the deputy chairman of the SSCC, a position Kerubino had longcoveted, and as minister of local government and public security in southernSudan, two positions the Peace Agreement attached to the SSCC deputy or vicepresidential position.[201][201]

In January 1998 Riek Machar and First Vice President Zubeir weredispatched to Kerubino's stronghold at Marial Bai to talk him into going toKhartoum for the Coordinating Council swearing-in ceremony. They were stoppedat a checkpoint by Kerubino's men outside of his Marial Bai base. The soldiersradioed for clearance before permitting them to pass, an embarrassing procedurefor these two high-ranking government officials.[202][202]The army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sid Ahmed Hamad, and the minister of statefor defense also visited Kerubino at Marial Bai on January 25, 1998.[203][203]

Kerubino declined to go to Khartoum for his swearing inuntil after the "returnees" were settled and they, with their women andchildren, received 100 million Sudanese pounds (U.S. $ 48,780) of assistance.[204][204]He asked instead to be sworn in "under a tree." He may well have feared that hemight not be permitted to return from Khartoum, and might possibly be detained.In 1987, while a high-ranking officer in the SPLA, he answered a summons bySPLA sponsor President Mengistu of Ethiopia to appear at the palace in AddisAbaba, where he was detained, handed over to the SPLA, and jailed without trialfor five years.[205][205]

Kerubino's Disappointment with the Governors' Elections

The government was right to be suspicious of Kerubino. Hewas in secret talks with the SPLA and they planned a joint attack on Wau,supposedly for February 2, 1998, after Ramadan.[206][206]

The"defection"of hundreds of SPLA forces toKerubino was part of a plan whereby SPLA forces would be infiltrated into Wauand positioned for a surprise attack on the town.[207][207]One SPLA source said that the soldiers who stopped Vice President Zubeir at thecheckpoint to Kerubino's headquarters actually radioed to find out if theyshould arrest Zubeir. They were told not to do so, because that would ruin theplanned attack on Wau.[208][208]

One reason given for Kerubino's decision to re-defect to theSPLA was that he believed that he had been double-crossed by the government, inat least two ways: he was not made deputy chairman of the SSCC as he believedhe should have been (until it was too late), and the NIF backed candidates tooppose his gubernatorial candidates.

Kerubino was particularly angry because his deputy, FaustinoAtem Gualdit (who spent five years in SPLA jails with Kerubino), lost theelection to NIF candidate Arop Achier Akol in Tonj (Warab state); Arop Achier,a Dinka from Tonj who converted to Islam, is the stepbrother of George Kongor,an army officer and former governor of Bahr El Ghazal in Wau who is now secondvice president. Achier was said to be as bad a governor as Kongor was good,falling asleep in meetings and otherwise neglecting his duties as governor.[209][209]

Kerubino is said to have believed that eight ministers inthe Warab state government who voted in the governor's election (although notentitled to vote, according to Riek) were offered money and promised positionsby Arop, causing seven to vote for him. According to one source, most of theseministers were later dismissed by Arop, who appointed "converts to Islam" intheir places.[210][210]For Kerubino and others, the NIF was behind this and its behavior was evidencethat the NIF did not want to let the south govern itself. Kerubino blamed Riekfor not appointing governors as Riek had the right to do under the PeaceAgreement, but instead he let elections go forward in towns long undergovernment control.[211][211]

Kerubino's plan to join with the SPLA and capture Wau,Aweil, and Gogrial was one of the worst-kept secrets of the war. Word spreadwidely in Wau, Khartoum, Nairobi, and elsewhere of the plan. Many, however,dismissed it as yet another of countless rumors.



The Dinka in Wau started an exodus from the town, bundles ontheir heads, as early as the morning of January 28. Rumors of imminent militaryaction had spread, and the Dinka experience with army and Fertit militiaattacks on them may have motivated their flight.[212][212]

The SPLA/Kerubino attack began around midnight, January28-29, 1998, the time reportedly moved up from February 1 or 2 because Kerubinofeared a government attack on January 29 at 4:00 a.m. According to theoppositionSudan Democratic Gazette,the military intelligence unit in Wau informed Khartoum on January 12, 1998 ofKerubino's intention, together with the SPLA, to capture Wau using suppliesprovided by the government to the "defectors."A national security councilmeeting was reportedly convened in Khartoum on January 13, where a decision wasmade to confront and destroy the joint Kerubino/SPLA force at Marial Bai. Alarge military force was prepared at Babanusa, Western Kordofan, to travel downby railway and take Kerubino by surprise.[213][213]Kerubino reportedly received news of this decision the next day, on January 14,according to theSudan DemocraticGazette.[214][214]

One of the SPLA participants in the Trojan Horse plan,posing as a defector, said the defectors were visited by many NIF andgovernment high-level delegations. They refused, however, to go to Khartoum,fearing detention. Before long the government army and NIF became suspiciousand the defectors received intelligence that their cover had been blown andthat the government planned on attacking them on February 1. The Kerubino/SPLAforces therefore made a preemptive strike against Wau on January 28, takingthree-fours of the town (including the main garrison, according to him) butcould not hold their positions against the government's counterattack becausethe rebel reinforcements were not yet in place. They withdrew from Wau, takingcaptured military hardware, according to this participant.[215][215]

The Kerubino/SPLA attack started between 11:00 p.m. andmidnight on January 28, according to another SPLA soldier who also participatedin it. The fighting started at the Girinti army base north of Wau, and thecombined forces attacked and captured government military barracks in MarialBai, Getit, Amer, Bariar, Marial Agis, and Zagalona, according to a combatantwho said he helped capture and occupy the Zagalona barracks.[216][216]According to a noncombatant eyewitness, the garrison at the Wau VocationalInstitute, the garrison near the Jur River bridge, and the central garrisonwere not taken.[217][217]Government forces initially fled then regrouped, reportedly while the Kerubinoand SPLA soldiers were stealing food.[218][218]

Another source said the fighting took place around theGirinti barracks for two hours, until about 2:00 a.m., and then moved north tothe Mariel Ajith displaced camp and east to the Eastern Bank displaced camp(both inhabited by Dinka), and to Zagalona, a residential area in the southernpart of Wau. Heavy artillery was heard in the north, consistent with agovernment attack on Marial Bai, the Kerubino stronghold.[219][219]

The parties fighting on the government side were the armyand security forces, most of the PDF, and part of the Fertit militia. Wau residentsalso referred tomujahedeen(holywarriors), a generic term for those engaged injihad(holy war) for Islam, as the PDF is exhorted to do. The linebetween mujahedeen and other forces is not always bright, and mujahedeen alsomay refer to fighting forces of the NIF party or security apparatus.

These government forces were outnumbered by the rebelforces, according to one SPLA source.[220][220]Numbers remain elusive. Fightingon the rebel side were Kerubino's forces, theSPLA forces who had"defected"from the SPLA to Kerubino, andpossibly other SPLA forces from outside Wau. Also joining in the fighting onthe rebel side after the initial attack were Dinka police and game wardens,Dinka PDF members, and perhaps part of the Fertit militia (including possiblythe Belanda). At the time, one noncombatant source estimated that Kerubino'sforces in Wau were about 5,000 and the SPLA had about 2,000 forces("defectors"), and was bringing in reinforcements.[221][221]

The SPLA later announced that 1,847 members of the police,prison guards, and game wardens in Wau crossed over to join them, as well as426 members of the government's armed forces.[222][222]These defectors may safely be presumed to be almost entirely southerners, and amajority Dinka and Jur. Even a Dinka army officer with twenty-three years ofservice fled Wau with the rest, according to his son.[223][223]

Most of the fighting was in the northeastern and southernsections of Wau. The Fertit lived in the western part of Wau; not all theFertit militia participated in the fighting in Wau, however.[224][224]Many later commented to non-Fertit friends that they were"not going tolet the government fool them as it did in 1987"when the Fertit militiaattacked the Dinka in Wau. Therefore only part of the Fertit militia showed upto fight with Commander Tom Al Nour and the government forces. The othersstayed in their area of Wau to defend their people, if needed. Many Fertithelped Dinka civilians escape or hid them in their houses after the fightingwas over.[225][225]One report said that two local Fertit commanders and their forces did notparticipate in the fighting: Nicol Akumba and Ali Janga.[226][226]

On the night of January 28, Wednesday, Wau residents heardheavy shelling from the direction of Girinti, the military base to the north,starting about midnight. There was also shelling near the airport and betweenthe airport and the river."It was very heavy, boom, boom, andshaking."[227][227]Those who were there had vivid descriptions of the fighting: one resident said,"The whole town was white by night; they were using flares."[228][228]Others said the fighting was like"fire in the sky."[229][229]

At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of January 29, 1998, theKerubino and SPLA commanders ordered their forces to evacuate Wau, according toone SPLA soldier in Zagalona barracks who received the order. He commented thatno one knew why they were ordered to evacuate; the government forces had notrecaptured Zagalona barracks.[230][230]They withdrew, with Dinka police, prison guards, and game wardens, Dinka PDFmembers, and Dinka from the regular army. The Belanda militia were said to havefled Wau as well.[231][231]

Dinka and Jur Shot While Fleeing Wau

Most of the civilian Dinka and Jur population that had notfled on January 28 left Wau on January 29 when the SPLA forces withdrew. TheBelanda reportedly fled also, to their homeland southwest of Wau. The fewsenior Dinka police who remained in Wau were said to be disarmed despite theirshow of loyalty.[232][232]About 65 percent (perhaps 78,000) of the total Wau population left then and inthe next few weeks due to "ongoing internal insecurity," according to a U.N.estimate.[233][233]Another source said that there were two main exoduses of civilians: one in theearly morning of January 29, and another later that same day as the governmentcounterattack erupted. Due to continuing violence, civilians kept leavingduring the next week.[234][234]

One Dinka woman, the widow of a Dinka police officer wholived in the Hilla Jedid (Der Akok) told Human Rights Watch that she fled onthe night of January 28-29. She was falling asleep when the shooting started atGirinti just to the north of this Dinka area."People began running so Iran, too. I did not have a chance to collect anything. I stepped on peoplelying on the ground. I do not know if they were alive or dead. The jellaba[Arabs] were shooting from the ground near Girinti garrison."[235][235]She did not see any Kerubino or SPLA troops as she fled with her grown son.They reached the other side of the Jur River east of Wau, near the bridge, whenshe was hit by a shell. Although she was in a very large crowd escaping fromWau, she said she was the only one injured by that shell.[236][236]

Early that morning, January 29, one eyewitness saw manypeople, mostly Dinka women with bundles on their heads, fleeing Hila Dinka fromthe direction of Girinti. This observer also saw three older Arab Muslimmerchants in feast dress walking in the direction of a mosque for prayers. Heguessed that the town must be in the hands of the government if these merchantswere out praying, since they would be the first to escape if the SPLA tookcontrol.[237][237]

Another Dinka resident of Hilla Jedid left his house at 8:00a.m. on January 29 and saw soldiers coming in his direction, shootingindiscriminately. He saw four cars carrying uniformed armysoldiers-northerners-and heard bursts of fire from machine guns inside the carson the main street leading from Girinti to the market. Some army soldiers gotout to push or kick in doors. Four cars turned off from the main street intothe deserted side streets of this neighborhood where they repeated thisprocedure. The witness immediately ran into the bush and crossed the Jur River,leaving everything behind.[238][238]

By morning the Dinka police had joined the SPLA/Kerubinoforces in the defense, some of them trying to guard the escape of Dinkacivilians across the Jur River.[239][239]Some SPLA ran to the Dinka neighborhood of Nazareth to alert the civilians thatthey had lost, and the Dinka and Jur from that area also crossed over theriver.[240][240]One Dinka resident of Nazareth said of the Jur,"They crossed the riverwith us. They were regarded as enemies by the north, most of the Jur."[241][241]

Another Dinka Nazareth resident heard rocket-propelledgrenades being fired behind them as they fled. The only bridge over the JurRiver is to the east of Nazareth, but those fleeing Wau that day avoided itbecause it was guarded by the army. They waded across the river; because it wasthe dry season the river was shallow, reaching only up to the knees of a man.This witness saw some PDF university students at a garrison at a poultry farm nearthe bridge. They were shooting at civilians crossing the river."They werefiring from hidden positions because some of the police escaping still hadguns."[242][242]

Before he reached the Jur River, at a flat open area on theWau side, four young women carrying bundles on their heads just ahead of himwere hit by a rocket and fell down dead."We had to jump over them. Therocket hit them a few meters ahead of us."[243][243]Others were injured at the same time, between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.; he did notknow them.

A twenty-year-old Jur woman from the Nazareth neighborhoodwas injured and her thirteen-year-old sister was killed as they tried to crossthe river at about the same time. From her house to the bridge took one hour towalk, but her family left everything and ran with the others because there wasshooting and everyone was running outside."I could not stay while theothers were running away,"she said. The shooting was heavy; it started atnight and went on until morning. Many other people were running with them, allcivilians; the street was full of people. She said,"The jellaba who werefollowing us in a military tank"shot her in the back as she ran with herbaby daughter in her arms. One minute later, before they reached the bridge, amortar landed behind her thirteen-year-old sister, hitting her in both legs,and she died on the spot; the daughter was slightly injured by the same mortar.The twenty-year-old woman staggered on with the help of her mother and crossedthe river.[244][244]

The combined rebel forces never succeeded in capturing thetown of Wau nor the important Girinti military base. But the battle of pressreleases was on, the SPLA claiming it was in control of Wau and Aweil, thegovernment disputing that.[245][245]In hindsight and with the benefit of civilian testimonies, it appears thegovernment version was more accurate, but its track record for veracity wassuch that few not affiliated with the government believed its account. Nor wasthe SPLA's version trusted.

Government Counterattacks on Gov. Charles Julu's Residenceand the Police Headquarters

The police headquarters is in central Wau, near thecathedral, between Nazareth and the bridge, and its largely Dinka forces cameunder retaliatory counterattack in the morning of January 29 by mujahedeen andothers. One report said that, after a pause while the Kerubino and SPLA forcesfled Wau, fighting resumed inside Wau. This fighting appeared to be an attackby government military, security forces, mujahedeen, and Fertit militia onlocal Dinka and Jur forces associated with the rebels- the police and gamewardens (wildlife services). Dinka and Jur civilians, including unarmed men,women, and children, were also attacked.[246][246]

Mujahedeen forces, according to one report, arrived byhelicopter from the north (El Obeid or Khartoum) during the day on January 29.These armed men in civilian clothing, reported to be at the forefront of themassacres after the fighting was over, were identified as northern ArabSudanese, and were believed to be associated with internal security forces.They were seen departing from the airport one week later.[247][247]

At perhaps 10:00 a.m. on the morning of the attack, January29, there was heavy firing believed to be from a machine gun mounted on theback of a government pickup truck (a "technical") in the area of the policeheadquarters. The police fought back. The SPLA and the Dinka police reportedlyused a rocket-propelled grenade to attack this or another technical, and killeda mujahedeen chief and about fifteen other mujahedeen. This was one of two placesthe rebels are known to have attacked the mujahedeen.[248][248]

The mujahedeen and Tom al Nour's forces also attacked thequarter where the Dinka police, prison guards, and game wardens lived withtheir families. The Dinka uniformed officers returned fire before fleeing withtheir families. When these Dinka fled, the mujaheeden and Fertit militia movedon to Nazareth.[249][249]

Governor Charles Julu reportedly was targeted in hisofficial residence by his enemies in the Fertit militia, the PDF, and themujahedeen, who took advantage of the fighting to try to eliminate him. He wassaved by the Dinka police, who arrived from the bridge to rescue him.[250][250]He was later evacuated by the government to Khartoum and while there, in April1998, gave an interview published inSudanow,an English language government publication, about his experiences during thefighting in Wau, omitting the important fact of the mujahedeen attack on hishouse.[251][251]Julu reportedly was warned that he should not return to Wau because of possibleretaliation against him there.[252][252]He had, after all, been backed by Kerubino. He apparently spent several monthsin Khartoum before returning to Wau.

Retaliation: The Massacre of Dinka and Jur Civilians

The killing of unarmed Dinka and Jur men, women, andchildren after the defeat and withdrawal of Kerubino/SPLA forces-and thewithdrawal of the Dinka police who had protected Dinka and Jur civilians in Waumany times in the past-was extensive. Witnesses saw hundred of bodies on thestreets, until the cleanup coinciding with the February 10 visit of VicePresident Kongor took place.[253][253]One reliable source said the Red Crescent buried three lorries full of bodies(each lorry large enough to carry eighty one hundred pound sacks of sorghum) inthe ten days after January 29. The lorries reportedly took the bodies, believedto be mostly Dinka and Jur civilians, to three common graves.[254][254]Two graves were said to be located at Meidaan Ajaaj and one not far fromNazareth (Toc). Bodies in an advanced state of decomposition were burned on thespot.[255][255]Another report said that there were mass graves in the Marial Bai/Marial Ajithareas and that some bodies were seen dumped in the Jur River.[256][256]

Some of Tom al Nour's Fertit militia, army, and mujahedeenwere reportedly involved in the killing of civilians as they conducted house tohouse searches in the Dinka and Jur areas after the Kerubino/SPLA forces fled.The Nazareth quarter was hit hard: according to one report, all people found athome were killed.[257][257]

Civilians sought sanctuary in several locations, includingthe governor's residence, the Wau Hospital, and the Catholic mission. All,except for the mission, reportedly were forcibly entered by government-alignedforces and those inside were killed on the spot.[258][258]

Word of the killings of the Dinka and Jur civilians whoremained inside Wau began to circulate almost immediately after the governmentretook control of Wau. On Thursday January 29 at 4:00 p.m. a military planefrom Khartoum landed at the Wau airport, circling for one hour before it landed.It stayed on the ground twenty to thirty minutes and was apparently used toevacuate some family members of government officials who came from the north.Rumors spread that the plane and another military plane that landed thefollowing afternoon brought orders to"kill the Dinka."[259][259]

Shots were heard daily until Second Vice President GeorgeKongor's arrival on February 10, 1998, after which there was only shooting atnight.

The bodies burned or buried in mass graves were not believedto be rebel forces killed in action for a number of reasons. Rebel casualtieswere thought to be relatively light because they took the government forces bysurprise, were in combat only a few hours, spent some of the time looting(without contact with government forces), and withdrew after the governmentstarted using its heavy artillery. One report claimed that witnesses reportedtwenty-five Kerubino soldiers killed, most around the Girinti base.[260][260]

The government claimed "hundreds of rebels" had been killedin the attack on Wau, in fighting lasting six hours.[261][261]No one interviewed about thefighting on the rebel side mentioned significantrebel casualties.

The death toll on the government side is also unknown,although it claims it lost only four officers and nineteen noncommissionedofficers and soldiers.[262][262]The SPLA initially claimed it killed 768 government soldiers in the Wauoffensive, a claim later raised to 968.[263][263]It also acknowledged the capture of 108 government prisoners,[264][264]a few of whom were seen in custody in rural Bahr El Ghazal.

The estimates of dead civilians ranged from 200 to 4,000,[265][265]but only forensic exhumations of the common grave sites, and private andconfidential interviews with survivors, witnesses, and family members of the"disappeared" will reveal the true death toll. One report made shortly afterthe killing gave the number of dead Dinka and Jur civilians as 400, many killedin the Nazareth neighborhood during house to house searches on January 29.[266][266]

Some Dinka, unaware of the gravity of the fighting orassuming they were exempt from retaliation because of their jobs, age, orillness, stayed in Wau. Some even went to the Arab market to shop on Fridaymorning January 30. According to a survivor interviewed by a reliable source,he and five other Dinka men were captured that day by mujahedeen in the marketand forced to get into the bed of a pickup. The captives were all young Dinkamen: tall, thin, and dark, with typical Dinka facial scarification (in the formof a chevron). The mujahedeen drove them to an area, Ginena, next to the riverand near the cemetery Lokoloko. The mujahedeen ordered the captured men to getout of the truck, and shot and left them for dead there. Four were killed andtwo wounded; the two wounded men survived by playing dead. This survivor thenhid in the house of a Fertit friend.[267][267]

Several Dinka butchers who went to work in the market asusual on that Friday reportedly were killed, among them Mathiang, from Yirol.His alleged killer was another butcher, who is believed to have collected severalDinka and killed them together.[268][268]

Three Dinka corpses were left out in the Arab market fromFriday January 30 to Sunday February 1; on-lookers concluded that these corpseswere left there to frighten others and keep them from looting the market. AnArab merchant was credited with saving ten Dinka street children captured inthe Dinka market on January 30 from a group of men intent on killing them.[269][269]

On Saturday night January 31 there was shooting around thecivilian hospital near the bridge; there were rumors that the SPLA was hidingthere. Wau has two hospitals, one civilian and one military. On Sunday morningFebruary 1 there was an exchange of heavy artillery fire, the first shellingcoming from the Tonj (SPLA) side starting about 6:30 a.m.,[270][270]adding to the tense situation.

On Sunday morning at about 10:00 a.m. government forces-ofarmy, militia, and mujahedeen-entered the civilian hospital. They captured twoDinka men who were nurses, both unarmed, and shot them; the nurses had not fledbecause they believed that they would be needed in the crisis. One, AbrahamWada, left three wives and five children.[271][271]

There were few patients in the hospital because most whocould walk had already fled, but several Dinka patients who remained werekilled in their hospital beds, according to different sources.[272][272]By Monday February 2 there were only ten patients in the 560-bed hospital.[273][273]The government ordered all remaining patients to be put in one ward and countedevery morning. They would presume that any new patients were SPLA.[274][274]By the end of February there were only seven or eight men in the civilianhospital with war wounds.[275][275]

Other Dinka who did not escape in time hid in the houses ofFertit friends; some 200 women and children took refuge in the compound of theCatholic mission.[276][276]In the months that followed, some Dinka women reported that during lateJanuary-early February, "The NIF killed our husbands. The NIF is responsible."[277][277]

According to church officials in Nairobi, "twenty people,including women and children, were massacred on 4thFebruary when agroup of armed Fertit militia went on a rampage in one of the suburbs inWautown" mainly occupied by Dinka.[278][278]The militia attacked at 5 a.m., burning many people still asleep in theirhouses. The sources also reported arrests of southern police, prison guards,and game wardens, and of their detention and torture in unacknowledgeddetention centers, "ghost houses."[279][279]

Added to the deliberate killings were deaths fromindiscriminate attacks. Some nine hospital personnel and their families(including two children less than one year old) were killed while attending aFertit funeral not far from the Agok Hospital for lepers (on the road to Tonj)on the night of February 8-9, 1998. For some time about fifty to seventysoldiers had been stationed at the hospital to deter the SPLA from itsbimonthly practice of stealing from the lepers at the hospital, and using thelepers as porters to carry the loot across the river for the SPLA. The soldierswere not an effective deterrent since they would not confront the SPLA but onlyshot at them from afar. This time, the soldiers at the hospital shelled theother side of the river, where they apparently thought the SPLA was. The fourthof a series of shells fell short, some 300-500 meters from the soldiers' base,landing in the middle of the Fertit funeral, killing nine and wounding manymore.[280][280]

The killing and disposal of bodies went on until VicePresident George Kongor arrived in Wau, on or about February 10. Kongor saweleven corpses in Wau that had not been buried and was upset, claiming in apublic meeting with local officials that these were innocent civilians. At thatmeeting he is said to have started crying, saying, "You should have killed me,and we among the Dinka who are involved in politics. Why did you kill innocentpeople?" His listeners included some allegedly responsible for the killings,who said nothing. Kongor's public statements apparently did not go beyond thatone meeting, however.[281][281]

As before, no investigation was conducted by the government,and no one was punished for these gross abuses. It is not possible to tell howhigh up the chain of command the responsibility goes, but it is clear that thekilling of civilians went on for ten days after the fighting ended, and nogovernment forces-army, security, militia, or other- intervened to stop it.

The authorities appealed to those who had left to return toWau. People who escaped in January said,"We can't go back to Wau. Theywill kill us."[282][282]As it turned out, famine and muraheleen raiders killed them outside of Wau aswell. That experience, described below, was so bad that perhaps 30 percent ofthose who fled returned to Wau within a few months, despite the risk.

Looting and Pillaging by Government Forces

Wau residents who circulated around Wau after the fighting,including on January 29, and visitors to Wau in the next few months remarkedthat the four Dinka areas were totally empty of people and some houses or hutsin these neighborhoods, where most had thatched roofs, were burned. All werelooted.[283][283]This looting and pillage was done primarily by government forces; theKerubino/SPLA forces, routed and retreating on the morning of January 29, hadlooted but could carry little with them.

One eyewitness in early February saw that the Dinka marketin Nazareth was burned and soldiers were carrying furniture piled up onwheelbarrows from the houses in that quarter.[284][284]Indeed, the looting continued for several weeks, and another witness observedin late February that three soldiers were carrying away beds from houses in thesame Dinka neighborhood.[285][285]Looted goods flooded the Wau markets, at bargain prices.[286][286]

In addition to the Dinka neighborhoods, several otherlocations were looted, including the offices of the WFP, UNICEF, and the SudanCouncil of Churches, all of whose personnel had been evacuated before theattack. The government listed as "evidence" of a foreign conspiracy thewithdrawal from Wau, a few days before the attack, of foreign and local staffworking for the U.N. and nongovernmental organizations,[287][287]and it appears that these offices may have been subjected to retaliatorylooting as a result. The U.N. denied foreknowledge of the January attack.However, it had been concerned about security in Wau town for some time; itdecided in June 1997, shortly after the fall of Tonj, Rumbek, and Yirol to theSPLA, that Wau could no longer be considered a family duty station; this wasnot the first time such a decision was taken. U.N. employees, includingSudanese staff, had to relocate their families elsewhere as of that month.[288][288]The U.N. evacuated staff on January 16, 1998, to attend a workshop in Khartoum.[289][289]Sending everyone -including local staff-to one workshop at the same time wasunusual, according to one Wau resident,[290][290]but since Wau was awash with armed groups and rumors of impending attacks,withdrawal of staff from Wau could more readily be interpreted as prudence thanconspiracy.

Apparently the government interpreted agencies' remaining inWau as a sign of solidarity, and leaving (even to Khartoum) as a sign ofdisloyalty. Government soldiers reportedly took trucks to the compounds of thethree agencies whose staff left-SCC, UNICEF, and WFP-and removed everything,leaving not even one chair.[291][291](The offices whose personnel remained in Wau were not looted, except for aprimary school run by the Catholic Church.) When the U.N. conducted anassessment mission to Wau in late February 1998 to determine whether amongother things it was safe to return, local officials claimed that the lootingwas the work of"gangsters."[292][292]

Why the Attack Failed

What went wrong with the attack is the subject of somedispute. One reason many people pointed to was that the Kerubino and SPLAforces stopped the offensive before they captured all garrisons, to loot andpillage.

One theory is that the government knew well that theseforces were undisciplined and would be distracted by the opportunity to loot,and therefore the government forces were under orders not to attempt to removeattractive items as they withdrew. An SPLA spokesperson who admitted thelooting by SPLA and Kerubino forces said that the soldiers panicked when theysaw Dinka civilians running out of Wau.[293][293]A more generous civilian said,"They lacked discipline because they werein quarters too long."[294][294]

The distraction of the rebel forces gave the governmentforces a chance to regroup and use its artillery at Girinti. Aside from thelooting, the lack of SPLA artillery to match the government's big guns atGirinti was cited as a reason for the defeat in Wau. SPLA artillery was on theway from Yei, according to one SPLA source, but Kerubino acted precipitously,wanting all the glory for a victory in Wau. The SPLA plan was to attack Waubefore army reinforcements arrived by train, and the train was still delayed inAkwei north of Wau when Kerubino struck.[295][295]

Some close to the SPLA claimed that Kerubino, who had beenfighting against the SPLA since joining with Riek in 1993, was not fullytrusted with SPLA artillery, and the SPLA deliberately did not move itsartillery to Wau, intending to undercut his victory. The discovery bygovernment military intelligence of the Trojan Horse plan required moving upthe attack date, Kerubino's supporters would argue.

According also to SPLA sources and some Wau residents, dueto the haste of the attack, coordination with the Dinka police and game wardensin Wau and with the sympathetic sectors of the Fertit militia was not good. TheDinka uniformed services were to join in the attack, but they did not receivetimely orders. The police in the end defended their headquarters, theirfamilies and the governor's house, and provided a shield for the escapingcivilians, before they, too, fled Wau. Among the high-ranking Dinka police whoreportedly fled were Colonel Peter Lual and Lieutenant Colonel Wol Lang.[296][296]

It appears that Kerubino did not have time to notify hisforces in Khartoum of his planned defection. In February 1998 media reportsreferred to an "incident" with forces in Khartoum loyal to Kerubino,[297][297]following which Riek Machar ordered all southern militia factions in Khartoumto hand over their arms to prevent disturbances. The arms were to be held byRiek and other leaders of his political umbrella group, the UDSF.[298][298]Asdiscussed further below, all pro-government southern militias in Khartoum,including Riek's, were finally disarmed without notice by their army allies inNovember 1998.

The Consequences of the Failed Attempt to Take Wau

The consequences of Kerubino's defection and attack on Wauwere enormous. They provided the excuse for lethal retaliation by governmentforces against hundreds of Wau residents identified with the SPLA and Kerubino,primarily the Dinka and Jur. This ethnic slaughter went on for approximatelytwelve days, after the government was clearly in control of the town.

The physical deprivation and dislocation suffered by theescaping Dinka, Jur, and others of Wau, Aweil, and Gogrial was enormous andcontinues. The fighting was the immediate cause for the government slapping aretaliatory flight ban on much-needed U.N. relief flights into Bahr El Ghazal,and putting these displaced and several hundred thousand other Dinka at risk ofstarvation for two months and more. Many died. The famine is expected to lastuntil the end of 1999.

Although perhaps 21,000 Dinka former Wau residents (or 30percent of the 72,000 aid beneficiaries registered in Wau in August 1998) wereforced by hunger and muraheleen raids to return to Wau for food by August 1998,they no longer could expect the protection of a Dinka civil servant and policeclass in Wau. Most of the small educated Dinka middle class in Wau that workedfor the government and agencies-many of whom had earned college and graduatedegrees abroad-left Wau, as did most of the Dinka wearing government uniforms.This has meant a radical change in the ethnic balance of power inside Wau. Ithas also provided an infusion of educated people to the rebel side, althoughthey have a lower standard of living there than in Wau, which was by no meansgood.[299][299]

The danger that unrestrained looting and pillaging-permittedby Kerubino and the SPLA leadership-posed to military effectiveness was amplydemonstrated at Wau. Yet no one seems to have been called to account for thiscostly lack of discipline and violation of international law. Nor has Kerubino'slong history of brutality that so undermined civilian life in Bahr El Ghazalbeen punished. Finally, the SPLA's press statements claiming victory in Wau,Aweil, and Gogrial were unreliable, further undermining credibility.

The fighting in Wau apparently provided the excuse for theSudan government to follow up the changed balance of ethnic power in Wau withnew political appointments to circumvent the unexpected vote against the NIFcandidate in the December 1997 governor's election. Just one month after thefighting, according to various sources, President Bashir named acting governorsto take the places of some elected governors and appointed state ministers forthose states without consultation with the elected governors. The losinggovernors were those who were not NIF or Riek candidates.[300][300]

A close examination of Khartoum appointments of actingsouthern governors shows that the elected governors for the ten southern stateswere sworn in on December 16, 1998, by President Omar El Bashir.[301][301]On February 27, 1998, less than a month after the battle at Wau, PresidentBashir issued decrees in which "acting governors" were named in place of sixgovernors, and many state ministers were appointed.

In Wau, Western Bahr El Ghazal state, Anthony Achor Michaelwas listed as "agriculture minister and acting governor,"[302][302]and Governor Charles Julu's name was missing from the long list of stateofficials. Of seven ministers in Western Bahr El Ghazal, only three named inthat February 1998 decree were supporters of Julu, and the others were Muslims(usually aligned with the NIF government in Wau) or "in the government'spocket," according to an informed source.[303][303]One minister was Uthman Tamim Fartak, social and cultural affairs minister, thebrother of defeated NIF governor Ali Tamim Fartak, still a power in Wau.[304][304]

In five southern states in addition to Western Bahr ElGhazal acting governors were also appointed: Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Lakes(Buheirat), Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, and Bahr El Jabal. There thegovernors named "acting" were not the ones who had won the elections. Thesedecrees do not explain why in six of ten southern states acting governors werenamed on the same day, February 27, 1998, with no reference to the governorselected just two months prior to that date. Most state ministers were namedsimultaneously with the acting governors.[305][305]

In Upper Nile, where the elected Riek-supported governor,Dr. Timothy Tutlam, died in a plane crash on February 12, 1998, new electionswere held on May 22.[306][306]

Later in the year, some elected governors resurfaced. RiekMachar, head of the SSCC, said in July that the governors of all ten southernstates, most of whom were based in Khartoum, had been told to move immediatelyto their own areas and operate from there.[307][307]In August, Charles Julu was back in Wau, with the title of governor andstruggling with a burgeoning death rate among returned and displaced Dinka;[308][308]he had spent several months in Khartoum after his house was attacked bygovernment forces during the battle for Wau.

In Northern Bahr El Ghazal, the official residence ofelected governor Kwac Makuei, who had been backed by Riek, was attacked by whatthe press called "unidentified gunmen," who killed thirteen men (twelvebodyguards and a civilian). Kwac was in Khartoum at the time, in June 1998, andanother had been named acting governor in his place in February (Zakariya NgorNgor, also named health minister).[309][309]Riek Machar, in an open letter to President Bashir, blamed these "extremelydangerous and bloody events" in Aweil on "some armed elements of thegovernment."[310][310]

Although the government and its SSDF allies retainedmilitary control of Wau, Gogrial, and Aweil, its first vice president Zubeirand several other high-ranking officials involved with the southern government-directedpeace process, including Dr. Timothy Tutlam and Arok Thon Arok, died in a planecrash on February 12, 1998, in Nasir in southern Sudan. They were on a tour ofsouthern garrison towns to reassure government stalwarts that Kerubino's defectionto the SPLA was not a serious setback to the government's war (or peace fromwithin) policy. Zubeir was the government signatory to the Political Charterand Peace Agreement, and was considered a vital link between the army and theNIF.

The burial of one crash victim, Arok Thon Arok, a Dinka armyofficer and former SPLA commander who signed the Peace Agreement, turned intoan undignified religious tug-of-war over the body. NIF officials in Khartoum,including NIF leader Hassan al Turabi, tried to claim Arok Thon Arok's body forIslamic burial on the grounds that he had converted to Islam, while hisrelatives denied any conversion and insisted on a Christian burial. The familywon.[311][311]This episode provides another illustration of the tensions that plague therelations between the NIF and its southern non-Muslim allies.

With Kerubino's defection, southerner and national assemblymember Angelo Beda was appointed deputy chairman of the SSCC in his place.[312][312]Beda, however, did not have the cachet of being an SPLA commander who hadturned his back on the SPLA and made peace with the government. Beda was acivil servant long loyal to the governments in Khartoum.

Kerubino's Repentance

Kerubino, having escaped from Wau with his forces, touredBahr El Ghazal, including the locations where tens of thousands of internallydisplaced were gathered hoping for relief. A charismatic man, he spoke atlength to the crowds, and told a gathering in Achumchum,"Stay calm, wewill take the south. I went back to the SPLA because the Arabs deceived me. Iask your forgiveness for working with the Arabs,"according to a man whowas there. Kerubino repeated this speech in many other locations, according toseveral others interviewed by Human Rights Watch.

To the surprise of outsiders, the reaction of the Dinka inrural Bahr El Ghazal generally was that it was an achievement that Kerubinoreturned to the SPLA and would thereafter protect his people from thegovernment. The rural Bahr El Ghazal population was relieved at the prospect ofbeing protected by Kerubino instead of looted by him.

This was the reaction even in Twic County (Wunrok andTuralei), an area of northeastern Bahr El Ghazal particularly devastated by hisfour-year-long raiding spree. Those attending his speech in Turalei on April 27said that the Twic County residents were bitter about Kerubino before, but werepleased with his speech. It was most important to them that he apologized.[313][313]

Also included in his speecheswasreference to an agreement with the Dinka elders and chiefs as to the women hissoldiers took as brides, without paying the traditional bridewealth to thebrides' families. Some of the soldiers actually captured young women they knewbefore they joined Kerubino. They would run with the women to Kerubino's camp,where the fathers and other male relatives could not pursue them.

Marriage is, among other things, an important economic eventin the life of a Dinka family and one to which they look forward especially intimes of scarcity; the bridewealth is paid to the bride's family in cattle.This permits families with daughters to recoup some of the losses theysustained in raids. Although Kerubino's soldiers looted many cattle-some nodoubt from their in-laws-they did not have cattle to pay the bridewealth pricewhen Kerubino and his forces fled Wau. They had long since eaten or sold thecows in the market because they, too, had no food. The rural Dinka of Bahr ElGhazal had been organized through their chiefs to contribute cows and grain tothe SPLA, but not to Kerubino, whose alliance with the government they did notsupport.

Under the new agreement, the fathers were to ask thehusbands for payment of the dowry. The price would be negotiated. If there wasno payment, the fathers would take their daughters back. The local chiefs wereto be responsible for enforcement of these arrangements.


Wau Displaced in the Famine Zone

When tens of thousands of Dinka Wau residents and Dinka fromWau's displaced persons camps fled on January 29, 1998, they ran east to ruralDinka territory that was then held by the SPLA. Jur residents of Wau also fled,and the Belanda reportedly escaped also, to their territory south of Wau. TheU.N. later estimated that those who fled represented 65 percent of Wau'spopulation.[314][314]Gogrial and Aweil, also the scenes of Kerubino/SPLA attacks that night, weremostly Dinka, and had populations of about 15,000 and 24,000 respectively.[315][315]Approximately 90 percent of the civilian population of Aweil left that town enroute to safer areas and in search of relief,[316][316]and a similar portion of Gogrial's population fled also. OLS estimated that,all told, there were at least 100,000 leaving Wau, Aweil, and Gogrial at once.The OLS immediately reported that it was "concerned that it does not have theresources to meet the survival needs of the growing numbers of people in needin the area."[317][317]

Before the famine, the U.N. had already projected major fooddeficits for the displaced camps around Wau and the rural areas of northernBahr El Ghazal.[318][318]The Joint Task Force report states that all OLS agencies and the Sudan Reliefand Rehabilitation Association (SRRA)[319][319]assessments in late 1997 indicated that the humanitarian situation in Bahr ElGhazal would be comparable to that of 1988, the year of a famine in which anestimated 250,000 died in the same region.[320][320]The FAO-WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission to Sudan estimated inDecember 1997 that crop production in Sudan would be down by approximately 45percent from 1997, primarily because of inadequate rains and civil insecuritythroughout the season, and that in northern Bahr El Ghazal, "which has beenimpoverished by years of persistent civil insecurity, inhabitants will havedifficulty coping with even a relatively small crop loss."[321][321]

The flight from Wau, Aweil, and Gogrial was a disaster forthose displaced. Although these were garrison towns where the displaced werealready in need of relief, life was still not as difficult as infamine-stricken areas of Bahr El Ghazal to which they fled for safety. Manytown dwellers did not have the skills to farm, to build their own huts, or tosurvive in a famine by searching for and preparing wild foods.[322][322]Nor did they have any assets such as cattle to sell. Most arrived with thebarest possessions in a non-monetary economy in a very harsh, hot, and dryenvironment with no shelter, medical or sanitary facilities, or clean water.

The strain on the already impoverished rural Dinka communitywas severe: perhaps 100,000 new mouths with no resources of their own werepiled on top of the 250,000 already estimated by the U.N. to be at risk offamine if they did not receive outside assistance. In addition, the cessationof hostilities between Kerubino and the SPLA in December 1997 had already allowedmany displaced people in Wau to return home to rural areas, further swellingthe vulnerable population because they had not yet been able to plant; theplanting season starts with the rains in April or May.[323][323]

On February 3, 1998, the WFP, alarmed at the sudden increasein needy mouths, announced it was air dropping food to two locations in Bahr ElGhazal where the displaced from Wau, Aweil, and Gogrial had gathered. The WFPsaid the displaced were living in the bush or small villages, and had "no food,no water, no clothing and no shelter materials."[324][324]

The Two-Month Government Flight Ban

The very next day, February 4, the government exacerbatedthe dire situation by slapping a flight ban on all U.N. relief planes "for theentire Bahr El Ghazal region" on "security grounds"[325][325]for an undetermined length of time. This flight ban lasted from February 4until March 31; it was relaxed on February 21 to permit flights to only sixBahr El Ghazal locations (two of them the garrison towns of Wau and Aweil).[326][326]

The OLS reacted immediately and publicly to the government'sFebruary 4 flight ban:

This comes just as OLS emergency response teams on theground confirm both the numbers and deteriorating condition of internallydisplaced populations.

The suspension of flight access to the area threatensto disrupt emergency response to the growing crisis,... while 102 OLS personnelwho rely on air delivery for food and water supplies, are unreachable atpresent.

Emergency teams on the ground, distributing reliefsupplies sent on Monday 2 February to assist the populations displaced byfighting, report that the amounts delivered will last only for a few days.Without further supplies, the conditions of over 100,000 IDPs [internallydisplaced persons] will deteriorate rapidly.[327][327]

OLS also worried that its polio eradication program wouldhave a negligible impact in southern Sudan if the ban continued, because itestimated that almost half the population of southern Sudan lived in Bahr ElGhazal.[328][328]

The U.N. Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairsin New York warned:

The flight ban... has a serious impact, not only onthe war-affected population, but also on hundreds of thousands of women andchildren living in Bahr El Ghazal, one of the most deprived areas in the south,which was already experiencing a severe food deficit before the current crisis.[329][329]

Bahr El Ghazal is about three hours flying time from thelogistical hub of OLS (Southern Sector) relief operations on the Sudan borderat Lokichokkio, Kenya. Bahr El Ghazal is far also from the long overland routestretching from northern Uganda, where Ugandan rebel land mines are numerous,into southern Sudan. Even in an emergency in 1998, it took weeks for truckscarrying tons of food to travel from Uganda to Bahr El Ghazal, because the dirtroads were not maintained and most bridges over rivers were destroyed formilitary purposes, usually by the SPLA. A convoy of 120 MT of sorghum reachedMapel in southern Bahr El Ghazal on February 25, 1998, after a 560 mile (900kilometer) journey which took two weeks. This was enough food to feed 50,000for six days, according to the U.N. It marked the first time the U.N. managedto send food so far north by road.[330][330]In four days, one C-130 airplane can deliver the same amount of food (128 MTwith two flights per day), but at a much greater cost.

The area punished by this government flight ban was muchwider than the area affected by the fighting in Wau, Gogrial, and Aweil.Therefore there was no possibility of airdropping food to locations near thefamine zone for the stronger to carry back to the weaker; the distances weretoo great for weakened porters.

The U.N. tried behind-the-scenes diplomacy, but the Sudangovernment was unyielding. It orally declared its intention to declarepersona non gratathe OLS (SouthernSector) coordinator, at the very least a time-consuming distraction from thefood emergency. It stepped back from that position but remained obdurate on theflight ban.

On February 6, OLS submitted to the government analternative flight plan which focused on the immediate relief requirements foran estimated 103,000 to 111,000 internally displaced persons within the totalaffected Bahr El Ghazal population of approximately 350,000. On February 13,the executive directors of UNICEF and WFP as well as Under Secretary-GeneralVieira de Mello communicated their concerns in letters addressed separately toofficials at the highest levels of the Sudan government.[331][331]The U.N.'s efforts to find a rapid solution to the crisis were complicated bythe sudden accidental death of First Vice President Zubeir in a plane crash onFebruary 12.

While the government of Sudan indicated in a publicstatement on February 10 that the ban would be lifted "shortly," by February 18there had been little tangible progress aside from government approval for OLS(Northern Sector) teams to conduct security and program needs assessmentmissions beginning February 20 in Wau and other government-controlled areas-andthe famine had not yet reached Wau. On February 19, the secretary-generaldispatched to Khartoum his special envoy for humanitarian affairs in Sudan,Ambassador Robert van Schaik, with a personal message to the Sudanese head ofstate regarding the flight ban.[332][332]

Under this pressure, the government relented slightly and permittedsome flights into four Bahr El Ghazal rural relief sites, Adet (14,000 needy)and Ajiep, Pakor, and Akuem (59,000 in those three locations), starting onFebruary 26.[333][333]Deliveries to Wau and Aweil from OLS' Khartoum base were also approved.

As it turned out, delivering food to only four rurallocations was a setback; these quickly became "aid magnets" which causedthousands of people to migrate away from their land and kin.[334][334]The influx quickly overloaded local and OLS capacities in the four locations,further weakened those who made the journey on foot and without food, createdtensions between the hosts and the displaced, and "set a trend which continuesto the present day of mobile groups moving from location to location in searchof food."[335][335]

With these counterproductive exceptions, the ban went on foralmost two months. During that time, all food, including wild foods and fishwhich were affected by the drought as well, became scarcer and scarcer. One Wauresident stranded with his family in Mapel in April bitterly told a reliefworker after hearing of massacres in Wau,"I would rather have stayed inWau and been slaughtered by the Arabs than to bring my children to Mapel, wherethere is nothing to feed them."[336][336]This worker commented, "There was nothing, nothing, nothing to eat in Mapel."[337][337]

Other indications of scarcity was famine victims' "turninginto the ground" or excavating ant hills and sifting through the dirt to findgrains of wild rice, a process which takes hours and yields about one cup ofedible food.[338][338]Yet another indicator was the slaughter of animals for food much earlier in theyear than usual. By April, the slaughter rate of cattle in Bahr El Ghazal hadgone up 500 percent and the price of beef had gone up 300 percent, according tothe relief group Oxfam.[339][339]Slaughter of cattle for food is a last resort, especially at the beginning ofthe hunger gap period (April to October). Cattle are a principal form ofsavings, required to pay bridewealth and other traditional obligations. Thecows are also an important traditional source of nutrition-milk-during thehunger gap season.

Little by little, journalists found their way to the famineareas "illegally," that is, mostly without Sudan government visas on non-OLSchartered flights which flew into Sudan in defiance of the government ban. Theybegan to report on a human tragedy that was, even in its early stages,enormously disturbing.

Her five younger children sat naked in the dust nextto her, each thinner than the last, their eyes hollow, thin ribs visible, theirarms like sticks, their bellies protruding in famine's parody of fullness. Theyhad been waiting [for a distribution of food] for two days.[340][340]

By the time the ban was lifted, WFP had only been able tocover 19 percent of the estimated food requirements of Bahr El Ghazal fromFebruary through mid-March.[341][341]

The ban was not imposed on government areas and, except forWestern Upper Nile fighting between Riek Machar and Paulino Matiep, people ingovernment areas were not exposed to the danger of famine. On April 13, whilethe agencies were struggling to counter the dire effects of the government'stwo-month ban on relief to rebel-held areas, Sudan's Humanitarian AidCommissioner Hussein Al Obeid boasted that government-held areas in southernSudan "do not suffer any food shortage or famine."[342][342]That did not last long, however, as famine migrants, many too weak to preparetheir own food, streamed into the garrison towns starting in May.[343][343]

Government Bombing of Relief Sites and Other SecurityRisks

In February, the first stop the fleeing Dinka and Jur of Wauwas Achono, which was bombed heavily by the government, causing the Wauevacuees to keep going to locations further east. The OLS noted, "Emergencyteams located close to Aweil, Gogrial and especially Wau - say the situation isvery tense, as a result of sporadic bombing, and that people are moving tosafer areas."[344][344]A week later, the situation remained tense, with periodic bombing of areaswhere the displaced were gathering. OLS personnel still on the ground tookmeasures to protect themselves, such as digging bomb shelters and trenches.[345][345]U.N. and agency situation reports logged bombings in Bahr El Ghazal during theearly flight ban:

Feb. 1, 8, 9: Malual Kon,Adet, Akoc

Feb. 4: Achono (three killed)

Feb. 14: Achumchum (one man killed, one woman injured)

Feb. 24: Pakor (one of four sites approved on February26 for food aid)

Feb. 25: Gogrial

Feb. 28: Adet (one of four sites approved on February26 for food aid)

March 1: Thiet (sixteen dead, thirteen wounded)

Among the bombed Bahr El Ghazal locations reported by thepress in February and March were Adet on February 8 and Thiet on March 1(killing sixteen);[346][346]Luanyaker town, ninety kilometers (fifty-six miles) northeast of Wau, onFebruary 9;[347][347]and Adet again on March 19.[348][348]

By no means did the press document each bombing. The Sudanfamine was a very difficult assignment, logistically and in other ways. Attimes journalists ran into harassment from lower level SPLA officials.[349][349]The OLS security chief, who was in a better position to see the big picture onbombing of OLS activities, reported that from January to mid-April, 1998,fourteen OLS relief locations were bombed.[350][350]The most spectacular bombing outside of Bahr El Ghazal during the flight banwas the bombing of the civilian hospital in Yei, Equatoria, on February 15,killing seven patients.[351][351]The SPLA had a military headquarters outside of Yei,[352][352]but Yei town and hospital appeared to be the government's chosen targets.[353][353]

Human Rights Watch interviewed a man who had gone to the YeiHospital for chest problems. At 9:00 a.m. in early March 1998, he was waitingfor the doctor on the veranda inside the hospital. He heard the sound of aplane. He ran for the hospital shelter but it was full and he could not get in.He ran to hide near the operating theater of the hospital. One bomb fell awayfrom the hospital. The second bomb hit the shelter and killed seven peopleinside, injuring others. He was injured by shrapnel from this bomb, below theknees on both legs.[354][354]

The NPA hospital in Yei was bombed twelve times in all in1998, and in January 1999 a Norwegian member of parliament visiting Yei wascaught in a government bombing raid in which five bombs were dropped on thattown.[355][355]In mid-January 1999, the hospital at Kajo Keiji, run by MSF, was bombed by thegovernment, destroying the immunization block and causing extensive damage tosurgical and outpatient departments.[356][356]

OLS reports and other agency reports identified thefollowing relief locations as having been bombed in April and May outside ofBahr El Ghazal:

April 10: Yei, Equatoria

April 28: Wonduruba

May 3, 13, 23, 25: Ikotos, Equatoria

May 13, 23, 28: Paluer

May 13: Pakor

May 23: Panyagor, Kongor, Jonglei

On June 12, in Panacier, Bahr El Ghazal, a Sudanesegovernment Antonov bomber dropped six bombs in the proximity of World Vision'semergency feeding center.[357][357]

In 1998, according to the U.N., indiscriminate bombing bythe government of Sudan of civilian populations was reported on fifty-sevenseparate occasions.[358][358]

During 1998, 228 relief personnel were evacuated onforty-five occasions. Looting of compounds in Western Upper Nile forced ashut-down of programs. OLS vehicles in southern Sudan, northern Kenya, andUganda were ambushed on thirteen separate occasions.[359][359]


Flight Ban Ended, and OLS Scrambled to Catch Up With NeedsCaused by Continued Raiding, Poor Harvests

After lifting of the flight ban, the government stepped upmilitary attacks on the civilian population in Bahr El Ghazal. Those attacksfurther debilitated the civilians who managed to survive the flight ban andearlier raids. A cease-fire on July 15 for Bahr El Ghazal temporarily haltedthese famine-producing abuses but the famine was not contained for several moremonths.

Projections of those in need in Bahr El Ghazal alone wentfrom 250,000 in early 1998 to one million in August 1998, and to 2.4 million inall southern Sudan. It became clear, even in large international bureaucracies,what the cause of the escalating needs was. As a result of "incessant lootingand cattle raiding and disruption of economic activity," the FAO noted in May,"large sections of the population have become dependent on food aid and arehighly vulnerable to even small reductions in production. Some 60 to 70 percentof the population in Bahr El Ghazal" and other parts of Sudan were currently inneed of emergency food.[360][360]

This Joint Task Force table illustrates the rapid andcontinuous increase in estimated population in need in the Bahr el Ghazalaffected area from January to August 1998.[361][361]



Estimated population in need of food




350,000 (including 100,000 displaced population)








Monthly tonnage needs for Bahr El Ghazal quadrupled from4,000 MT for April to 16,500 MT for August[362][362]as the extent of the famine became clear, donors rallied, and logisticsimproved.[363][363]By August the WFP was able to target more than one million in Bahr El Ghazal,but still did not have the capacity to reach all.[364][364]

In May it was already apparent that the 1998 harvest wouldbe insufficient. The FAO warned that satellite images "indicate late, erraticand generally insufficient rainfall" from late March to the first week of May, withprecipitation well below normal in Bahr El Ghazal.[365][365]

There was a general absence of seed, either becausehouseholds consumed their seed stock as food or because it was burned byinvaders. "To purchase seeds people had to travel to markets at distances ofseveral days' walk. Few had anything to offer in barter or money to pay. Seeddistributed by OLS agencies was not adequate to meet the need, and most hasrotted in the ground due to lack of rain. The sorghum harvest for this year[1998] will be grossly inadequate... Cattle herds were decimated by militiaraids; only a small portion of the households had even a cow or goat formilking," the U.N. observed.[366][366]

USAID also noted that farmers in Bahr El Ghazal were sowingonly half the area planted last year, and using last year's fields instead ofclearing new land because of ever-present insecurity and "labor and energyconstraints,"[367][367]i.e., many were dead or had migrated elsewhere and those left behind were weakfrom lack of food.

In a review of the year, the U.N. concluded that betweenFebruary and August 1998, "hundreds of communities in Bahr Al Ghazal that hadmanaged for years to cope with asset-depleting insecurity, displacement anddrought crossed the threshold from subsistence into starvation, while an unknownnumber of individuals died from hunger, disease and neglect."[368][368]

Kerubino Raiding of the Baggara

During the last (1988) famine, the SPLA counterattacked themuraheleen raiders, and the army did not respond to muraheleen requests forassistance.[369][369]This and other factors, including a cease-fire, brought some measure of reliefto Bahr El Ghazal in the last famine.

In 1998, Kerubino and the SPLA attempted to halt militarilythe famine-producing raids of the muraheleen. This did not have the samesuccess as in 1987-88, because the muraheleen were now backed and aided by thegovernment army and PDF.[370][370]

The Baggara responded politically and militarily to Kerubinoand the SPLA's counterattacks. The government held a press conference on April21, 1998, at which Foreign Relations Minister Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail said theSudan government was going to complain to the U.N. secretary-general that theSPLA took advantage of relief corridors to attack the Rizeigat (Baggara) tribein South Darfur on April 14, killing forty-two persons, wounding eleven others,and looting 5,000 head of cattle.[371][371]At the time of this press conference, however, there was no cease-fire (thatdid not come for three months) and there were no recognized relief corridors inSudan. This appeared to be part of the government's repeated calls for acease-fire, its threat to ban assistance again, and its attempt to shift theblame for the famine away from itself.[372][372]

At a meeting on May 10, 1998 in Babanusa, a Baggara leaderpublicly announced Baggara losses as a result of Kerubino attacks: on April 4,1998, nine killed, nineteen wounded, 1,360 cows stolen; on April 26, sevenkilled, 800 cows stolen; on April 28, ten killed, 300 cows stolen; on May 1,thirteen killed, 600 cows stolen. A Baggara rescue force was organized andbadly defeated, and a delegation was sent to seek further assistance fromKhartoum.[373][373]

The Sudan government claimed that the SPLA attackedMisseriya (Baggara) tribesmen in early May near Abyei, killing eighteen peopleand stealing thousands of cattle.[374][374]Each accused the other of launching attacks while the peace talks in Nairobiwere in progress.[375][375]

Sadiq al Mahdi, the exiled former prime minister and head ofthe Umma Party to which Baggara traditionally adhered, accused the governmentof deliberately sowing hatred of the Dinka among the Arab tribes, to enlisttheir support against the SPLA.[376][376]He denied government claims that the SPLA had been behind three raids in Abyeidistrict in which twenty-three Misseriya were said to have been killed.[377][377]

Separately, the government accused the SPLA of raiding theborder of central Kordofan province and neighboring Bahr El Ghazal to open "aroute to the oil fields in [the Heglig] area." General Abdel Rahman Sirr alKhatim, the army spokesperson, stated that the SPLA made several attacks inmid-May on the tribes in the area, killing dozens of civilians and stealingthousands of livestock, but joint action "by the armed forces and civiliansblocked the road to the oil fields." He also admitted that 4,500 head of cattleand goats were "retrieved" by government forces, as well as weapons andammunition. Fifty-six civilians were said to have been killed in the attacks.[378][378]

The SPLA called in June for a reconciliation conference withthe Baggara, contacting tribal chiefs in Southern Darfur, Northern Bahr ElGhazal, Southern Kordofan, and Upper Nile.[379][379]The Misseriya said a specific offer was made to them: the SPLA would releaseMisseriya prisoners and return Misseriya cattle in exchange for a halt on armedraids of SPLA camps.[380][380]Mukhtar Babu Nimir, a Misseriya chief, refused the offer, claiming that theSPLA recently killed "89 people of the tribe, looted 14,000 head of cattle inaddition to taking 50 fighters of the tribe as prisoners of war."[381][381]

Human Rights Watch has received reports that Kerubino didindeed raid Baggara areas during this time period, loot cattle (or "recover"the stolen Dinka cattle, depending on the point of view), and take captives. Inaddition, Human Rights Watch noted a connection between the SPLA attacks andBaggara/PDF retaliation on a visit to Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, in early May1998.

At the time there was little SPLA presence among thehundreds of displaced persons who met the plane chartered by the Irish agencyGOAL at Wunrok. While interviewing witnesses, shots rang out. When asked aboutthis, the following exchange occurred with local civilian authorities:

The soldiers of the SPLA are killing bulls.

Did they pay for them?

They captured them from the Arabs, near Aweng [Bahr ElGhazal], where there was a big battle three to four days ago with manycasualties. The enemy ran east. All were Misseriya. They camped in Aweng withSPLA permission but some went out from the cattle camps to join in the fightingagainst the SPLA and therefore the SPLA raided their cattle.

The SPLA noticed that "lots of Misseriya came to the camps,then the numbers dwindled down to a few" when an attack on Dinka civilians wastaking place. For example, the Misseriya started the fighting at Bahr al Arabriver, "where the houses of these Dinka people from Abyei were."[382][382]They attacked at the river, burned houses, killed civilians, and clashed withSPLA forces. Large numbers of muraheleen, PDF, and government troops took part,then moved southwards. After the fighting at Bahr al Arab, some Misseriyareturned to the cattle camps with guns. "They did not look like ordinarynomads." It was separately mentioned that at Aweng the SPLA had captured notonly cattle but also some of the muraheleen it found at the camp-including amuraheleen chief. The prisoners were brought to SPLA-controlled Wunrok.

The insecure conditions in the area thus were partly theresult of this back and forth, including muraheleen attempts to recapturecattle and free their leader. They went beyond this limited goal, however, andshortly thereafter harshly attacked the civilian Dinka population, causinghundreds of deaths in the space of a few weeks, as described by journalistsbelow.

With access to the Baggara territory or any othergovernment-controlled area barred to Human Rights Watch by the Sudangovernment, it proved impossible at the time of this report to judge the extentor the timing of the other allegations of SPLA/Kerubino raids, or to verifygovernment and limited press accounts from the government side.[383][383]

There are extensive press, relief agency, and human rightsaccounts of organized and coordinated muraheleen and government raiding onDinka civilians in Bahr El Ghazal in the April-July 1998 period, however, whichsubstantially corroborate each other.

Continued Muraheleen/PDF/Army Raiding and Enslavement ofthe Dinka

The flight ban was not the sole reason that inadequaterelief reached the hungry. Muraheleen and PDF raids exacerbated thedifficulties faced by displaced communities and blocked the efforts of reliefagencies to assist them.

The effect of the raiding on the Dinka of Bahr El Ghazal hasbeen reflected in many songs and statements.[384][384]One song from 1998 said:

This is my home, the home of my father and my grandfather.Today old men and girls and women and young people, we hate ourselves in thisplace. We hate ourselves because our possessions, our cattle, our food storesare repeatedly destroyed by Arabs. We are enslaved. Take us, all of us, take usto your place so that we can live. We loathe ourselves.[385][385]

February-March 1998 Raids by Railway in Twic and AweilCounties

A train carrying 1,000 Sudan army troops and 250 PDF(muraheleen) was stuck near Aweil in early February, on its way to reinforceWau. The train was reportedly held up by the SPLA, who claimed to have capturedAriath, a small town on the railway near Aweil.

The SPLA was repelled and the train managed to breakthrough. By late February-early March, the muraheleen and PDF transported onthe train were raiding Twic and Aweil countries in Bahr El Ghazal. Communitiesfaced repeated raids by those forces in areas such as Panthou (March 13 and May14, 1998), Ajiep (April 15 and May 19, 1998), and Thiekthou (May 14, 1998).

Government troops were organized in many different locationsto descend on Bahr El Ghazal. According to one informant, in El Daein, SouthernDarfur, the minister of defense, the assistant governor of Southern Darfur, andBaggara Rizeigat leaders held a meeting on April 1, 1998, and formed and armeda defense force, equipped with transport from the army. The force was sent offto northern Bahr El Ghazal, and returned after three weeks with Dinka cattle,women, and children. The girls were divided up by the local merchants.[386][386]

Even the Dinka who had lived for some time as displacedpersons in non-Dinka areas of Southern Darfur and Kordofan, far from the SPLA,were attacked by muraheleen, and their animals robbed. The result of theseattacks was that many Dinka moved out of those areas to towns furthernorth-Babanusa, Nyala, Nahud, El Obeid-carrying stories of how their villageswere attacked, destroyed, burned, and the children and girls taken as booty,with widespread rape.[387][387]

Muraheleen/PDF/Government Offensive in Bahr El Ghazal,April -June 1998

Aid agencies alerted the media to a major government ofSudan offensive in Bahr El Ghazal in May, including attacks on at least sixrelief centers. They said this offensive was a severe blow to their efforts todeliver relief food. The offensive was centered on Aweil, Gogrial, and Abyeicounties, with forces arriving from two directions to pillage food andthousands of head of cattle, burn villages, and capture women and children. TheSPLA claimed the offensive was in retaliation for rebel advances in other partsof Sudan, namely Upper Nile and Blue Nile.[388][388]

Local people said the raids began in Aweil county in Apriland spread over through late May into neighboring Twic county.[389][389]An Episcopal (Anglican) priest visiting the area of Aweil County in late April1998 encountered the rubble of former homesteads and the stories of ananguished people. They told him that in April military lorries bristling withsoldiers rolled out of Aweil forcing a mass evacuation. People buried theirpossessions and returned a week later to find nothing had survived: not an uncharredgrain of sorghum, nor a sleeping mat. Animals not looted were shot. Nine ofMairam's villages were destroyed and further west at Ayaat, six were leveled,leaving nineteen dead. "The worst carnage of those days occurred on the 6thof April north-west of Nyamlell at Akuangaruol where 59 people were killed, 40carried into bondage, and 3,792 head of cattle looted."[390][390]The International Rescue Committee reported that the hospital it ran in MarialBai in Aweil County (west of Nyamlell) was attacked by government militia inlate April, and all thirty-nine patients were killed.[391][391]An official from Medics in Action said they believed"200 people werekilled in Nyamlell in the last two weeks [of May 1998], and we have a list of280 women and children who were abducted by government forces."[392][392]

Another journalist reported that the town of Nyamlell wassacked by invaders. "Some of their victims lie half buried near the piles ofhorse dung that mark the spot where the Arabs made their camp. They stayed aweek, rounding up the cattle and goats, raping the young women and shootingolder ones in the feet... in [Marial] Bai, a local man... told me his wife andfive children had been abducted by the horse backed invaders."[393][393]

A few days later, the elders were making a list of the deadin a fifty-mile arc from southeast of Abyei to Mayen Abun: 400 were counted asof June 3. What made this raid different from the seasonal raids by themuraheleen was that this time convoys of government vehicles transported intothe garrison towns of Abyei and Gogrial reinforcements and weapons to be usedfor the raids, indicating a high level of planning and participation by thecentral government.[394][394]

Indeed, in late May a local government official of SouthDarfur broadcast his triumphs to a Khartoum newspaper, saying that more than10,000 horsemen of the Rizeigat (Baggara) tribe, to whom he referred as"our 'knights,'"supported by the army, destroyed Nyamlell and MarialBai (Aweil County) and other"rebel"camps in northern Bahr ElGhazal, defeating the SPLA and taking back 17,000 head of cattle and 20,000goats. He claimed this was in retaliation for rebel attacks and rustling themonth before.[395][395]

According to a church source, churches were prime targets ofthese attacks, with some twenty-three houses of worship burned by the raidersin the early months of 1998.[396][396]

Relief workers were eyewitnesses to the destruction in TwicCounty (Wunrok and Turalei). One described the scene at the market town ofAbindau, a week after the attack."'Bodies were burnt in the houses andcorpses were scattered all over, in the water holes, floating in the river... Icouldn't count them,'"said Dan Eiffe of Norwegian People's Aid.[397][397]Local people who were captured in these raids were taken to Abyei, if theysurvived the march, ninety-five kilometers to the north; some who escaped toldof seeing 400 captives from these raids held in one place.[398][398]The government admitted that it launched a counteroffensive to retake areas theSPLA took in 1997;[399][399]Wunrok was captured by the SPLA in May 1997.

A delegation of Christian Solidarity International alsovisited Aweng (Twic County) shortly after the May 10 raid:

The devastation was there for us to see. They attackedthe market at [Abindau], outside Aweng. They surrounded it, and killed everyonethey could. I have seen the corpses. In one morning alone 120 bodies have beenfound. Hundreds more are missing... Some [corpses] are in the swamps... justlying there. A lot are in the River Lol, just floating. These are women andchildren, and people who have tried to escape to the bush, but were followed,hunted down, and slaughtered. I came across corpse after corpse, still all withtheir bracelets and bangles on.[400][400]

Human Rights Watch visited Wunrok shortly before a raid. Thedisplaced population that was in Wunrok, like the displaced in other parts ofBahr El Ghazal, had been on the move for a long time; some had been displacedmany years before.

During the visit, an unusual noise caused a stampede ofmothers and children lined up to register at the impromptu feeding center setup by GOAL under a large tree. Within three minutes, the center was deserted asthe women, grabbing their children, ran for their lives, spreading out awayfrom the noise. When it was clear that this was a false alarm, people returned.The alacrity of their flight, however, demonstrated that they were used tobeing attacked and had honed the survival skill of running fast at the leastsign of trouble.

Honed, but not perfected. This market at Wunrok was attackedby the muraheleen and PDF only a few days later, according to a GOAL team thatreturned to their feeding program there a few weeks later. Instead of the underfive year olds they weighed and measured for signs of malnutrition, they foundbodies and wounded children, burned huts, and deserted towns. A massacre hadoccurred there.[401][401]

A visit by journalists in late May to Turalei (the mostnortherly part of southern Sudan controlled by the SPLA) in Twic County,northeast of Wunrok, found a completely deserted area where there was afunctioning emergency feeding center two weeks earlier, in mid-May. Proceedingto Wunrok, they found civilians who said that the muraheleen horsemen andgovernment PDF had descended in large numbers on the area between May 4-17,and, finding it empty of SPLA fighters, killed men and burned their homes atwill, abducting hundreds of women and children. The journalists investigatedand found that in the Aweng administrative center all villages had been burnedand abandoned, and dead bodies were scattered all over the ground at the cattlecamps. At Abindau between Turalei and Wunrok, the market was burned to theground and bodies strewn everywhere, even in the water hole. Terrifiedsurvivors were found hiding in the water of the swamps northeast of Aweng, includingchildren with bullet wounds who screamed in terror at the journalists'approach, fearing they were raiders.[402][402]Separately, another journalist saw the remains of the carnage in Aweng.[403][403]

A day before a June militia attack on Maper (Twic County),WFP workers distributed airdropped food to 1,800 women. Food for another 1,800families was scheduled to be distributed the next day, but shots fired in thedistance sent the waiting women and aid workers into a panic, fleeing andabandoning sixty MT of bagged corn. The women grabbed their children and ran.Aid workers, a journalist, and the few SPLA soldiers present jumped into atruck and headed to Turalei. People could be seen chasing their cattle into thebush to hide them from the raiders.

When the aid workers returned to Maper a few weeks later,all they found were rotting corpses draped across the charred remains of110-pound sacks of corn.[404][404]The WFP said that the attackers looted the relief food in Maper and set fire towhat they could not carry away, throwing their victims' bodies on the burningpile of food.[405][405]That week alone, WFP pulled four of its eleven teams out of southern Sudanafter threats of attacks.[406][406]

Warab State Dinka Stripped of Cattle, Children Taken asSlaves

In Warab state, on May 14, 1998 the muraheleen (described by their victims as "Arabs from Wau") attacked a cattle camp belonging to the villages of Abok, perhaps twenty-five kilometers northwest of Thiet. The cattle camp was on a river about two days' hard walk from Abok. There were an estimated 10,000 cattle at the camp; the adolescents and young people watched their family's cattle, as is customary.

The raiders came from north and south at the same time. They were on horseback; one survivor estimated there were 120 horses, each carrying two or three men. Others advanced on foot. The raiders first attacked the cattle camps by the river, taking the approximately 10,000 cattle there.

When word reached Abok of the raid one or two days later, the adults armed themselves and rushed to the camp-two days away. By the time they arrived, it was too late. Some 510 children who were in the cattle camp watching the cattle were abducted, according to the elders who tallied up the losses. Other children tried to escape and were shot or drowned in the river; at least thirty bodies were counted.

This community was devastated by the losses. Everyone lost children and cows: one man had five children abducted and seventy-eight cows looted; another three sons and all 120 cows; another seven children (four boys and three girls) and forty-five cows; another had three children abducted, two drowned, one wife killed, and fifty cattle stolen. Since the raid, community leaders said, seventy-eight died of hunger and grief.

Two young men who were captured managed to escape and run back. One told a researcher that the older captives had been tied up and the whole group marched en route to Wau for two days. Two boys who tried to escape were shot dead. Each captive was the property of his captor and his captor's subclan.

On the third day, this young man took advantage of an argument among the muraheleen over the cattle, and escaped. Upon hearing his account, many parents went to Wau to look for their children.[407][407]

In the opinion of some analysts, this fighting is not the product of retaliatory raids, but the result of a Sudan government strategic campaign to secure the oil fields around Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, and the pasture land of northern Bahr El Ghazal to the west of the oil fields. Having broken their 1990s grazing rights agreements with the Dinka, with government encouragement, the Baggara were to devastate and depopulate northern Bahr El Ghazal and then to be given free access to the land between the Bahr Al Arab (Kir) River and the Lol River, with its good pasture and water. The government's plan according to this analysis was for the Arab tribes to drive the Dinka remnants over the Lol River and eastwards into Nuer territory, where they would be wiped out by Nuer militias aligned with the government. What prevented this was an SPLA victory over the muraheleen horsemen at Warawar in eastern Aweil, according to one source. The muraheleen then withdrew to Abyei.[408][408]

OLS Geared Up and Government Permitted Additional Aircraft

In the month of April, after the flight ban was lifted, the WFP announced that southern Sudan required 6,000 MT of relief food, at least two-thirds of that (4,000 MT) for 350,000 of the worst affected in Bahr El Ghazal. It sought government approval for one C-130.

The numbers of people estimated at risk of famine, the metric tons needed to save them, and the aircraft needed to deliver the food escalated in months between April to August 1999, is described above and in Appendix D. By August, fifteen large cargo planes were authorized and in place to feed 2.4 million in need in southern Sudan.[409][409] Eighteen planes were in the air in September, [410][410] making deliveries to Bahr El Ghazal of about 15,000 MT[411][411] for an estimated one million in need, in the largest airdrop operation the WFP had ever conducted anywhere. The cost of relief at the height of the 1998 crisis was U.S. $ 1 million a day.[412][412] Generous funding by donors allowed OLS to increase deliveries ten-fold and operate life-saving interventions. For the first time in more than eight years, almost the entire amount appealed for by OLS agencies was received.[413][413]

Increasing Malnutrition in the Rural Areas Even As Relief Poured In

A June 1998 OLS survey in several locations in rural Bahr El Ghazal, excluding the children who were so malnourished they were already in feeding centers, showed a 50 percent malnutrition rate for the under fives. The survey, which assessed over 4,000 children, found that the major reason for the high rate of child malnutrition was lack of food rather than disease.[414][414]

Strikingly, despite increasing deliveries of food, the high rate of malnutrition could not be brought under control, even among children receiving rations at feeding centers.

In relief work, there have been two ways to distribute food: general food rations (for the entire population), and selective feeding programs, which are used if the overall food needs of a population are adequately met but there are high degrees of malnutrition in certain vulnerable groups.

There are three kinds of selective feeding programs: therapeutic feeding programs (to reduce mortality by taking care of those vulnerable groups at greatest risk of dying from causes related to malnutrition), supplementary feeding programs (to prevent the moderately malnourished from becoming severely malnourished), and blanket supplementary feeding programs (in a situation of a grossly inadequate general food supply, for all members of the vulnerable groups, to prevent widespread malnutrition and mortality).[415][415]

Therapeutic feeding aside, feeding for supplementary feeding programs is of two forms: wet rations, which are prepared once or twice daily in the kitchen of a feeding center and consumed on site; and dry rations, distributed usually weekly to take home for preparation and consumption.[416][416] Some in the relief community point out that use of selective feeding programs in the 1998 Bahr El Ghazal famine was an admission of failure. When general food rations are required in a famine but for logistical, financial, access, and other reasons there is not enough food to go around, agencies resort to selective feeding programs as a way to assist the most vulnerable, who are usually the under-five-year-old children. Among other things, the result is that children are brought back to health and discharged but soon reappear, malnourished, at the feeding center.

After the flight ban was lifted in April 1998, food distribution was made through feeding centers for the children under five determined by height and weight measurements to be malnourished.[417][417] The mother would receive a ration for that child for a week. A U.N. study in early June 1998 found that in all three supplementary feeding centers it visited in rural Bahr El Ghazal, children receiving take-home rations were not gaining weight, and in fact, many were losing weight. This was in part because the entire family shared the ration, there being no other food for them, after wild fruits and leaves were eaten.[418][418]

To counter this, in Ajiep, located on the Jur River about forty kilometers (twenty-five miles) northeast of Wau, the relief agencies arranged for a general distribution of enough maize for a month's half ration for 24,000 people, regardless of age. The estimated population in need at Ajiep, however, had by then swollen to 70,000, as the feeding center, the only source of regular food, acted as a magnet for a desperate population still capable of walking days to get there. The population that had not so moved in search of food was found to be in worse state.[419][419]

Ajiep continued to be an epicenter of the famine, despite access, regular food deliveries, and feeding centers. Death rates began to soar there.[420][420] The rate was eighteen people for every 10,000 daily in Ajiep in early July; ten days later, the rate quadrupled to nearly seventy per 10,000. "Every day 120 people are dying in a total population of 17,500 within a radius of five kilometers (three miles)," according to MSF, which operated a feeding center there. The rate among under fives went from under thirty-two per 10,000 to 133 per 10,000.[421][421] A rate of two per 10,000 is considered disastrous by aid organizations.[422][422]

The severity of the famine was reflected in an NGO report from the field:

Everywhere adults and children are dying. The teams are keeping track of mortality rates. In Ajiep, there are at least four people responsible for counting the dead and reporting back each day. Doctors Without Borders has also organized a cemetery and for the dead to be picked up as many have no relatives or the relatives are too weak to do anything. Traditionally the Dinka dead are buried in their village compound so that the spirit rests with the family, but because these people have fled their homes and have no shelter, it is not possible for them to do this.[423][423]

Finally in late July, in Ajiep food was delivered to a wider area to encourage the 70,000 people bunched up to disperse.[424][424] By late September, due to different measures taken by the agencies, this acute situation had eased: the mortality had declined from sixty-three/10,000/day in July to three/10,000/day in September, for a total of 48,000 beneficiaries.[425][425] The trials of Ajiep were not over: in October Ajiep suffered heavy flooding when the River Jur burst its banks. Some 46,000 people in Ajiep were left with no shelter or land, and flooding made the airstrip unusable for four weeks, hindering relief deliveries.[426][426]

Meanwhile those children who weighed less than 60 percent of their normal body weight were admitted to the therapeutic feeding program. There they were directly fed meals several times a day, because they could not digest the foods (unground cereals, such as lentils, maize, and sorghum) that were airdropped.[427][427] Therapeutic feeding is a last resort because it is staff-intensive and fosters dependency.[428][428] It does, however, preclude anyone from taking the food from the intended beneficiary. At times the person taking the food away was not a stranger; family members were pitted against each other by the famine and inadequate relief food.[429][429]

Wau As Relief Magnet: Surprising Return of the Dinka to Wau

Some time in May 1998, a most surprising and dramatic event occurred. Many of the Dinka and Jur displaced, both from rural areas and former residents of Wau who fled during the January 1998 fighting, started to stream in to Wau. A U.N. assessment mission to Wau in February 1998 found that 65 percent of Wau's population had left and there were no Dinka displaced and few Dinka residents left in Wau.[430][430] In the space of months, some 72,000 Dinka (and Jur) flooded in, although only about one-third of them were estimated to be former residents of Wau or its displaced persons camps.

This much of a population turnaround was surprising because of the history of ethnic fighting in Wau, and because of widespread rumors of massacres in Wau in the ten days following Kerubino's defection and the failed Kerubino-SPLA attempt to capture Wau, Aweil, and Gogrial. Those who fled in January said that they left because they feared retaliation against them on an ethnic basis. One Dinka government employee who stayed until April reported "nightly disappearances" of educated Dinka weeks after the fighting ended. This man finally fled Wau because he "felt the net closing in."[431][431]

Between May and August 1998, displaced Dinka, who were in extremely bad physical condition, were fleeing back into Wau for at least three urgent reasons: continued raiding by muraheleen and government forces; SPLA and chiefs "taxation" or redistribution of their relief food (and looting by armed youth), described below; and not enough food being delivered into rural Bahr El Ghazal because of logistical difficulties in rapidly expanding the relief operation. An unknown number were searching for their children, after their recent abduction by the muraheleen, hoping to intercept them before they could be taken north.

There is precedent for garrison towns becoming magnets during a famine, notably with the flight from under served rural areas to the garrison towns in search of food in the 1988 famine. At that time, the death toll in the garrison towns was formidable as extensive diversion and delay on the government side took a heavy toll. In Aweil alone it was calculated by the UNDP that nearly 8,000 died in four months, June through September 1988; 30,000 survived. Of the surviving children, one quarter were severely malnourished, and another quarter moderately malnourished.[432][432] An estimated 100,000 internally displaced sought food in the 1988 famine in Wau-and were not allowed to leave-as of the end of October 1988.[433][433]

In 1998, the international community was airlifting food to Wau starting in May. The Dinka may have calculated that if they were inside a garrison town they would at least be safe from muraheleen raids and other attacks. The movement of returnees and displaced to these areas was due to this continued fighting and the general food insecurity in northern Bahr El Ghazal, according to the WFP. "The fighting is being conducted by small bands of armed men, who are loyal either to one or the other side of the ongoing civil war... They are launching attacks and raiding villages, causing thousands to flee."[434][434]

Wau and Aweil were among the six areas to which, weeks after imposing the flight ban, the government gave flight clearance. [435][435] The government permitted a joint mission from the northern sector to assess humanitarian needs in Wau on February 23 and 24, 1998. It found a town missing 65 percent of its total population, and entire Dinka neighborhoods and displaced camps deserted.[436][436] The WFP food aid to Wau, most of which had gone to the vulnerable population in the two Dinka internally displaced camps, stopped with the fighting in January when that population fled.[437][437] It did not resume until the influx of famine victims was underway, in May.

During the month of May WFP registered 10,595 beneficiaries in need of relief food in Wau, out of which 7,477 (70 percent) were returning displaced persons.[438][438] Famine migrants continued to enter Wau at the rate of about 60 persons a day in mid-May, and by the end of May were entering at the rate of 150 a day. They were reported to be coming from Achumchum, Akirop, Manyang, Ajiep, Thulachok and Panwaya.

Eighty percent of the total at that time were women and children under five years of age, and 530 children were placed in the supplementary feeding program. Local food prices, especially for sorghum, started to increase as more people returned.[439][439] In May 1998 the overall malnutrition rate of children under five in Wau was 29 percent, of which some 9 percent were severely malnourished.[440][440] As an alternative to overland deliveries, an airlift to Wau began on May 31, with five tons of food moved to Wau from El Obeid by air.[441][441]

The president of Sudan in May 1998 announced a donation of 5,000 MT of sorghum to Niger to help it get over a difficult agricultural season,[442][442] revealing a callous disregard of the much more serious famine hitting southern Sudanese citizens, even those in government garrison towns.

In June, as the Wau caseload climbed, the agencies observed, "The returnees are in a poor nutritional state, and there has been a sharp rise in the numbers of malnourished under five children receiving assistance. The influx of returning residents and IDPs is continuing, at a rate of about 800 persons a day."[443][443]

As word got back that there was food and some safety in Wau, the magnet phenomenon took off. The rate of influx soared to 1,000 a day in June and by the end of June, returnees were arriving in Wau at close to 2,000 persons per day, in a poor nutritional state. The total beneficiary caseload reached 46,100 people on July 9.[444][444] The rate of people entering Wau rose to 2,500 per day in early July, the highest rate reached until then.[445][445]

Other government-held towns also received influxes of people, although on a smaller scale. In Aweil, at least 9,000 newly arrived people need humanitarian assistance.[446][446] The total population of Aweil was about 14,000, of whom 5,000 were internally displaced; of those, 1,000 were less than one year old.[447][447] In Abyei and Meiram, West Kordofan, more than 15,000 people were being fed by WFP.[448][448]

By the end of July, those who were arriving in Wau were in such poor condition-too malnourished and weak to prepare food for themselves-that an NGO, CARE International, began a special feeding program for them, providing cooked meals daily. It planned to open ten centers feeding up to 500 a day.[449][449] Preparing the food was necessary for another reason also: the grains distributed by the WFP in Sudan are unground and must be ground or milled. Many of the displaced had lost their grinding stones during attacks or flight; at one time, there were diesel-powered machines to grind grain in Bahr El Ghazal, but those were long gone.

The ICRC, never given to overstatement, found the situation in Wau "extremely alarming." It began providing intensive food assistance (cooked meals on a daily basis) to more than 700 children, their parents, and elder siblings.[450][450] Action Contre la Faim and the International Rescue Committee also had programs.[451][451]

State Minister for Social Planning Hassan Osman Dhahawi (in charge of relief operations), visiting Wau with UNICEF director Carol Bellamy in July, said that up to fifty people were dying of hunger daily in Wau.[452][452] He said 60 percent of the arrivals were suffering from malnutrition.[453][453]

At the end of July, after the start of the cease-fire and better food deliveries to rural Bahr El Ghazal, the rate of influx to Wau began to drop to 700 daily, but the new arrivals were "in horrific physical condition, many having walked for weeks to reach this town," added the WFP.[454][454]

Migration of famine victims to Wau simply transferred the locale of demise for hundreds or perhaps thousands. In July, Save the Children reported that more than half of the children in Wau town were extremely malnourished and that nearly a quarter of these die as a result of their condition.[455][455] The deputy governor of Western Bahr El Ghazal, Anthony Achor Michael, said the health situation in Wau had deteriorated beyond the control of government and aid agencies in the area.[456][456] As the death toll in Wau rose, more international NGOs volunteered to assist in health and special feeding programs, in addition to the Islamic relief organizations already working in Wau, the Catholic Church, and the Sudan Council of Churches. By the end of July WFP expanded its air operation in order to keep three therapeutic and five supplementary feeding centers for 2,547 children stocked and to give 64,314 persons full general food rations, sending in 500 MT of relief food weekly.[457][457]

By early September, the rate of influx into Wau dropped off even more rapidly than it began. On August 31, 1998, there were only thirteen new arrivals into Wau. The registered relief population seemed to have leveled out at around 72,000.[458][458] The death rate in August was very high, however, indicating that the emergency had not been contained. The deaths in Wau alone from July 12 (when reporting started) through August 11 were 1,324.[459][459]

"‘What we have noticed is that whenever rain comes, the second day deaths increase drastically,'" said one Wau aid worker.[460][460] Rains increased at the end of August, causing deaths from malaria, dysentery, pneumonia, and bronchitis. The deluge destroyed many thatched huts (tukuls) and temporary shelters, leaving more than 30,000 displaced homeless in Wau-including 17,000 orphans whose shelter was washed away by the rains, according to a Wau official.[461][461]

In mid-October, Save the Children reported that one hundred internally displaced persons died over recent weeks in Wau, but the numbers pouring into Wau were reduced because there was greater food availability in rural southern Sudan and the heavy rains made movement hard.[462][462]

Displaced Children in Wau

In addition to suffering from an extremely high rate of malnutrition, children in Wau had other problems. About 16,000 southern Sudanese children were given up for adoption in Wau, on account of extreme poverty, hunger, and disease. The estimated 16,000 children ages six to eleven were taken into the care of the Sudan Council of Churches, CARE International, and Dawa Islamiya (an Islamic NGO). Pointing to the precarious social status and lack of protection for widows, many of these children were given up by widows, often mothers who had already lost some of their children to starvation. Some in the orphan class were unaccompanied children from the rural areas. One boy, age twelve, said his parents died on the way to Wau. He hoped to return to the village because he found life in Wau even harder than in the village.[463][463]

In November the ICRC began to register unaccompanied children with a view to facilitating the reestablishment of family contacts, collecting detailed data on more than 120 children by mid-November.[464][464]

Sadly, in the desperate rush to find food in Wau, thousands of children were left behind with relatives or totally abandoned in rural Bahr El Ghazal, according to the OLS. Their condition deteriorated rapidly.[465][465] Preliminary interviews showed that almost 80 percent of these unaccompanied children had relatives and that most of them knew where they were: this confirmed that "hunger is the major cause of separation in" Bahr El Ghazal.[466][466]

Insecurity in Wau

Consistent with its past, Wau town was full of militia in 1998: PDF, muraheleen, and Fertit militia. At least one agency believed that their menacing presence made it so unsafe for the displaced that Wau should be demilitarized of militia, although this was a political hot potato within Wau. Governor Charles Julu (who spent months in Khartoum because he was not safe in Wau after the militia attack on his house during the January fighting) would not dare suggest that the militia leave.

The suspicion that all Dinka were on the side of the SPLA was reflected in the arrangements the authorities designed for the displaced entering Wau: they established check points at five entrances to Wau, manned by security officials, through which the displaced were filtered and registered. There security officials detained many adult males and removed them to places unknown, according to their relatives.[467][467]

Visiting journalists observed that the streets of Wau were "bristling with government soldiers in the midst of rebel-held hills" and that the listless displaced persons waiting at the feeding centers were "guarded by militia with Kalashnikov rifles."[468][468] Nevertheless, they were not there to protect the displaced, and "[displaced households in Wau and Aweil complained that the food they received was taken from them by town residents."[469][469]

Indeed, the Joint Task Force received "several credible reports of diversions of humanitarian aid (particularly food) in Government controlled towns." The Joint Task Force, which was looking into diversion in the rural areas, received these reports from people who had left the rural areas where there was no food and went to Aweil and Wau to search for food. They told the Joint Task Force that they were forced to leave those garrison towns because of the torture and harassment they encountered there.[470][470]

In August the government-even before the U.S. bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum[471][471]- withheld travel permits for foreigners. The "normal" time for issuance of such a permit took two weeks, but the process stopped for unexplained reasons. UNICEF announced that failure to issue these permits to forty extra medical and logistics staff from UNICEF and other agencies prevented them from increasing the number of feeding centers in Wau: the agencies wanted to double the six feeding centers already opened.[472][472]

Then the relief operations in Wau were adversely affected by the U.S. bombing of a factory in Khartoum on August 20, killing one person and injuring ten. The U.S. simultaneously bombed Islamist military camps in Afghanistan. Two U.N. staff members were shot in Kabul, Afghanistan, shortly thereafter, and the U.N. and other agencies pulled their U.S. and some other western staff out of Khartoum, Wau, and other government-controlled areas for a brief time. The International Rescue Committee operations in Wau were terminated.[473][473] The Sudan government briefly accused a relief plane that landed in Khartoum just before the missile attack of spying for the U.S.[474][474]

In Wau the various armed groups continued to threaten the general population. A shooting incident erupted in Wau between two opposing militia forces on September 12, forcing a suspension of food distribution that day.[475][475]

As a separate security measure, the Wau authorities decided to relocate displaced people from Wau to the East Bank of the Jur River. The ICRC helped build 1,000 tukuls (mud huts), occupied by 3,500 people by early December, and a dispensary.[476][476]

Taxation of Relief Food by the SPLA and the "Tayeen" system

The OLS Review found that, in contrast to government prohibitions on access, "The pattern of restriction takes a different form on the part of opposition movements and factions; here the pattern has been one of looting, intimidation and aid manipulation."[477][477]

In the 1994-97 period, the SPLA used its veto on occasion to prevent OLS from landing in places controlled by Kerubino. And on numerous occasions the SPLA and SSIA have declared particular places insecure and in danger of attack, requiring the OLS to evacuate staff. When the staff left, these forces have, more than once, looted the abandoned aid compounds of items of value.[478][478]

The SPLA says the few SPLA soldiers caught taking food aid from civilians have been tried by court martial. It claimed, "We have our own resources and have our own needs. We are selling our own resources to feed our soldiers."[479][479] While the SPLA has access to valuable timberland around Yei near the Ugandan border, it is not clear what resources, if any, it has hundreds of kilometers north in Bahr El Ghazal. Kerubino denied that any SPLA soldiers were taking food meant for civilians. He said the problem was that there was not enough food reaching the famine-stricken region.[480][480]

Despite SPLA claims to the contrary, many displaced in rural Bahr El Ghazal complained to relief workers that the SPLA was taking relief food from them. One complained in April that there was no food in Mapel, and whatever little came in had to be "shared" with the SPLA soldiers.[481][481] A fifty-year-old man who fled to Wau in search of food complained that after the Arab raiders stole all his cattle, the little he had to eat was "stolen by everyone, including the rebel soldiers."[482][482] A chief complained, "Our homes have been looted... (The SPLA) took everything away."[483][483] At the same time, some displaced entering Wau said that the SPLA tried to prevent men from leaving some areas, going so far as to shoot them.[484][484]

Estimates of the amount of food diverted by the SPLA in Bahr El Ghazal in 1998 started at 10 percent and ranged up to a high of 65 percent made by Bishop (now Archbishop) Cesar Mazzolari of the Diocese of Rumbek (Buheirat or Lakes state).[485][485] Aid workers said that in some areas where the SPLA did not have widespread support, it demanded 10 to 20 percent of the food given to needy families.[486][486] The press began to pick up these complaints.

The Findings of the Joint Task Force: the Tayeen System and the Chiefs

UNICEF, WFP, nongovernmental relief organizations, and SPLM/SRRA representatives set up a task force to conduct an assessment of the diversion in late July, in response to concerns about the efficacy of feeding programs. UNICEF's executive director Carol Bellamy met with the SPLA leadership in Nairobi to discuss reasons food was not reaching the intended target in late July, among other things.[487][487] The WFP lodged a strong protest in July about theft of food aid with the SRRA, the relief arm of the SPLA.[488][488] The SPLA shot back with its own public criticism of the U.N. operations.[489][489]

A chart of the findings of the Joint Task Force is attached as Appendix A. One important finding, not highlighted or even well known before the Task Force investigation, was the role of the local authorities (chiefs and leaders of the communities) in relief food diversion. Their role, described by the Joint Task Force, makes it clear that diversion is not solely the work of armed parties to the conflict.

The chiefs and SPLA commanders organized the collection of contributions in food, known as the "Tayeen" system, from the households, a practice that began with the inception of the SPLA and was viewed "as the support deservedly due to the volunteer SPLA soldiers who come from and continue to live in and protect the same community."[490][490] This appears to have been a system also designed to protect civilians from ad hoc stealing by hungry soldiers, or worse. This Tayeen system was applied to those with sufficient resources to afford the contribution; the poor were excused from contributions-until the famine.

After the famine began, the Joint Task Force found that relief food distributed to vulnerable groups targeted by OLS agencies would often be collected for redistribution by local authorities, out of sight of the U.N. food monitors. The recipients would be told to go to a central point, usually a lual (large hut) or riang (open area) where the chiefs would amass the relief food and then redistribute it according to their priorities.

This introduction of Tayeen collection into the activity of relief food distribution meant that the poor, ordinarily excluded from Tayeen payments, had to make a contribution from relief rations. "The incorporation of the Tayeen practice into the relief food distribution process is unjustifiable," concluded the Joint Task Force.[491][491]

The chiefs acted according to understandable cultural factors which were nevertheless at variance with international relief norms initially used during the famine of identifying and targeting the most vulnerable, i.e., those under five year olds who measure less than 70 percent of the normal height and weight, nursing mothers, and other vulnerable groups. One fundamental problem was that in many locations a general feeding program (for all the population) was required but there was not enough food for that. Other problems were the chronic lack of education in the south, lack of trained monitors, and insufficient understanding by the relief community and local leaders of each others' priorities and needs.

The groups shortchanged were 1) displaced or nonresidents who had no local representative or a chief to speak for them, nor any local kin;[492][492] 2) those with a family member in a feeding center; and 3) persons of low social status locally, particularly widows (including resident widows with relatives).

Those who benefited included members of the chief's family and other powerful people in the community, such as the formerly wealthy whose cattle had been recently raided. Having slipped into vulnerability, they perceived that they were entitled to a share of the relief food coming into the community, and the chiefs included them in the division of scarce resources, even though this group might have been comparatively adequately fed.[493][493]

The chiefs are responsible for the welfare of those over whom they preside, usually a sub-clan, clan or other traditional grouping. Nonresidents who are not related to this group (often the internally displaced) are more likely to be marginalized because they are not within the chief's responsibilities. As the war and famine have contributed to the breakdown of kinship ties, even some internally displaced with relatives in the community may not be included.[494][494]

Migration in search of food has been one response of the Sudanese to war and famine. Save the Children pointed out that when the armed conflict forces large numbers of people to flee their homes,

Some migrate from one emergency food drop to another. Others move northward, where there is less fighting but just as few resources and services. Far from home and unable to provide for themselves, many are now entirely dependent upon external support for their survival. More and more unaccompanied children are arriving at feeding centers, often malnourished and ill.[495][495]

Those migrating in search of food in 1998 were such a common phenomenon in southern Sudan that they even earned their own nickname in the communities that became overwhelmed by their presence: they were called "C-130 invitees," referring to the large Hercules aircraft used by WFP to airdrop food.[496][496]

Another marginalized group was families with a member in a feeding center. Chiefs lacked understanding of the purpose and beneficiaries of this supplemental feeding program where rations are usually given only to the individual. Cutting the whole family off from general rations reinforced the tendency of the head of household to share the small rations with the rest of the family members.[497][497] Even within the chiefs' communities, however, there are some clearly qualifying for relief (by international standards) who were excluded from redistribution, namely those of low social status. Widows are among the most marginalized groups and they were often excluded from the redistribution in practice.[498][498]

The SPLA benefited from the redistribution. Individual SPLA soldiers also benefited from their ability to take food from anyone by virtue of their guns. It does not appear that this was frequent enough to be the main cause of diversion, however. Rather, it was the SPLA's failure to act responsibly in areas it controlled, and its still weak administrative structure, that permitted others to divert relief food.

The persistence of large relief centers in SPLA areas such as Ajiep, and the persistence of very high death rates and malnutrition rates there, suggests that the SPLA may have had a hand in causing the population to gather in strategic areas, in order to benefit from the relief food that finally flooded the area. The relationship between these epicenters and the SPLA remains to be studied.

Young Men Armed to Protect the Cattle Camps

Similarily, the SPLA did not or could not prevent young armed Dinka men (not in the SPLA) from looting. The adolescent and young men of each Dinka family are traditionally charged with herding and pasturing the cattle. These young armed Dinka were called Tiit Weng or Ghel Weng, literally guarding (tiit) or protecting (ghel) the cattle or cows (weng). Far from their homes, they received milk as their rations, together with fish available in the watering places during the dry season.

They abandoned the use of spears years ago as cattle raiders, most notably muraheleen and neighboring Nuer militias, were armed. The Nuer cattle raids stepped up in 1995-96, targeting their Dinka neighbors across the swamps north of Yirol and Rumbek and east of Tonj, Gogrial, Twic and Abyei counties.

The drought of 1997-98 limited the milk and fish normally available to them and among other things led them to return to their villages earlier than usual. Faced with a lack of food at home (especially for those who lost cattle to raiding), some turned to looting after food distributions, asserting their status as defenders of the land and cattle.[499][499]

New Measures Taken to Ensure Food Reaches the Hungry

The measures the parties to the Joint Task Force Report took included SPLA taking strong and significant steps to disarm and arrest bandits, armed civilians and military deserters engaged in looting and robbery.[500][500] The arrest of active duty SPLA for looting, robbery, or other crimes was not mentioned as a measure taken, however, which is a drawback with significant human rights dimensions.

Other measures taken included distributing food more frequently, where possible on a weekly basis, expanding the number of wet feeding centers, distribution of general rations to families as they leave the child feeding centers to help avoid the problem of exclusion from the general ration process, and other steps including increasing the number of food monitoring staff and training.[501][501] Unfortunately, the long list of steps taken to improve the distribution systems did not specifically mention widows, although they were identified in the Joint Task Force Report as especially needy.

To test whether these measures had an impact, the WFP conducted post-distribution monitoring in November, and found that in Ajiep, where weekly distributions were given to families with members in selective feeding programs, an estimated 60 to 65 percent of the ration was consumed by the family. Some 20 to 25 percent was exchanged for other foods such as fish, meat, salt, and wild food, and non-food items such as tobacco. Approximately 10 to 15 percent was voluntarily shared with other members of the community.[502][502] In the case of families receiving general rations (to population as a whole), however, an estimated 40 percent of the ration was shared or redistributed by the families, the rest being consumed or exchanged.

The WFP team found that the community perception was that everyone has been affected by the same problems and so everyone is vulnerable. On the other hand, it seems the community accepts the proposition that families with members in feeding programmes are worse off, and so should not be expected to share their rations.[503][503]

In other communities the pattern was slightly different. In Panthou, post-distribution monitoring indicated that 70 percent of the ration was consumed or traded by the targeted households, and about 30 percent was shared with other households, mostly relatives. In Ajak, about 25 percent of the ration distributed to targeted households was redistributed to or shared with the rest of the community.[504][504]

It appears that efforts to assure that the neediest received the rations allocated to them were making some headway. The U.N. remained concerned, however, that despite the Joint Task Force recommendations, "diversions persisted at year-end." It noted that "Attempts to impose taxes on NGOs and refusal to grant travel authorisations constrained humanitarian activities in areas controlled by the SPLA."[505][505]

Cease-fire Brought Relief

The government and SPLA, after extensive international prodding led by Derek Fatchett, Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, agreed to a three-month cease-fire (or "safe corridors" plan) for humanitarian purposes for Bahr El Ghazal, starting July 15, 1998.[506][506] This cease-fire came at the request of the international community and relief agencies, which cited numerous instances where fighting was preventing food deliveries to desperately needy people.[507][507] It was extended until January 15, 1999,[508][508] and then until April 15, 1999.[509][509]

The increase in volume of food delivered after the cease-fire (coinciding with the build-up of OLS) was marked: WFP delivered 10,300 MT of food aid in July to southern Sudan, and 16,800 MT in August, 70 percent by air.[510][510] Food deliveries to Bahr El Ghazal in September were about 15,000 MT.[511][511]

Experience has shown that most temporary cease-fires are agreed to when they can serve military purposes, such as an occasion to reposition and resupply troops. A cease-fire that truly halts famine-producing military campaigns and raids would be essential to halt the major causes of famine.

Higher levels of aid in rural areas in August and September, the July 15 cease-fire, and heavy rains led to a reduction in rural famine migrants going to Wau. Some famine victims were even attracted from adjacent areas. There was a reconciliation meeting between the Twic Dinka in eastern Bahr El Ghazal and their neighbors, the western Nuer of Bentiu in September 1998, and as a result tens of thousands of Nuer began to arrive in Twic County seeking food in October 1998, since no relief was getting through to their insecure area where two pro-government militias were battling it out.[512][512]

There is precedent for a cease-fire being helpful in the Bahr El Ghazal famine area. A cease-fire from May through October 1989 in this area prevented a descent into famine comparable to 1988, because the muraheleen raiding stopped and planting took place.[513][513]

Unfortunately, the 1998 raids did not stop with the Bahr El Ghazal cease-fire, although they slowed down. Shortly after the cease-fire agreement was announced, the government proclaimed that the muraheleen of the Rizeigat (Baggara) tribe destroyed three camps belonging to the SPLA in Bahr El Ghazal. Rizeigat paramount chief Said Mohammed Musa Madibo claimed to federal authorities that his forces killed ninety-eight persons, found forty-two injured rebels, and retrieved a large number of cattle and sheep stolen by the rebels.[514][514] This is exactly what was not supposed to happen under the cease-fire.


The 1998 Famine in Bahr El Ghazal is Brought Under Control

By the end of 1998, it appeared that the famine in Bahr El Ghazal had been brought under control. There were many reasons for this, most of a temporary nature. The 1998 harvest was, in some places, better than expected.[515][515] The OLS, for once adequately funded, geared up and delivered massive amounts of aid, flooding the famine region with food. A UNDP representative said, "The Bahr El Ghazal region required 15,000 metric tonnes [of food aid] every month, which was also delivered... The area is out of the intensive care unit but it is still in a hospital ward."[516][516] The cease-fire had brought an end to most raiding and displacement.[517][517] Therapeutic feeding programs were phased out in many locations in southern Sudan, indicating that nutritional conditions were improving in many areas during the harvest period.[518][518]

Delivery by barge was proceeding. A convoy of seven barges chartered by WFP left the northern river port of Kosti on November 30 with 2,500 MT of food and was expected to arrive in Juba in early January 1999, dropping off 1,500 MT of relief food to thirty-three locations along the way (392,000 people), divided almost evenly between rebel and government areas. This barge convoy is the third to Juba since May 1998.[519][519] So far it was not plagued by ambushes and hostage-takings by various armed groups.

The U.N., the Sudanese government, and the SPLA, meeting under the chairmanship of the recently-appointed secretary-general's special envoy for humanitarian affairs for the Sudan, Ambassador Tom Eric Vraalsen, reached agreement in Rome in mid-November to facilitate delivery of relief food by train under military escort to Wau, and to permit agencies to deliver food by road across the lines that separate the two main warring parties.[520][520] They also agreed to provisions to improve the security of aid workers, according to Russel Ulrey, regional aid coordinator for the WFP. The two sides agreed not to lay land mines in agreed humanitarian access corridors, to press for the release of any aid workers taken hostage, and to make sure aid workers received information about impending military actions.[521][521]

The use of the railroad and roads was said to cost between 50 and 80 percent less than air delivery, which prompted the WFP to hold back on its plans to appeal for a $100 million increase in the $154 million food relief program for 1998-99.[522][522]

Prospects for Renewed Famine in 1999

The U.N. warned that during 1999, "more specific locations are at risk of developing into disaster zones than at any previous time in OLS history."[523][523] It concluded that emergency assistance must be maintained "for at least the first nine months of the new year at similar levels [to 1998]." It warned that all humanitarian actors "must accept responsibility for the fact that reduced funding will potentially condemn millions of Sudanese to destitution, disease and, in hundreds of thousands of cases, possible starvation."[524][524]

The outlook for Sudan, after fifteen years of continuous conflict, is grim. The U.N. says in no uncertain terms that the war has sapped Sudan's people to such an extent that "only a stop to the conflict and massive state investment can possibly rehabilitate communities to a point where they are once again sustainable."[525][525] The U.N. can only provide enough in order to ensure basic survival, and sometimes it cannot do even that, given problems of access and funding.

Many agencies cautioned against premature optimism and predicted, as they had been doing since mid-1998, that the need for massive amounts of assistance for Bahr El Ghazal would persist until the 1999 harvest was collected, in October 1999.[526][526] The U.S. Committee for Refugees concluded that all factors in favor of mitigating the famine peaked in late 1998: full funding for OLS which was operational at a higher than ever level; southern Sudan flooded with relief food; adequate harvests in some locations; and a cease-fire. It warned that these favorable conditions were all to expire in early to mid-1999, and this would provoke another serious famine.[527][527]

A November 1998 UNICEF survey found that cases of malnutrition among young children in several locations in Bahr El Ghazal were "unacceptably high," although they showed a marked improvement in nutrition compared to an August survey. Where there was malnutrition of 43 percent in Wau in August, by November the rate in Wau was down to 9.6 percent and down to 27.8 percent at the displaced persons Eastern Bank Camp on the outskirts of Wau.[528][528]

The need for massive amounts of food aid continued: "‘Although there has been improvement, it's still going to be a grim year ahead for those recovering from the 1998 crisis,'" said a WFP spokesperson. "‘That's why we will continue to pour in food, not only so that the very weak can continue to survive, but so others can start to recover. It's still a long way off.'"[529][529] The WFP explained that more than two million people would need at least 150,000 MT of food aid until October 1999 when the harvest is expected. "‘It takes years for people to recover once caught in such a vicious cycle of desperation," said another WFP spokesperson.[530][530]

The U.N. coordinator for all Sudan relief operations, Philippe Borel, warned, "Even a few weeks of insecurity, especially in Bahr el Ghazal, could produce the kind of crisis we were confronting earlier this year [1998]."[531][531]

"Insecurity" means military activity. The immediate and primary concern of relief agencies was that the three-month Bahr El Ghazal cease-fire that started on July 15, 1998, was extended another three months until January 15, 1999, would be renewed, which it was, until April 15, 1999. The ability to plant and harvest depends on the extension of the cease-fire, at least until October 1999.

A wild card has reappeared in Bahr El Ghazal: Kerubino is back in government-controlled southern Sudan, hoping to return to Bahr El Ghazal to link up with his militia,[532][532] which may qualify as the worst possible development in human rights and famine containment terms.

A Rift Between Garang and Kerubino Precedes Kerubino's Re-redefection to the Government

In mid November 1998, there was a short clash in Nairobi between bodyguards of Garang and Kerubino, leaving one of Garang's bodyguards dead. The SPLA claimed that Kerubino was about to defect to Khartoum. In hindsight, this appears to have been the case.

According to press reports, government officials admitted that Kerubino was in Unity (Wihda) state with his relative Major General Paulino Matiep, the local pro-government warlord, in early January 1999,[533][533] reportedly seeking negotiations to rejoin the government side and requested a military escort from Upper Nile to Bahr El Ghazal to link up with his militia.[534][534]

The Secretary for South Sudanese Affairs in the National Congress (formerly NIF), Augustino Aremo, told the press that the concerned Sudan government agencies were considering three options: 1) whether to use Kerubino to liberate SPLA areas of Bahr El Ghazal; 2) whether to keep him as a political leader to encourage SPLA defections; or 3) whether to strip him of his previous positions, pardon him (on account of the attack on Wau and his defection to the SPLA), and let him live as an ordinary citizen.[535][535] He also was quoted as saying Kerubino could be appointed Bahr El Ghazal commander if he recaptured Tonj.[536][536] Ten days later, however, the secretary-general's special envoy for humanitarian affairs for the Sudan, Ambassador Tom Eric Vraalsen, having visited Khartoum, said that the government was concerned about the activities of Kerobino (reported to have defected back to the government with only sixty men).[537][537]

It was apparent trouble was brewing in November 1998 between Garang and Kerubino when Kerubino complained, at a Nairobi news conference characterized as "rambling" by one correspondent, that SPLA agents had searched his house in Nairobi and repossessed his official car.[538][538] He denied allegations that the November 10 search of (or raid on) his house were occasioned by the suspected presence there of a communications radio he used to talk with Khartoum.[539][539] He also denied he was thinking of returning to the government's side.[540][540] Garang rather undiplomatically commented, "Many south Sudanese are traumatized by the war including their leaders who sometimes do not know what they are doing."[541][541]

Kerubino was trying to return to southern Sudan in November: he complained that the SPLA office in Nairobi had refused to book him on a flight to Bahr El Ghazal, where he wanted to go and rejoin his forces.[542][542] One account says that Kerubino was trying to charter a plane to take him and his family back to his base in Bahr El Ghazal.[543][543]

The Kenyan police later said that they prevented him from catching a plane to the government-held town of Bentiu.[544][544] Kerubino, his deputy Dr. Amon Wantok, and his three top aids indeed were detained by Kenyan police at the Nairobi airport on Saturday November 14 at 6:00 a.m. when they were to board a chartered plane for southern Sudan. After being held at the Kenyan Airport Police Unit, the five men were taken to the Muthangari Police Station in Nairobi at 11:00 a.m. that day. That police station is about 200 meters from the residence of John Garang. Kerubino claimed the five were arrested on orders from John Garang, who sent an emissary to supervise the arrests,[545][545] a claim Garang denied.

According to Kerubino, the police humiliated his party, ordering them to remove their shoes and locking them in the cells. He claimed that Garang's armed militia was summoned by the police to the police station, arriving in four vehicles. Kerubino was turned over to this militia, which drove with him to his residence to seize his vehicles and communications equipment, then drove him back to the police station. The police, who said that Kerubino had been suspected of maintaining contacts with Khartoum, later searched for illegal weapons, and found an illegal radio, which they confiscated.[546][546]

In the evening, Kerobino claimed, he and the other four "hostages" were taken to a yard at the back of the station, and "unleased" (Kerubino's term) by the Kenyan police to the Garang militia which was waiting. A fight ensued.[547][547]

It was clear that there was fighting between Garang and Kerubino's armed militias in Nairobi in the vicinity of Garang's residence. According to SPLA spokesman Deng Alor Kuol, a Kerubino "hit squad" raided Garang's house but the attack was foiled by "the alertness of the Kenyan police." He accused Kerubino of trying to assassinate SPLA leader John Garang and the Sudanese government of having a hand in this attack. The SPLA spokesman said that Kerubino had been demanding that he be appointed Garang's deputy while at the same time trying to persuade other SPLA leaders to "stage a coup" against Garang. "He wanted to take over the SPLA leadership so that he can go back to Khartoum and negotiate a better deal for himself," the SPLA spokesman alleged.[548][548] The SPLA's statement said, "The National Islamic Front (NIF) government through its embassy in Nairobi has a long hand in this game since the arrival of Kerubino in Nairobi." It claimed Kerubino was being used by Khartoum to stage attacks in Nairobi similar to the attempted assassination of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia in 1995.[549][549]

Kerubino disputed the account of the thirty-minute exchange of fire at or near Garang's residence, claiming that it was Garang who wanted to kill him, and that the man killed was one of his supporters. In January 1999, however, the Kenyan police charged three men who allegedly tried to assassinate John Garang with the murder of James Monywir Dogi Bol, an SPLA member. The accused were Justine Obute, Kul Garong, and Amat Malual.[550][550]

Later on the night of the attack on Garang's residence, Kerubino's supporters went to the offices of the SPLA relief wing, the SRRA, and attempted to loot it, according to the SPLA, but a night watchman with the help of a "Kenyan vigilante group" foiled the move.[551][551] The Kenyan police confirmed that there had been an attack on the SPLA office.

Following the shoot-out at Garang's residence, Kerubino and his men took refuge at the Zambian High Commission.[552][552] Kerubino said that he took refuge there because the Kenyan police were going to hand him over to Garang's men who would have taken him to the border and killed him. He also accused Garang's forces of killing his uncle's sixteen-year-old son and beating other young relatives after abducting them a few days previously. He also denied he was trying to defect to the government.[553][553]

Kerubino and his men were persuaded to leave the Zambian High Commission by Kenyan officials on Monday, November 16. The whereabouts of Garang was uncertain at that time, and he was said to have gone underground. The two leaders were reportedly staying in Kenya subject to further instructions from the Kenya government.[554][554] The status of the SPLA and Kerubino supporters was brought into question because, although they were considered refugees, they were heavily armed; one of the two leaders was alleged to have imported more than one hundred soldiers from Sudan for his security detail in Nairobi, armed with submachine guns and AK-47 assault rifles, although they were alleged to have no firearms certificates from the Kenyan government.

Another element in the plot is that the Kenyan police were alleged to be divided, with police from Muthangari supporting Garang while those from Kabete were in defense of Kerubino. The Kenyan police declined to comment on this.[555][555]

Immediately southern ex-rebels in Khartoum and top government officials urged Kerubino to return to Khartoum for his safety. Lawrence Lual Lual, a signatory of the Peace Agreement, claimed Kerubino would be pardoned by President Bashir, and praised Kerubino as a brave man for attempting to remove Garang, adding, "‘We need more anti-Garang groups to try their best to get rid of him.'"[556][556] He said that Kerubino would be reinstated in the army and claimed that the "incident of Wau" was not serious and would be forgiven. One government newspaper in Khartoum, however, said that Kerubino must account for the loss of lives in Wau, Aweil, and Gogrial caused by his attacks on them in late January 1998.[557][557]

Sudanese church leaders in Nairobi met separately with Garang and Kerubino in an effort to encourage peace and reconciliation. They said that they feared that the quarrel in Nairobi, if extended to the ground, could lead to "killing ourselves again massively like what happened in 1991" a reference to the fighting that followed the Riek Machar split from the SPLA.[558][558] These reconciliation efforts failed when Kerubino returned to government-held southern Sudan to make a deal with the government.

Until the last moment, Kerubino continued to deny that he would return to Khartoum. "‘This is ridiculous. Going back to Khartoum would not be good for our people. Our people are fighting for self-determination,'" he said in November 1998.[559][559]

Kerubino's posture of repentance toward the rural Dinka of Bahr El Ghazal-that he apologized for joining the "Arabs" and attacking his people-lasted less than one year.

Cereal Deficits in Bahr El Ghazal

Another worrying factor is that, although the harvest was good in many regions, the FAO predicted that five states (Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Lakes (Buheirat), Warab, Jonglei and Bahr el Jebel) will be in cereal deficit and food aid will be required throughout 1999, especially in Bahr El Ghazal region, as normal trade routes and infrastructure have broken down. The surplus production in the traditional agricultural sectors in Upper Nile and Western Equatoria would probably not be accessible through market forces, "due to the segmentation of the population." It predicted that the surplus produced by mechanized farms in Upper Nile state would likely be marketed in northern and central parts, with little traded southwards."[560][560] Indeed, it appeared that producers of sorghum (the principal staple) were going to export 200,000 tons of sorghum to Eritrean, Middle Eastern, and European markets.[561][561]

Military Utility of the Rail and Road Repair

The delivery plans may be over optimistic and road and rail routes may not work out, forcing a resort again to more expensive airdrops. While delivery by rail costs less than air, the train and track are of great military value to the government of Sudan, and have been used exclusively for military purposes for several years. Prior attempts to deliver relief food on this railway have come to naught.[562][562]

According to the Indian Ocean Newsletter, the WFP, the U.S., and France would finance the railway's rehabilitation costs,[563][563] although U.S. Ambassador Dick McCall, the U.S. humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, told Human Rights Watch in November 1998 that the U.S. made it clear that it opposes use of the railway.[564][564] According to another article, the WFP plan is to send a train monthly with sixty-four wagons each carrying twenty-five MT of food. Such a train would bring the equivalent of one hundred airdrops.[565][565]

Repair of the railway between Babanusa and Wau as contemplated will result in substantial military advantage to the government of Sudan. The Minimum Operational Standards for Rail Corridors and Cross-line Road Corridors Agreement tries to minimize this by providing that "no military or commercial trains will depart from any location along the corridor en route to Wau two weeks prior to, or after, a humanitarian convoy."[566][566] If a convoy goes to Wau every two weeks, under this agreement the government will not be able to use the repaired track to move military supplies, troops, muraheleen, or their horses. It is highly unlikely that the government will permit such frequent convoys. Therefore the SPLA will undoubtedly try to stop the government from using the repaired track, by ambush or sabotage of the track.

The military trains to Wau frequently have carried agents of human rights abuses and famine: muraheleen, their horses, and army soldiers, who loot the villages along the line for cattle and grain, and capture the women and children as war booty. The government has permitted these abuses to continue unchecked for years, since they serve a military purpose in the government's eyes: weakening the Dinka civilian population that aids the SPLA.

Thus, there is a strong possibility, based on history, that repair of the track will not only be a waste of money (if it is sabotaged by the SPLA), but will actually result in a worsening of the famine situation and require additional relief, not to mention enabling human rights abuses. In this sense, repair of the track may be counterproductive from a famine relief and human rights point of view.

Repairing the roads does not involve the same danger, since the roads pass from the Ugandan and Kenyan borders and thus are not susceptible of use by the muraheleen. Any roads, however, can be used by mechanized forces, and both the government and the SPLA have many tanks that can move more quickly over roads than through dense undergrowth or high grass. Fuel for these tanks and heavy artillery can be moved more easily over road, as well.

While lowering the cost of the transport of food aid, repair of both track and roads carries with it the possibility of facilitating and spreading the conflict. Agencies should closely monitor the relationship and be prepared to switch to alternative means of delivery, even more expensive means of delivery, if their modes of transportation are ultimately facilitating the commission of human rights abuses.

The government's pattern of obstructing relief by refusing access has been well documented, as has the SPLA's penchant for using relief centers for its own benefit. If this delivery system is to work, manipulations and refusals of access-by government, rebels, and warlords-must be promptly responded to and stopped. Indeed, the OLS, U.N., and all NGOs working in the relief operation need to devise an effective response to future manipulations and denials of access.[567][567]


The Upper Nile region, whose western part is Wihda or Unity state, "is considered to be one of the most challenging environments and the least developed areas in southern Sudan," according to the annual United Nations consolidated appeal for Sudan. "Although many population centers can potentially be reached by river, there is little or no access by road to many parts of the region, and access by air is limited by the substandard quality of airstrips."[568][568] Western Upper Nile is predominately Nuer.[569][569] Next to the Dinka, the Nuer are the most numerous ethnic group in southern Sudan. In the nineteenth century they prevailed militarily over the Dinka and conquered Dinka territory despite Dinka numerical superiority.[570][570]

Two Pro-Government Militias Fight

Over the Oil Fields, Causing Famine

The oil fields in Western Upper Nile are crucial to the government's hopes for economic recovery. In 1998, construction was completed on the pipeline to carry the crude to refineries in the north[571][571]-just such a scheme as in the early 1980s provoked strong protests by southerners.[572][572]

Indeed, the SPLA regards the oil exploration as one of the reasons for the present war. An SPLA spokesperson said, "The National Islamic Front government is trying to exploit the oil to strengthen its grip of domination over the Sudanese people. The oil fields remain a legitimate military target, and we will seek every possible way to deny the NIF's exploitation of the resources... for its own ideological purposes."[573][573] The NDA confirmed that its leadership decided to consider companies operating in oil and gold extraction to be legitimate military targets.[574][574]

A consortium including Malaysian, Canadian, British, Argentinean, German, and Chinese companies is responsible for the $1.6 billion oil development scheme.[575][575] Energy and Mining Minister Awad Jazz said that the country would be self-sufficient in oil in 1999, saving some $450 million a year in oil import bills.[576][576] The pipeline from Unity field to a new terminal to be built at Port Sudan on the Red Sea would have an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day, to be expanded to 250,000 bbl/d by 2002.[577][577]

That this fabulous potential for oil wealth exists side by side with a famine that affects more than 150,000 people in Western Upper Nile is no accident. It is the consequence of government desire to establish control over the area by using militias-since 1983-to loot and attack and displace the local population. The 1998 Western Upper Nile famine has been largely the product of unrestrained attacks on the civilian population by two pro-government militias, both headed by Nuer commanders. One is the SSDF, termed an army rather than a militia, which is supposed to incorporate all former SPLA fighters and factions who switched their allegiance to the government, and incorporate other southern pro-government militias that were never rebels. The SSDF is headed by Riek Machar, the chairman of the South Sudan Coordinating Council, the government body established to govern the government-controlled areas of the south.

The other militia involved in the fighting in Western Upper Nile is that belonging to Paulino Matiep, an Anyanya II commander of a Nuer militia based around Bentiu, who joined Riek's forces in 1992 after Riek had parted company with the SPLA and its leader, John Garang.

The fighting between the two forces was over political and military control of Unity state and the oil fields. A side effect of this struggle has been to displace more civilians from the oil-rich areas.

Background to Oil Development in Southern Sudan

Oil has been an important element in north-south relations since the Bentiu oil field was discovered in 1978, when Nimeiri was president and the Addis Ababa autonomy agreement for the south that settled the first civil war was in effect (1972 - 83). Following the discovery, the central government took several measures which southerners believed were intended to cheat them of benefits of the southern oil wealth to which they were entitled under the Addis Adaba agreement.

One change that raised southern suspicions in 1978 was the rapid replacement of 130 southern soldiers in the Bentiu military garrison, commanded by a Dinka army officer, Captain Salva Kiir,[578][578] with 600 soldiers from the north, as if to assert physical control over the potential oil fields, according to a leading southern politician who witnessed these events.[579][579] In 1980 a second oil field was discovered in the Bentiu Area Council two hours by vehicle north of Bentiu; it was given the Arabic name of Heglig (thorn tree), and to southerners that was another attempt to assert northern control over southern assets. In that same year, officials in Khartoum tried to transfer the rich oil, agricultural, and grazing lands of Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal to the northern province of Southern Kordofan merely by redrawing the map. Southerners protested in the streets, a commission was appointed, and President Nimeiri accepted its recommendation to stay with the 1956 boundaries, leaving the oil fields in the southern mostly Nuer province of Upper Nile.[580][580]

Paulino Matiep's Warlord Role vis-a-vis the Oil Fields

Paulino Matiep, a Bul Nuer from Bentiu, has been a militia power in Western Upper Nile for at least two decades. The Bul Nuer area of Western Upper Nile, according to a scholar of the Nuer, was "historically one of the most isolated and economically ‘underdeveloped' Nuer regions."[581][581] The Heglig oilfield, however, is in the Bul Nuer area. Paulino was never in the SPLA under its commander John Garang, but was a warlord who has since about 1984 been affiliated with the Khartoum government, which supplied his arms. Although the first civil war was settled in 1972 with a regional autonomy agreement for the south, local disputes in Upper Nile (and Bahr El Ghazal[582][582]) in the late 1970s and early 1980s led to the formation of a number of anti-government guerrilla groups all calling themselves Anyanya II, after Anyanya, the southern separatist rebel movement that fought the government in the first civil war from 1955-72.[583][583] Paulino formed an Anyanya II militia in 1978 in Bilpam, Ethiopia, according to one of his soldiers.[584][584]

Pursuant to the Nimeiri government's militia strategy, according to a reliable source, the "Bentiu area, with the richest oil reserves, was where the initial [Misseriya, Baggara Arabs] raiding had been concentrated."[585][585] In late 1984, the Eastern Jikany Nuer and the Lek Nuer of the Bentiu area were overrun by a Misseriya militia armed with machineguns by the central government.[586][586] According to a well-informed anthropologist, the muraheleen of the Misseriya were "instructed to clear the oil-rich lands of Western Upper Nile of its Nilotic inhabitants... These traumas were soon compounded by massive air bombardments, extensive slave and cattle raids, encroaching rinderpest epidemics, and, ultimately, unprecedented famine."[587][587] Many Nuer were forced from their homes, their herds steadily decimated, and their families and communities increasingly split apart and destroyed.[588][588]

This was in part a response to pressure on the central government to provide adequate security so that the work of Chevron Oil Company in the Bentiu oil fields could recommence after a February 1984 SPLA attack caused its suspension. Among other things, President Nimeiri began to negotiate with the Nuer leaders of Anyanya II in the Bentiu area, who were in a dispute with the SPLA. A government cease-fire agreement was reached with some Anyanya II groups, including Paulino's, and they were armed and equipped by the Sudan army, with whom they worked in close collaboration after that.[589][589]

From 1984 to 1987, another primary function of Anyanya II was to attack SPLA Dinka recruits moving from Bahr El Ghazal through Western Upper Nile to training camps in Ethiopia. In those years Ananya II was described as "one of the most serious military obstacles to the supremacy of the SPLA in Upper Nile."[590][590]

Meanwhile, on January 1, 1986, the Anyanya II commander Gordon Kong (a Jikany Nuer) defected to the SPLA with the bulk of the Anyanya II army.[591][591] In 1987 and 1988 a partial truce was negotiated between SPLA forces in the region and various Baggara Arab communities in neighboring southern Kordofan.[592][592] By late 1987, the SPLA had wooed back most of the Anyanya II leaders, with the exception of Paulino's group and a few others. It appears that one reason Paulino's group did not join the SPLA with other Anyanya II groups was that the SPLA wanted to withdraw the Bul Nuer units from their home area for a period of training in Ethiopia,[593][593] leaving their civilian population-who had suffered from Misseriya militia raids-unprotected.

Paulino Matiep assumed command of the remnants of Anyanya II after Gordon Kong switched his allegiance to the SPLA. By 1988, this was a small, fragmented, and weak force which suffered persistent and regular desertions to the SPLA ranks, while Paulino spent most of his time that year in Khartoum for prolonged medical treatment for a variety of disorders.

In September 1988 the Anyanya II battalion in Mayom, Western Upper Nile, his center of military power, rebelled and joined the SPLA.[594][594] Riek Machar, then SPLA zonal commander of Western Upper Nile, participated in the capture of Mayom.

The government sent Omar El Bashir, then an army officer and later the 1989 leader of the coup d'etat that brought the NIF to power, to recapture Mayom from the SPLA. Bashir and Paulino fought together, and pushed Riek out of Mayom shortly thereafter, forging a strong bond in the process. Paulino later recommended Paul Lilly, also a Bul Nuer, for a position with the government.[595][595]

A historian of the Nuer notes that Anyanya II never had substantial support throughout the Nuer, and argues that many of its recruits were motivated by outstanding feuds with those Nuer who were recruited by the SPLA. "While an Anyanya II ‘politburo' continued to reside in Khartoum, and some Nuer militiamen around Bentiu, Malakal, New Fangak, and Abyei continued to be supported by the government, the main force of the Anyanya II was absorbed into the SPLA."[596][596]

Paulino and Riek Join Forces (later SSIM/A) in 1992

Riek Machar left the SPLA and formed what became the SSIM/A in 1991, and Paulino joined Riek's forces in 1992. The unification of all outstanding forces of the Anyanya II army with Riek's faction was accomplished through the negotiations of Nuer prophets Wutnyang Gatakek[597][597] and Ruel Kuic.[598][598] According to a representative of Riek's 1998 government-aligned political group, the UDSF, the extent of Paulino's military efforts against the Sudan government were attacks on some government barges;[599][599] for the most part, SSIA fought the SPLA, not the government, so Paulino's incorporation into the SSIA and abandonment of his friend Bashir (by then president of Sudan) is not as contradictory as it seems.

After the SSIM/A conference in Akobo in October 1994 Paulino was made acting SSIM governor of the area around Bentiu, based in Mankien. When Riek Machar signed the Political Charter in 1996 and the Peace Agreement in 1997, Paulino went with him into the alliance with the government, although Paulino was not a signatory to either document. It appears that, even in their current association with the government, Paulino's Anyanya II has not sent troops to fight on other government fronts (such as Damazien or Juba), preferring to remain as a home guard, according to one of Paulino's long-term soldiers. They were needed, among other things, to defend the Nuer against cattle raiding by the muraheleen, which continued even in 1998, despite truces.[600][600] They were also needed to guard the oil fields.

Paulino and Riek: Fighting in 1997-98

After the Peace Agreement, and prior to the elections for southern governors in late 1997, the areas controlled by the SSIM/A and the government garrison towns located in them were combined politically. Thus, parallel political posts such as governor were combined. In Unity state, this meant that the government town of Bentiu was combined with the SSIM/A territory surrounding it to form one Unity state with one appointed governor, Paulino Matiep. Paulino, however, fell ill again and went back and forth between Bentiu and Khartoum. In his absence, the deputy governor, Simon Jok Gatwech, was acting governor until he too fell ill. Tito Biel, a military commander, became deputy governor and then acting governor.

After the decision was made to permit elections for southern governors in late 1997, President Bashir dismissed all the sitting (appointed) governors. In preparation for the election, Tito Biel was named acting governor and Paulino was removed as governor by the central government.

Paulino Matiep was not among the three candidates for governor chosen by Riek Machar and President Bashir for Unity state in late 1997. According to Riek's spokesman, Paulino did not declare himself for the position because he spoke neither Arabic nor English.[601][601] Paulino supported Paul Lilly, who had been governor of the government-held garrison town of Bentiu and was a NIF adherent. Riek supported his SSIM/A colleague, Taban Deng Gai for governor.

In preparation for the electoral campaign, agents of Taban Deng were sent to Unity state to mobilize his followers. Paulino, according to Riek supporters, arrested these agents and detained them at his headquarters in Mankien, preventing them from campaigning. Tito, as acting governor, ordered SSDF soldiers to secure the release of these detainees, on the grounds that Paulino, who was no longer governor, had no authority to detain anyone. Tito's SSDF forces clashed with Paulino's men outside Mankien in 1997, and they fought until the beginning of 1998, with Ler changing hands several times.[602][602] In this fighting, the hospital run by an Italian nongovernmental organization, Coordinating Committee for Voluntary Service (COSV), in Nhialdu was burned down.[603][603] They clashed in December along a front line west of and close to Duar, and along the Nhial Dhui-Wichok-Turkey-Kwoic corridor, with Paulino west of the line and Tito east.[604][604] Paulino was finally prevailed upon by Riek and Nuer elders to release the electoral agents.[605][605]

Taban Deng Gai was elected governor of Unity state in early December 1997. Paulino's dissatisfaction with the election results was said to have led to another round of fighting between Paulino and Tito, by then the SSDF commander of the area. One news article reported that the government prevented Paulino from leaving Khartoum to rejoin his forces in a bid to calm down the situation, but that did not work. According to this article, some 200 Nuer fighters were killed in pitched battles in January 1998.[606][606]

According to Riek Machar, however, only thirty-eight people were killed in more than a week of clashes in January 1998. The troops on both sides, all purportedly members of the SSDF which Riek heads, had been guarding the oil concession. According to Riek, the fighting was over the governorship.[607][607] The SPLA broadcast an offer of help to Paulino,[608][608] which apparently was ignored. The SPLA offered its own version of the fighting: it said Paulino's troops had attacked the oil installations in a dispute over the elections and the issue of oil revenues. The SPLA further claimed that some of the rebel troops that "expelled" Chevron in 1984 were now working under Paulino.[609][609]

Riek Machar complained to President Bashir in a mid-1998 letter that since September 17, 1997, Unity state had been "the theatre of a criminal war. Paulino Matip is waging an aggressive and destructive war against the [SSDF] and innocent civilians resulting in the destruction of homes, property and services infrastructures."[610][610] He noted that Paulino was supplied directly by the government with large quantities of arms and other military equipment,[611][611] and expressed astonishment that the government would back Paulino to fight against the governmentally-sanctioned official army of the south, the SSDF:

To my great surprise I was informed recently [mid-1998] by the Minister of Defense that in fact Paulino Matiep is a General in the Sudan army and enjoys all the rights and privileges of a General. If this is the case, the question to be asked is, in whose interest does the Sudan army fight against the SSDF which is its ally. It would have been understandable for Paulino to defect from the SSDF to join Garang's movement. But we cannot understand why Paulino defects from the SSDF to join the Sudan army and then turns into an enemy of the SSDF and to fight it with the military resources of the Sudanese state to which we all belong...[612][612]

Paulino created his own faction, the South Sudan Unity Movement/Army (SSUM/A), apart from Riek's SSDF, and reportedly received a letter from President Bashir recognizing this entity.[613][613] According to many sources, the government sought to make Paulino into a counterbalance to Riek Machar, a role that Kerubino had played before his defection.[614][614] Riek supporters suspected that the government was motivated by a desire to push Riek out of the oil fields. They feared that the Khartoum government hoped to delay matters and divide southerners so that the self-determination referendum would fail and Khartoum north would not be blamed for it.

Riek said that Paulino destroyed one general and three specialized kala azar hospitals, valued at $350 million. Paulino also stole cattle, and burned and destroyed villages and school buildings and the headquarters of the Ler district, according to Riek.

One of the most disappointing aspect[s] of this situation is that the victims of this senseless destruction are the very people who have been singing and praising the new era of peace ushered in by the Khartoum Agreement. Now their reward is the destruction of their lives and property.[615][615]

Riek also complained that the army had apparently rejected the formation of the SSDF as the military force in the south, judging from its financing and backing of Paulino and its "repeated refusal... to supply the SSDF with ammunition, weapons, uniforms and other military materials to the degree that the SSDF has become unable to maintain security and stability or protect the peace agreement."[616][616]

Riek pointed out that if the responsibility for security was not fully handed to the South Sudan Coordinating Council (SSCC) and the governors of the southern states, the Peace Agreement as a whole "will be threatened and will be rendered empty of its content and therefore meaningless."

One other threat to peace which is by no means less dangerous than the ones mentioned above, is the total lack of financial resources for its implementation... It is a fact that the Council in the last four months had received something less than 2% of its budgetary allocations.[617][617]

Of course the security of the oil fields was paramount to the government of Sudan, anxious for the economic windfall. The government in May accused the SPLA of trying to control the oil fields by raids on the border of southern Kordofan province and Bahr El Ghazal, but claimed that the SPLA had been repulsed.[618][618]

An oil field defense force was believed to have been constituted under Paulino's command; the Indian Ocean Newsletter reported that it included former Iranian Pasdaran and South African military advisers recruited by "a specialized security firm." It reported that Paulino bought himself a "fine white stallion" to review his private army. The Sudan government denied that any Iranians were involved in Bentiu, and did not exclude the possibility of Chinese aid in training Sudanese nationals to provide security to work sites and wells.[619][619]

A large labor force of some 5,000 Chinese was brought in near to start construction of the Bentiu-Port Sudan oil pipeline.[620][620] The NDA, the military-political opposition umbrella group, alleged that some 2,000 Chinese were prisoners who agreed to work in this remote and disease-ridden area in exchange for a reduction in their sentence.[621][621]

With the expansion of the oil business, many northern Sudanese have moved in to what has historically been the land of the Nuer. This immigration threatens to change the ethnic composition of Western Upper Nile in a way that could affect the referendum on self-determination. Governor Taban Deng of Upper Nile state in May 1998 conceded that 100 percent of his (Nuer) people would vote to secede, although he preferred unity.[622][622]

Bentiu continued to be served by OLS (Northern Sector) from Khartoum and the rest of the Western Upper Nile area by OLS (Southern Sector) from Lokichokkio, Kenya, despite the fact that in 1996 the SSIM/A, the dominant armed rebel group in this region, abandoned any pretense of rebel status and signed the Political Charter with the government. Aside from a possible desire to make a statement about autonomy from Khartoum, the SSIM/A perhaps had another reason for wanting to continue to be served by the southern sector: historically it has been more responsive to needs in the south than has the northern sector.

Fighting Between the Two Pro-Government Militias Devastates Civilians and Pushes Aid Agencies Out

The Bentiu area of Unity state suffered flooding in 1996 and drought in 1997. These conditions resulted in two years of poor harvests and poor food security. Normally this area provides surplus food for the more southern areas.[623][623] The fighting also was having an effect on civilian survival by late 1997. The February 1998 U.N. appeal for funds for emergency operations in Sudan stated that its goal in Unity state was to "provide 700 MTs of relief food for 27,290 displaced and war-affected beneficiaries during the hunger gap period from April to July [1998]."[624][624] Due to fighting between Riek Machar's forces and those of Paulino Matiep, and the looting, burning, and displacement of civilians, however, the food situation rapidly deteriorated. For the month of June 1998, the U.N. planned to bring 1,093 MT of relief food to 151,850 beneficiaries in Unity state,[625][625] a steep increase over February's projected tonnage and beneficiaries.

Despite the need, relief agencies had to pull out of the area on June 29. A statement by the medical NGO Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said that its withdrawal came as a result of the fighting. A number of buildings in Ler (Unity state) had been burned down, and the MSF and other compounds looted. MSF said it had been providing therapeutic and supplementary feeding to 751 children.[626][626]

They did not leave too soon. Fighting broke out again. Paulino attacked Riek's forces in Ler and Akon in the first week of July, according to Riek Machar,[627][627] who told a Khartoum newspaper that it was "fierce fighting."[628][628]

A Paulino spokesman denied responsibility. He claimed that Paulino had agreed to a cease-fire but Riek had scrapped the agreement and made a preemptive attack on the Paulino forces at a camp near Bentiu, which was repelled.[629][629] The spokesman denied Paulino burned villages or caused loss of life.[630][630]

On July 15, the government entered into a cease-fire agreement in Bahr El Ghazal with the SPLA, but the government-aligned Nuer militias continued to fight each other. The government sent a fact-finding mission in early July to investigate the clashes between the two government militias. The government delegation found that "vast damage was inflicted on government installations and development projects while 49 people have been killed"[631][631] in Western Upper Nile. The delegation blamed the damage on Paulino's forces. A Riek official, Makwaj Tenj Yok, accused Paulino of violating the peace agreement and trying to "mar the image" of pro-government factions in the eyes of the SPLA prior to the peace talks scheduled for August 1998 in Addis Ababa. Paulino claimed he was committed to the peace agreement and would accept a solution proposed by Khartoum, but said that he and Riek Machar had a disagreement over the military leadership of the SSDF.[632][632]

The WFP attempted to return to Ler in mid-July to distribute food. When one of the militia forces attacked Ler the two WFP workers had to flee, wading at night waist-high through mosquito-infested swamps.[633][633]

The two sides agreed on a "cessation of hostilities" and pledged not to fight each other again, according to an announcement by the Sudan government on July 21, a week after a separate cease-fire was put into effect in Bahr El Ghazal with the SPLA.[634][634] In areas of Sudan that experience seasonal rains and flooding, a "wet season cease-fire" occurs almost annually due to logistical constraints alone.

The result of the fighting was the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians, according to a government newspaper in July 1998. The fiercest fighting was in Ler, where 250 houses, fifty shops, and 2,500 cattle compounds were destroyed.[635][635] Throughout the fighting there were major losses for the OLS programs due to looting and burning: refrigerators, veterinary equipment, vaccines and other medicines, camp equipment, and so forth.[636][636]

The tragic situation in Upper Nile has not received as much attention as Bahr El Ghazal, possibly because of the continued and unpredictable fighting and security problems. Some journalists, however, did manage to record cases as pitiful as anything in nearby Bahr El Ghazal. One involved an eight-year-old orphaned Nuer boy who was too small to keep up with the other people running from the fighting and learned from an early age-after his mother died of typhoid-to scavenge for food for himself. He followed soldiers in order to lick the pot when they had finished; some families would let him stay a day or two, but pushed him out after that, because they did not have enough for their own children. A childless woman in Lankien, Upper Nile, took him in, but then he began to lose his sight as his foster mother fell sick with asthma.[637][637]

In late August-early September 1998, there was fighting between Paulino and Riek again; apparently Paulino captured Bentiu, Matkenj, and Nekai in late August and was driven out two weeks later, according to press reports citing a military source.[638][638] In an interview in Khartoum in mid-September, Paulino claimed that the fighting was still going on. He claimed that the SPLA was supplying Riek with ammunition and soldiers. Paulino said the fighting started on September 5 when his forces were withdrawing from Ler, a town he took in June. He said Riek's SSDF forces attacked and drove his forces out of Wankei, about 120 kilometers (seventy-five miles) northwest of Ler, burning down Wankei, killing innocent people and abducting children. His troops, Paulino continued, had recaptured Wankei and were pursuing Riek's troops towards Ler.[639][639]

A government spokesman said that the conflict led to "serious human losses and material damage."[640][640] Others said at least 400 were killed and thousands displaced since late August factional fighting. Paulino's forces were said to have regained a swathe of land southwest of Bentiu after being chased out of Bentiu by Riek's man.[641][641]

The four cease-fires arranged by the government between the two government militias in nine months clearly were not working.[642][642] In late September Riek announced a vow to stop clashing with Paulino's forces, and Paulino announced a truce with Riek's forces, according to a government news agency.[643][643] Ler and Mankien were cleared by the OLS (Southern Sector) Security Office for resumption of relief activities on October 8, 1998, with the proviso that the situation was fluid and agencies should spend a minimum amount of time on the ground; it was discovered that the compound of the medical relief agency Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) in Mankien had been looted prior to that date.[644][644]

Despite the clearance, it was not until December that guarantees by the warring factions of security for aid workers permitted WFP to air-drop 375 MT of food in the area, the first since July 1998. Relief workers observed that Ler, once a hub for food and health services, was a ghost town, having been raided three times since June, the raiders having looted, burned homes, and destroyed schools.[645][645] Looting of NGO compounds forced the shut-down of the Ler hospital and other key facilities.[646][646] Most agencies had not resumed work even in early 1999.

The U.N. observed that more OLS personnel were evacuated from Upper Nile due to insecurity than from any other OLS operational area. It noted that in January 1999, humanitarian coverage in this region was lowest of all major OLS areas, and warned that "[c]urrent trends indicate that much of the region may rapidly develop into an acute emergency on the scale of Bahr Al Ghazal last year, particularly if insecurity continues to generate displacement and prevent humanitarian agencies from mounting life-saving interventions."[647][647]

SSDF Losing Influence Among Ex-Rebels

Riek's SSDF also was criticized by other southerners. From another direction, Col. Abdallah Majuk (spokesperson for an SSDF group), Col. Ibrahim Chuol (commander of the SSDF Fifth Brigade), and Col. Osman Garang Bol (head of the SSDF First Brigade of Nyamlell in Northern Bahr El Ghazal[648][648]) accused Riek of "racism and secessionism" and of targeting their forces because they were Muslims. They claimed Riek Machar expelled them and closed their offices in Khartoum because their group advocates unity and because the majority of its fighters (claimed to be 14,000) were Muslims. They also complained that they had not been paid since August 1997.[649][649]

In October, Lawrence Lual Lual, the leader of the Bahr El Ghazal Dinka pro-government militia after the defection of Kerubino, announced that his group had withdrawn from the United Democratic Salvation Front political coalition to protest the actions of Riek. He complained that Riek had removed all Lual's nominees for posts in the central and state governments, had appointed Riek's own people to command the Bahr El Ghazal troops, and had not paid the salaries of the troops. Lual said 400 of his group of 1,500 were cooperating with Paulino's anti-Riek Machar pro-government militia.[650][650]

Defections from Paulino's Forces

In an unexpected development, Paulino's deputy commander Philip Pipan Machar and about 1,000 members of Paulino's pro-government militia defected to the SPLA, the second major defection of southern government militias to the SPLA in 1998 (Kerubino's being the first). Riek Machar made the announcement of the defection in October 1998, saying he had received a message from the SPLA about it. He said that the government was aware of a deal allegedly signed in August 1998 between the SPLA's John Garang and Paulino Matiep. There was no confirmation of this, and Paulino was said to be en route to Bentiu. Although Riek did not say when the defection took place, he said that the defecting forces were concentrated in the Bentiu area.[651][651]

A few weeks later, Adam al Tahir Hamdoun, presidential adviser on peace affairs, announced that the number of those who had defected from Paulino was only twenty-five, of whom five had since returned to their base at Bentiu. He claimed that the leader of the defection was upset over a power struggle in which Paulino had been destroying villages that backed Riek.[652][652]

The SPLA claimed that the defecting forces were "based in the oil area of Bentiu and the town of Mayom."[653][653] In a separate defection, about 200 SSDF fighters in another oil area in Upper Nile returned to the SPLA fold, the SPLA's statement claimed. These defections placed SPLA fighters within twenty-seven kilometers (seventeen miles) of the Adrail oil deposits in Upper Nile.[654][654]

In November 1998 Riek announced that "total peace" had been restored in Unity state after Paulino declared a truce in November. According to a Riek spokesperson, Paulino sent a message to Adam al Tahir Hamdoun, the presidential peace adviser, saying he was convinced it was necessary to stop the bloodshed and reach a permanent peaceful resolution of the crisis. Riek added that they were trying to woo back Philip Pipan, who defected from Paulino in October because he was tired of the internal (Nuer) fighting.[655][655]

Riek's representative claims that Philip Pipan was successful in pushing the remnants of Paulino's forces from the Bul Nuer area. When Paulino's men saw that they would not prevail against Philip and the SPLA, they approached Riek and joined him, leaving Paulino with no forces. "Paulino is a gone case. The war is now over in Western Upper Nile. No one will listen to him. Many people died" because of him, the UDSF representative declared.[656][656]

Relief Operations Resume in Western Upper Nile After Months of Suspension

Food aid was suspended in July 1998 for security reasons. In December 1998, the WFP announced that it had been able to resume food aid to Western Upper Nile. Some 375 MT of food were air-dropped following a lull in the fighting and security guarantees by the warring factions. WFP had access to Ler and Mankien and found that Ler, once a hub for food and health services, was a ghost town. The militia factions had raided Ler three times since June, looting and burning homes and destroying schools, the end of September 1998 being the last attack.[657][657]

The WFP estimated that 24,000 heads of cattle were stolen by the factions, and that because crops and seeds were looted in the raids, families had little success in cultivation.[658][658] It found that the population of Ler was displaced mostly northwest in the Adok area, which was not accessible to the WFP team; few returned to Ler but those who did said that many lost their household belongings and that a large proportion of their cattle was taken in the raids. The team observed an unusually high number of livestock sales in Ler, apparently people selling their remaining cattle in order to buy grain. Those without cattle seemed to be surviving on kinship support and wild foods, and all lacked fishing equipment.[659][659]

In December 1998, the OLS worried that the Western Upper Nile situation was comparable to Bahr El Ghazal twelve to eighteen months before, where there were no crops to harvest because people fled instead of planting. The spokesperson for OLS said, "I think our worst nightmare is an acute emergency in Bahr El Ghazal combined with Upper Nile. We're going to be very hard pressed to deal with both at once."[660][660]

Development of the Oil Fields Proceeds Apace

Revenue from development of natural resources has the potential of prolonging the war, reported to cost the government a million dollars a day to prosecute in a country where people earn less than U.S. $2 a day.[661][661]

The government of Sudan is doing everything possible to accelerate the exploitation of Sudan's major oil reserves, located in Upper Nile. The completion of the U.S. $1 billion pipeline from Unity Field in the Bentiu region to the new terminal being built at Port Sudan was on "a very tight schedule," Energy and Mining Minister Awad Jazz said, but one that they hope to meet by June 1999. A 50,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery costing U.S. $600 million is to be built north of Khartoum for domestic needs, financed with the government's share of the revenue from the pipeline. The government is counting on construction of the pipeline sparking new interest by foreign oil companies in Sudan.[662][662] The minister said forty-seven international companies were engaged in oil and mining projects inside the country in 1998.[663][663]

Arakis bought its interest in 1993 in the former Chevron areas (blocks 1, 2, and 4) north of Bentiu, and began drilling several new wells in the Heglig and Unity fields and reopening other wells Chevron had drilled. Oil produced from the wells, an average of 2,000 bbl/d in 1996, was processed and consumed domestically.[664][664] Arakis entered into a consortium in December 1996 called the Greater Nile Petroleum Operation Company (GNPOC) in order to continue and expand development in these fields, where reserves were estimated from 660 million to 1.2 billion barrels of oil. Arakis held 25 percent (through its wholly owned subsidiary the Sudan Petroleum Project), the China National Petroleum Corporation held 40 percent, Malaysia's Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn. Bhd. Held 30 percent, and Sudanese government Sudapet Limited held 5 percent of GNPOC.[665][665]

U.S. companies will not be players in this scramble to exploit the oil. Sanctions have been imposed by the U.S. on U.S. companies and individuals doing business in Sudan as a result of the 1993 decision by the Department of State to place Sudan on its list of countries supporting terrorism. These sanctions were tightened starting with a vote in the House of Representatives in July 1997 to force U.S. companies to sever all commercial ties with Sudan on the grounds that Sudan was accused of sponsoring terrorism,[666][666] in response to the revelation that the Clinton administration had exercised its discretion to provide an exemption to allow Occidental Petroleum Corporation to close a multimillion-dollar oil deal in Sudan. Occidental has since pulled out, but the legislation proceeded, and plugged a loophole that had been left by Treasury Department rules in August 1996, which gave the president the authority to grant exemptions to the law.[667][667] The sponsor of the legislation argued that development of the oil fields would help the Sudan government fund terrorism.[668][668] The Clinton administration, which opposed the legislation, by November 1997 had changed its position and by executive order imposed tight sanctions on U.S. companies and individuals doing business with Sudan.[669][669]

According to one article, this executive order prohibiting U.S. transactions with Sudan was a serious blow to Arakis, then the lead company in the oil development project, because it prevented this Canadian company from tapping the vast U.S. bond market for its crucial cash needs.[670][670] However, one of the two biggest shareholders of Canadian-chartered Arakis was the Boston-based fund, State Street Research.[671][671]

The development of the oil resources proceeded at an accelerated pace. Pipeline construction began in May 1998 and was carried out simultaneously along several stretches of the pipeline right of way. The oil consortium was pursuing an aggressive upstream development program on the concession to achieve a minimum 150,000 barrels per day of crude oil deliverability by mid-1999. The Heglig, Unity, Toma South, El Nar, and El Toor fields would be included in the initial production plans, with a central processing facility at Heglig. The crude oil would then be transported through the main pipeline to the marine oil terminal near Port Sudan for export.[672][672]

In August 1998 Arakis agreed to a friendly takeover by Talisman Energy Inc., in which Arakis shareholders would receive one share of Talisman for ten shares of Arakis.[673][673] Talisman is a major Canadian corporation (formerly British Petroleum Canada) and among the top sixty companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange; it is also traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The Canadian Inter-Church Coalition on Africa (ICCAF) called for its supporters to protest the takeover to Talisman before the deal was closed,[674][674] but it was approved by Arakis shareholders on October 7 and finalized.[675][675] The ICCAF later called on the Canadian foreign minister to take action against Talisman. It sought to have Talisman and other Canadian companies working in Sudan placed on the Area Controls List, which would require all exports from Canada to Sudan (including equipment and technology) to have an export permit. It also sought to have the Canadian government impose economic sanctions on Sudan under the Special Economic Measures Act. The Inter-Church Coalition stated that it believed the oil was being used to fuel military activities including the operation of tanks, personnel carriers, and planes that bomb hospitals and displaced persons camps in the war in southern Sudan.[676][676]

A Canadian foreign ministry official said that the Special Economic Measures Act has a high threshold: there must be a breach of international security to invoke that act. Whether, in the absence of a Security Council resolution, Sudan's admitted funding the abusive Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army might qualify is not yet clear. In addition, the Canadian Area Control List providing for export controls is as yet a very blunt instrument that does not have an exemption for humanitarian supplies, the official added.[677][677]

As Canada is a member of the Security Council and in February 1999 its president, it remains to be seen what steps that government will take regarding Sudan and its Canadian-directed oil development project that promises to be an important source of financing for the war in which so many human rights abuses have been committed.


Government Forces Summarily Execute Thirteen Southerners in Aweil

Kwac Makuei, a Dinka from Aweil, was in Anyanya, then was elected to the Regional Assembly from Aweil after the Addis Ababa agreement.[678][678] He joined Anyanya II and then joined the SPLA, and was arrested in 1984 by Kerubino, then his superior in the SPLA. He escaped from a bush jail where he was held without trial in 1992, then joined Riek.[679][679] After the Political Charter was signed Kwac went to Aweil and was important in mobilizing the intellectuals in Aweil. He was elected governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal in December 1997. He also commanded SSDF troops there, vigorously and successfully fighting off the SPLA/Kerubino attack on Aweil on January 28-29, 1998.[680][680]

Twelve of his bodyguards reportedly were summarily executed by government forces in Aweil a few months later, in June 1998. The press carried a story about an attack on the governor's official residence, portraying it as an attack by "unidentified gunmen."[681][681]

Riek Machar, belatedly learning of the attack, first met with President Bashir and was promised an investigation. None was carried out, so he sent a protest letter to Bashir.[682][682] In it, Riek said, "As you are aware, the state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal witnessed in the past few days the extremely dangerous and bloody events perpetrated by some armed elements of the government." He asked for an investigation and punishment of the guilty.[683][683]

A committee was formed to investigate the army area commander and his subordinate and those responsible for the execution. The committee went twice to the area (after three false starts) and never wrote a report.[684][684]

According to a spokesperson for the UDSF, the executions had their origin in a fight in the Aweil market between a Kwac bodyguard and a member of army intelligence. It was broken up and the bodyguard returned to Governor Kwac's residence, while the military intelligence officer went back to the army barracks. The police commander in Aweil, who is Kwac's son, reportedly advised Kwac's bodyguards that they should not cause trouble and asked them to deposit their arms with him, which they did. Then they dispersed.

According to the same sources, soldiers in cars later came to the police headquarters to find out where the offending bodyguard was. The police commander said he was not there. The soldiers went to Governor Kwac's house looking for the bodyguard. They arrested all those found inside (it is unclear if the offending bodyguard was among them): twelve bodyguards and one civilian, all adult male southerners, all unarmed. The soldiers took them to the military barracks in the cars, and there the thirteen unarmed men were reportedly lined up and executed by firing squad. The victims were all southerners, the executioners all northerners.

There was tension over the incident, word of which spread to Wau and Malakal, because of the racial aspects of the killing. The police in Aweil calmed the situation down.[685][685]

Riek said he was upset because he was not informed of the event as soon as it happened, and because the executed men had been among those who helped repulse the SPLA attack on Aweil, and "recaptured the tank which the SPLA had captured from the government army."[686][686] Riek complained that the investigation committee failed to travel to Aweil "for unknown reasons." He continued,

My own firm conclusion is that the government is condoning and supporting those who committed the crime and not showing any seriousness in finding the solutions which are expected by everybody. The governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal [Kwac Makuei] has concrete evidence showing that he was the one who was deliberately targeted for assassination.[687][687]

Southern Militias Disarmed in Khartoum

Pursuant to the Peace Agreement, former rebels were permitted to retain their weapons. There were reports that the Sudan army felt that the government made a mistake to allow the rebels to keep their arms, citing the defection of Kerubino and his simultaneous attack on Wau as an example.[688][688] The SSDF, however, did not envision integration into the Sudan army until after the referendum on self-determination was held and separation turned down, an event at least four years in the future. In the event of separation the SSDF saw itself as the army of the new state.[689][689]

Relations between the SSDF and the government army were none too good. Riek Machar, as the commander of the SSDF, complained to President Bashir in mid-1998 that he heard reports that the Sudan army is totally opposed to the provision of the Khartoum Peace Agreement which allows for the formation of a military force in the South, the SSDF. The Army's rejection of the SSDF is very evident from some of the issues we have raised above [the uninvestigated massacre of thirteen southerners in Aweil by government soldiers, and the arming of Paulino in Western Upper Nile by the army]. This is also clear from the repeated refusal by the Army to supply the SSDF with ammunition, weapons, uniforms, and other military materials to the degree that the SSDF has become unable to maintain security and stability or protect the peace agreement.[690][690]

The southern ex-rebel militias in Khartoum were a demonstrable wild card. More than once they fought among each other. Following a murky February 1998 incident in Khartoum in which two SSDF soldiers were killed, allegedly by soldiers loyal to Kerubino (who had defected back to the SPLA just weeks before the incident), Riek Machar ordered the rebel factions in and around Khartoum to hand over their arms to the SSDF.[691][691]

It appears that this was not done, but that the SSDF made attempts to disarm these armed militiamen. In June 1998, a shootout between the SSDF and the Paulino faction in Al Jiraif neighborhood in the capital left two southerners dead. Although they had been fighting in Western Upper Nile for months, this was their first clash in the capital.[692][692] Months later, an SSDF spokesperson said that an SSDF military court would try SSDF members arrested for their participation in this fighting.[693][693]

In June 1998, two ex-rebel soldiers were killed and three injured in an attack on an SSDF rest house in Khartoum in unclear circumstances.[694][694] SSDF Deputy Chief of Staff Peter Bol said that they were shot resisting disarmament. The objects of attack may have been forces of Lawrence Lual Lual, head of the Bahr El Ghazal contingent of SSDF since Kerubino's defection. He condemned the killing and asked that the captain who ordered the attack be disciplined.[695][695]

On another occasion, the army had to be called in to break up a fight between armed men of the SSDF and Paulino's faction at a wedding in August 1998 in Omdurman. Several police officers were injured and a police station was burned down. Khartoum residents were said to be nervous about the presence of so many armed (southern) militia in Khartoum.[696][696]

It was announced in September that the pro-government southern militias would move their military headquarters from Khartoum to Juba in October. All the guesthouses for SSDF troops in Khartoum had been evacuated except one for wounded fighters in Omdurman, SSDF Deputy Chief of Staff Peter Bol said.[697][697] That same month, Riek announced that the government was going to form a joint committee of SSDF and the government army, with each side to appoint twenty representatives, to provide SSDF with military supplies-and to intervene to settle differences between the southern factions that signed the Peace Agreement.[698][698]

Apparently not all the SSDF forces left the Khartoum area. On October 1998, the SSDF said a group of thirty-eight of Paulino's forces opened fire on an SSDF camp in the Khartoum suburb of Kalakala. The 450 men in the camp were unarmed (aside from a guard at the gate) and allegedly were beaten with clubs by Paulino's men. Paulino strongly denied any involvement by his men in the attack, blaming SSDF internal differences within Riek's group.[699][699]

Sudanese army and police, uniformed and plainclothes, launched a three day operation to disarm guards of leaders of southern rebel movements, starting on November 19, 1998.[700][700] The government claimed that the leaders had notice of this move, but the leaders protested that they had no notice.[701][701]

Two battalions of soldiers with tanks asked to search the house of SSDF leader Riek Machar. The guards refused; Riek was on a visit to Upper Nile state. The soldiers left and later returned, fired two warning shots, then disarmed the guards and searched the house. The police, in riot gear, temporarily cordoned off one of the main streets in Khartoum where Riek's house was located, causing a panic.[702][702] Another report said that two of Riek's bodyguards were injured by the army's first attempt to take his house. Riek cut his trip short and returned to Khartoum to discuss the incident.[703][703]

Other southern militia leaders whose houses were targeted included Lam Akol, minister of transportation, whose bodyguards dug in to resist the search of the residence; Lawrence Lual Lual, whose house was searched at gunpoint; and Kwac Makuei.[704][704] Also raided were the houses of Paulino Matiep and Ismail Kony.[705][705] Pro-government newspapers said the army confiscated heavy weapons, long-range artillery launchers, radio communication sets, and military uniforms. The government issued orders to arrest any person wearing uniforms belonging to the former southern rebels, although people could still be seen on the streets in those uniforms.[706][706]

The government said that it took this action to stabilize the security situation in Khartoum, but some merchants complained that unidentified soldiers (perhaps government soldiers) looted their shops at gunpoint.[707][707] The SPLA shortly thereafter invited its former allies who defected to the government to rejoin the fight against the government, calling the raids a nail in the coffin of the Peace Agreement.[708][708]

Five leaders of southern pro-government armed factions, including Transport Minister Lam Akol and Animal Resources Minister Joseph Malwal, issued a public statement condemning the government for seizing weapons from their homes in raids. "This behaviour is considered an affront to southerners and a lack of confidence in them. We would like to register our unreserved condemnation of this irresponsible behaviour."[709][709]

Riek Machar also denounced the disarmament raids. "‘It was absolutely wrong,'" he said. He pointed out that those who were disarmed were bodyguards of ministers and commanders who were not ever involved in any incident that endangered residents of Khartoum. He maintained that only Paulino's militia should have been disarmed.[710][710]

Allegations of SSDF Abuses in Juba

The SSDF in 1998 moved its military headquarters to Juba, the main city in southern Sudan located in Eastern Equatoria far to the south of Unity state and the oil fields.[711][711] Shortly after its arrival, however, the SSDF wore out its welcome. The governors of three states asked that they be removed, on the grounds that the SSDF forces were "unruly." Governor Henry Jada of Bahr El-Jabal state said that the militiamen had been a source of insecurity there. He described a series of human rights abuses committed against the civilian population.

‘They have been shooting in the air every night, harassing people, robbing people and raping girls and other peoples' wives... Many of them took goods from market traders without paying for them. When the traders ask for their money, they say go and ask Riek.'[712][712]

The governor complained that the factions frequently clashed amongst themselves and some had been killed in a feud in Juba in November.[713][713]

Riek Machar defended his troops in Juba, saying that reports of their misbehavior were greatly exaggerated. He rejected calls for their removal, and pointed out that they had been busy defending Juba and Equatoria from an SPLA attack.[714][714]

Finally, after six militiamen were killed and several wounded in a grenade attack in Juba on January 9, 1999, the government ordered all pro-government armed factions to leave Juba. Governor Henry Jada said an unidentified attacker hurled the grenade at a Murle militia camp,[715][715] and the government suspected Riek's faction of the crime. Jada claimed Riek's group also exchanged fire with another faction in January 11.[716][716] The SSDF deputy chief of staff said if such an incident occurred it was a tribal clash and had nothing to do with the SSDF.[717][717] The commander of the government army in Equatoria denied anyone was killed but said several were injured before the government troops contained the situation, and that only two pro-government factions were ordered out of Juba.[718][718] Further contributing to the confused situation, a militia leader in Juba, Gatwich Gat Kouth, said he had pulled out of the SSDF with half the SSDF forces in Juba, and formed a separate faction, SSDF-2, because of Riek's alleged human rights abuses. These included an alleged assassination attempt on him, and the killing of his mother and bodyguard in a December 20 attack on Gatwich's home in Juba.[719][719]

UDSF Forms a Political Party

The government in late 1998 passed a law permitting the formation of political associations; political parties as such have been banned since the coup in 1989. Riek formed a political association out of the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF), his umbrella political group for ex-rebels, and resigned from the National Congress (NIF) to become leader of the UDSFP. Ali Tamim Fartak, former governor of Western Bahr El Ghazal who was defeated in the December 1997 gubernatorial elections by Riek's candidate Charles Julu, called upon Riek to resign from the position of president of the Coordinating Council, on the grounds that he showed a "lack of trust in the NC leadership which is also the government's leadership." Riek refused to resign.[720][720]


The Nuba Mountains are special: they are in the center of Sudan, not the south, and not contiguous to any other territory held by the rebel SPLA nor to a border. The Nuba are Africans, believed to be almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims, and speaking some fifty different dialects of ten distinct language groups. Their lingua franca is Arabic. The Nuba are not a tribe but comprise the fifty sub-tribes living in the Nuba Mountains. They include peasant farmers; some tribes own significant numbers of cattle.[721][721]

The mountains, actually hills, provided protection from many raiders over the decades as the Nuba sought to preserve their unique and tolerant culture. Their geography can be a weakness, however: the Nuba Mountains remain one of the most isolated places on earth because of a years-long government blockade on all commerce, trade, and relief operations into the rebel areas there, where an estimated 400,000 live.[722][722] The war in the Nuba Mountains is between the government forces, including the Nuba militia (nafir al shaabi), and the SPLA. Nuba civilian leaders led by a school teacher and elected assemblyman Yousif Kuwa were long involved in a civic struggle against second-class citizenship. After the SPLM/A was formed, attracted by its "united secular Sudan" platform, the first Nuba joined the SPLA and recruited young Nuba men for training in the SPLA camps in Ethiopia. They began military action against the government in the Nuba Mountains in 1989; they had not participated in the first civil war which was lead by southern separatist rebels.

The rebel areas of the Nuba Mountains are under siege by the government, whose blockade seeks to strangle the economy and force starving civilians into government garrison towns. As a result, "Ten years of continuous insecurity causing out migration and death reduced the rural [Nuba] population from an estimated one million people to 350,000-400,000 people," according to a March 1998 needs assessment of the Nuba Mountains.[723][723]

Despite periodic agreements the SPLA reaches with private small traders to sell such basics as used clothes, salt, and sugar in small Nuba markets, the government has successfully cut off commerce to the area, so even these basic items are rarely available. As a result, almost all Nuba wear threadbare clothes, even many SPLA soldiers. Many civilians have no clothes and have to share a garment with other family members. Teachers in the rebel areas report that some children come to school naked, and nakedness has not been the Nuba custom for decades. Others without clothes stay away from school, too ashamed of their nakedness to venture out.

The siege is coupled with periodic military incursions where villages are burned down, crops and animals looted, and all civilians found alive taken off as captives. The government focuses on displacing those they cannot capture from fertile valleys into the higher and less fertile hills. Therefore even those not captured may be driven to garrison towns by hunger.

In addition to being caught up in large-scale military incursions and aerial bombardments, those who stay in rebel areas are at risk of capture by small government military units operating with Nuba collaborators (nafir al shaabi) that infiltrate an area and pick off farmers working alone in their fields, capturing or killing them. Those captured are then forced to porter the crops and herd the animals the soldiers and collaborators have stolen to the garrison towns, where the captives are sent to government "peace camps."

These peace camps ring garrison towns and are in turn "protected" by PDF and military guards to prevent the captives from escaping to their homes. In the camps, torture and ill-treatment are common, and women and girls are subjected to sexual abuse by PDF and soldiers, according to several accounts.[724][724] Family members are severely punished if one manages to escape.[725][725] Those who have escaped from peace camps say they are not paid for the work they are forced to do for the authorities (clearing land, cleaning, hauling water). If they want to eat, they must work for individual soldiers and PDF.[726][726]

The rural Nuba are usually self-sufficient in food, since their land is fertile. In 1991-92 and again in 1998, however, they have suffered terrible shortages of food as a result of the combined pressures of drought and scorched-earth government military tactics. A food assessment done by nongovernmental organizations in March 1998 estimated 20,000 were "unable to meet their minimum survival needs while remaining in their homes."[727][727]

The 1998 crisis was a result of military attacks that displaced many Nuba from fertile valleys: in July 1996, after planting was complete, the government attacked locations in Erre Payam (district), Heiban County, displacing 15,000 to 20,000 people.

The next year, at the beginning of the cultivating season (April/May), government attacks displaced more than 20,000 from Nagorban County plains in two directions: some fled to SPLA-controlled mountains, others to the government garrison towns (and peace camps). These displaced Nuba lost their seeds, stored food, and an estimated 75 percent of their animals. Cultivation in the mountains was limited by lack of seeds, poor soil, low and erratic rainfall, and other factors. The fertile valleys, now abandoned, between Nagorban and Heiban Counties were the main suppliers of food to the two counties.[728][728] The estimated population was 65,000 to 70,000 in Nagorban County and 100,000 in Heiban County, a figure established by a polio vaccination program in late February 1998.[729][729] Of those 45,000 displaced, 25,000 to 30,000 who were displaced from the valley remained in SPLA areas. Of these, 20,000 were in need because their survival means had been exhausted.[730][730] The displaced worked for others, ate wild foods, and traded off their remaining livestock. Because of the poor harvest and increased demands, food prices in the market in February 1998 were triple those in February 1997.[731][731]

International relief is provided in the Nuba Mountains only on the government side. Some food, usually an inadequate amount, goes to peace camps through Islamic and a few non-Islamic NGOs. According to U.N. statistics, approximately 172,789 displaced and returnees directly affected by the war lived in seventy-two "peace villages" in the government-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains in 1997. The U.N. planned to provide relief food to 56,450 of these people during the hunger gap from April to July 1998.[732][732]

The government has prevented U.N. efforts to conduct even a needs assessment in SPLA areas, despite the explicit promise on May 20, 1998 by Sudan's foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, to U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan that such a mission could proceed. After a compromise was reached regarding the composition of the assessment team and its point of departure (Malakal), the government withdrew permission for the team to proceed.

The government used the pretext that an ambush in which three relief workers were killed had to be investigated first. On June 9, 1998, a Sudanese Red Crescent worker, Magboul Mamoun, and two employees of the WFP, El Haj Ali Hammad and Sumain Samson Ohiri, were killed and three others were injured in an ambush in the Nuba Mountains, fifty kilometers southeast of Kadugli. The three men were part of a relief convoy, traveling in a U.N.-marked truck.[733][733] The government accused the SPLA of the attack, but the SPLA vehemently denied this, claiming in turn that the government may have "caused this incident so that it can use it as a reason to declare a total ban on relief work in the Nuba Mountains."[734][734]

The Sudanese government demanded that two conditions be met before the needs assessment could proceed: the submission of the investigative report the U.N. undertook on the murder of three humanitarian workers in early June, and the inclusion of a government representative in the mission.[735][735] The government was given a summary of the U.N. findings, in which the U.N. Security Coordination office concluded that the culprits were unknown and unidentifiable. The U.N. asked the government to follow up on this investigation, but nothing further was received by the U.N. from the government on this matter.[736][736]

In late July, the U.N. secretary-general personally telephoned President Bashir to appeal to him to honor the commitment given on access to the Nuba Mountains. This was followed by a personal letter from the secretary-general to the President.[737][737]

The result of the government siege and flight ban is that only a handful of agencies operate modest programs in the Nuba Mountains. The programs are irregular and exposed to much greater risk than OLS programs because they operate "illegally" and all flights into the rebel areas are under threat of government attack.

The international community has not brought to bear the kind of pressure on the Sudan government concerning the Nuba Mountains that it has marshaled on behalf of the south, with some exceptions. Some governments, such as the Irish, Italian, and U.S., have spoken out, but they alone they cannot stem the developing famine.

The newly appointed U.N. secretary-general's special envoy for humanitarian affairs in Sudan, Ambassador Tom Eric Vraalsen, announced on January 15, 1999 that the government had agreed in principle that U.N. missions could open in the Nuba Mountains.[738][738] He was said to have the government's approval for the U.N. to send a needs assessment mission to the Nuba Mountains in February 1999, having agreed that U.N. staff from headquarters would participate-and specifically, that no OLS staff would accompany them. The Nuba SPLA governor, Yousif Kuwa, agreed to the mission as well. Whether this is a new beginning or yet another false start remains to be seen.


Armed men and their callous lack of concern about human life, particularly southern black African life, caused the famine of 1998, as they did the famine ten years before. In 1998 the armed culprits are the government's armed forces and its militias, including the PDF, the muraheleen, the Kerubino and Paulino Matiep militias, and the SSDF of Riek Machar; and the SPLA.

Although it is fashionable in some circles to blame this war and other famines and disasters on the OLS and international NGOs, they do not have the power to cause the famine. While the actions of the U.N. and some NGOs to recognize and to halt the famine may have been inadequate in hindsight, many donors initially chose to disbelieve early reports from the OLS and NGOs warning of impending disaster. Time was wasted in debates on terminology ("was it famine," "pre-famine," "food crisis")[739][739] and opportunities were lost while pot-shots were taken at favorite targets such as "relief pornography."[740][740]

Clare Short, the United Kingdom's secretary of state for international development, said in May that there was little point in trying to get aid to the starving unless there was a cease-fire and access guarantees.[741][741] This was later vindicated, according to the Independent among others.[742][742] Ms. Short claimed later in May, however, that the public emergency appeal which raised millions of pounds for the private charities to feed the starving in southern Sudan was "unnecessary" and misleading. She said governments could fund all the emergency aid required.[743][743] After the extent of the famine became known, she was rebuked for these statements by Parliament's International Development Committee, which pointed out that United Nations appeals to member governments for funds to help Sudan's people had raised barely half the sum requested for 1998, and noted that estimates of the number of Sudanese people needing humanitarian assistance had risen from 250,000 in late 1997 to 2.5 million in June 1998. The committee report said, "we consider it to have been premature of the Secretary of State to announce in such bald terms that there was no lack of money or resources for Sudan.''[744][744]

Aid to Bahr El Ghazal has been intermittent at best, in 1995 meeting only 19 percent of the assessed need, pursuant to agency estimates of population and need.[745][745] Nevertheless, some see an intimate link between the provision of aid and the continuation of the war.

Critics of the aid regime believe that an economy has developed on the basis of international allocation of assets (food and non-food items provided as relief) to the region, and that these assets are in effect used by the political and military elites to keep themselves in power. This war has become a "permanent emergency," convenient as a source of international finance for elites especially when little other investment is reaching this impoverished country.[746][746]

Others contend that humanitarian assistance fuels the conflict by being diverted by the various armies to feed their own troops, among other things. They argue that the objective should be to make aid less wasteful, more accountable, more transparent, and more coherent. They believe that it is even possible to turn aid around to work for peace. Stopping the flow of food to the troops might affect the parties' desire to settle the conflict, they argue, and even if aid is not prolonging the war, it is certainly not doing anything to bring the war to an end.

Still others take a less subtle approach. There are some who advance the theory that if aid is cut off, both parties will be faced with needy populations demanding food, and will be forced to negotiate an end to the war. The parties will have to behave "responsibly."[747][747]

The latter theory is pernicious. It ignores the direct role these armed parties have, through their human rights abuses, in causing the food shortages. There is nothing in Sudanese human rights history to suggest that the main parties to the armed conflict-that is, the government and its militias, and the SPLA-will put the needs of civilians ahead of military considerations, and behave "responsibly." Furthermore, if aid is cut off, the main victims would be not "the government's civilians," but southerners they consider to be rebel supporters, as was the case in 1988 and is the case today.

The government has proven, with each denial of access to rebel-held areas, that it is willing to sacrifice the needs of marginalized populations on the theory-of which there is little proof-that if the civilians do not receive aid, the SPLA will not be able to carry on the fight. This is most dramatically illustrated by the government's years-long refusal to permit even a United Nations needs assessment team into the Nuba Mountains, despite demonstrated need. Nothing in the government of Sudan's current acquiescence to access to Bahr El Ghazal suggests that the government has abandoned this "draining the sea" approach, and therefore its actions should be kept under close scrutiny by the international community to assure that it does not back out of the new attitude it adopted in May 1998.

The government of Sudan agrees with claims that international relief "fuels" the conflict, and believes that food and other aid helps the SPLA: this is obviously behind flight bans and other restrictions on access. The government prefers to ignore that its garrison towns and corrupt officials, too, benefit from the relief aid going to them. As recently as May 1998 government agents in Raga, Western Bahr El Ghazal, managed to divert food, as duly noted by the WFP: "The road operation to pre-position food in Wau started in mid-March, but only some 160 tons of food out of a planned 400 tons reached Wau by road, as the trucks were delayed at Raga by the Peace Forces for more than one month."[748][748] As during the 1988 famine, Raga, 200 miles west of Wau, was an outpost where relief food intended for the Dinka in Wau got stuck permanently.[749][749] The government also seems to forget that the SPLA sieges of garrison towns, particularly Juba, the largest and most distant from the north, have been thwarted by international airlifts of relief food. Lutheran World Federation and WFP flew in food to Juba, relieving the siege there, in 1988.[750][750] Put more bluntly by another study, "food aid has kept Juba alive for over eight years."[751][751]

The SPLM/A has not shown any great concern about the welfare of residents of garrison towns, nor even about the welfare of people living under its jurisdiction. It reportedly has tried to stop people from leaving SPLA territory to enter garrison towns in search of food, although this obviously was not a sustained effort. It has on occasion caused people to move to relief centers, thus increasing the likely flow of aid to those centers-and to SPLA forces nearby. It is likely that its actions and inactions were partly to blame for the continued high rate of malnutrition in famine epicenters.

Like the government, the it has harshly criticized the OLS operations, although on different grounds.[752][752] Some SPLM leaders even call for an end to the OLS because of its "connivance" with the government of Sudan to deny assistance to the Nuba Mountains and for its subservience and acquiescence to Khartoum dictates over relief flights clearance. They believe humanitarian intervention has contributed to the sustenance of war, and is creating dependency and eroding traditional coping mechanisms.

The SPLA also complains that the relief scheme has turned traditional family relations on their heads: where the husband used to provide food, now the wife, the agencies' preferred beneficiary for many reasons, controls the food and the husband has to "beg" from her. They object to the practice of targeting certain sectors of the community and excluding the fighters as a recipe for friction.[753][753] The SPLA claims that it is unreasonable to expect civilians to withhold food from SPLA soldiers who are, after all, their relatives. It objects to the artificiality of targeting food programs to the "vulnerable" according to western standards, rather than following local priorities for food distribution.[754][754]

As the Joint Task Force discovered, however, local traditional priorities may neglect the internally displaced, widows, and those in supplemental feeding programs. This neglect is another illustration of the breakdown of kinship ties under the stress of displacement and famine. It is also evidence of the traditional shortchanging of widows.

The OLS' respect for government sovereignty was an especially sore point to the SPLA and others during the two-month government Bahr El Ghazal fight ban in 1998. The OLS seeks and receives, on a monthly basis, government and rebel permission for each location served. It is U.N. policy to respect the sovereignty of a member state-despite the fact that in Sudan sovereignty exists in name only over extensive rebel-controlled areas.

The sovereignty dilemma arises because the government has exploited sovereignty to defeat the humanitarian purposes of the OLS and to manipulate food aid for military advantage, and the international community protests only when the situation is desperate. The government has succeeded in instituting a very tight regime with little OLS relief in the government-controlled areas, and the OLS is said to have acquiesced in this, to have traded access in the north (abandoning the perhaps two million internally displaced in Khartoum and an estimated 400,000 in the rebel areas of the Nuba Mountains) for access in the south.[755][755]

The OLS is also criticized because it has acquiesced in the charade of the government's flight bans for "security reasons," even in the south. In particular critics note that the OLS, WFP, and the U.N. did not protest loudly or effectively enough in February and March 1998 when all Bahr El Ghazal was subjected to a flight ban. Others criticize OLS and WFP for not flying in defiance of the government ban during the first months of the famine. Aside from the practical limitations a non-approved flight entails (insurance is not available and the risk of a shoot-down exists), such a step must be authorized not at the OLS (Southern Sector) level but at a higher level of the U.N.

Whatever its limitations, at least four factors make the OLS the main game in the current famine situation, as almost all have recognized: the need for large quantities of food; the need for speed of delivery; a dearth of infrastructure, with dirt roads and bridges made impassable by the elements, land mines, sabotage, or attacks; and geography: remote and inaccessible locations in a vast area of harsh climate.

Non-OLS NGOs provide some assistance to rebel areas in need. They include the ICRC, a large organization operating in most of the conflict zones of the world independently of the U.N. and other NGOs. The ICRC, with safety guarantees from both sides, resumed operations in Sudan in June 1998 after a nineteen-month break following the kidnapping of its staff by Kerubino, then with the government.[756][756] Operating outside of OLS on both sides of the lines, it runs a surgical hospital with 560 beds for the war wounded and for other emergency medical needs occurring in rebel-held territory in Lopiding, northern Kenya.[757][757] It has been engaged in famine relief on both sides in locations such as Wau and Tonj and also maintains a medical facility in government-controlled Juba.[758][758]

Other non-OLS NGOs include Norwegian People's Aid.[759][759] Their airborne operations are not regular because charters are costly; the long distances consume expensive fuel and flight insurance is a limitation, as noted. While they maintain flexibility and challenge the OLS, they do not have the experience or capacity that ICRC, UNICEF, or the WFP have to mount large-scale operations.

Operating under the OLS umbrella is cost effective for smaller NGOs which can share the cost of flights. In fact some NGOs were operating outside OLS in mid-1998 because their application to join OLS was stalled because OLS was short of funds.[760][760]

While the ways in which relief has been diverted for the benefit of the parties and other politically powerful groups have been studied, it does not follow that an aid cutoff will bring an end to fighting, because the parties to the conflict are not solely motivated nor sustained by emergency relief. The 1988 famine demonstrated that war could persist despite an extremely low level of food assistance to famine victims and a staggering number of civilians deaths. The Dinka were impoverished in large part because of the forcible transfer, by military means, of Dinka cattle and other wealth (but not relief food) to the Baggara, and became vulnerable to famine. Yet the SPLA did not surrender and was not defeated, and the government did not win. The 1998 famine is making the same point.

In the Nuba Mountains, if relief is fueling the war, it is the relief that is going to government "peace camps." No relief is permitted by the government to the rebel side. The Nuba rebel leaders are not trying to dismantle OLS; they want it extended to civilians in their jurisdiction, where there is need. In the long term they are more interested in strengthening education, health, and public administration through OLS than in food supplies, on which they say they do not want to become dependant.

The pressure to jettison OLS continues. We do not expect the government to explain how, once emergency OLS relief is ended, those who are dependent on it will survive, since the government has never shown concern about that. We do expect, however, that those outside the government who endorse such extreme approaches-including the SPLM/A which claims to be the de facto government of large parts of southern Sudan-will provide more facts to support their theory that an aid cut off will lead to peace. Certain questions must be addressed: When OLS is dismantled, how long will it take for the armed parties to negotiate to end the war? What economy will take the place of the aid-dependent one? Who will be the beneficiaries, and who the losers, in that new economy? Will it provoke out-migration (as did the famine in 1988), further weakening the southern rural economy, with lethal consequences? How many will migrate north? Which northern communities will receive them? Will they need or receive assistance? How many will migrate to garrison towns? How will they support themselves there? How many will cross over to neighboring countries as refugees?

How many southerners no longer receiving relief can be expected to suffer food deprivation, terrible sanitation conditions, illness, and no medical assistance, and finally die? What is the cutoff point of tolerable deaths? One thousand? One hundred thousand? There are also moral questions arising from the sacrifice of the few (or the few tens of thousands of vulnerable children, elderly and infirm) for the many who could gain by a cutoff of aid and a theoretical end to the conflict.

The perspective of UNICEF was set forth by Carol Bellamy, its executive director, on a visit to Sudan. "I just 100 % reject the idea that by keeping people alive that a crisis that requires a political solution is extended... We... are not prepared to say, ‘Now, if a few more people die, maybe they would get the war over with.'"[761][761]

This is not to say that OLS operations could not be improved.[762][762] The challenge is to do so in a way that does not deal a death blow to southerners, who are barely managing to survive as it is. Nothing justifies throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The fault lies with the armed parties who abuse human rights and thus create the famine. If the aim is to end the conflict-which is among other things over control of territory and resources far more valuable than relief food-there should be far more direct ways to achieve it.

The movement to find a political solution to the conflict (that does not involve using food aid as a tool) has been gaining momentum among relief NGOs[763][763] and even U.N. agencies. Agencies which do not usually take a position on war and peace issues have been spurred by the famine to ask for an end to the war. The WFP's director, Catherine Bertini, made this call in July 1998.[764][764] The OLS has long pointed out that "massive relief assistance" is not "a viable or desirable long-term solution to the humanitarian emergency," and that it is important for the international community to push for political solutions that will bring peace and security to Sudan.[765][765]

In late 1998, four international NGOs working in Sudan (Save the Children Fund, CARE International, Oxfam,[766][766] and MSF) appealed for a resolution and end to the war. They met with the U.N. Security Council on October 26 to present a position paper and argue that greater political will and effort be applied to finding a solution to the war, which, unimpeded, will go on for many more years, with famine as the byproduct.[767][767] The encounter was only the second time the members of the Security Council had agreed to meet with private aid organizations. The agencies received a commitment that the Security Council would move on Sudan, and shortly thereafter the U.N. sent Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Kiernan Prendergast to the region to revive peace efforts.[768][768]

The agencies argued that regional peace efforts by IGAD "‘achieve little for the fundamental reason that both the government and the SPLA act as though their interests are better served by war than peace.'" None were willing to suspend relief operations, however, although critics have argued that the outside aid may be helping to prolong the war. "'This is not an option; far too many people would die,'" said an official of CARE International. They urged the U.N. to persuade the Sudanese government and the SPLA to extend a temporary cease-fire agreed to in the province of Bahr el-Ghazal to all of southern Sudan and maintain it throughout 1999. Unless that happens, both sides might withdraw their forces from Bahr El Ghazal (where a cease-fire is in place) and step up fighting in other parts of the country, they warned.[769][769]

Shortly thereafter, the Sudan government accused these organizations of mixing politics with humanitarian work in the south. "‘Some NGOs conceal political purposes in their humanitarian activity, to serve the political ends of countries hostile to the Sudanese cultural (Islamic) [sic] orientation,'" said Major General Hassan Osman Dhahawe, minister of state for social planning.[770][770] He claimed that CARE, MSF, Oxfam, and Save the Children Fund, the four organizations that met with the Security Council to lobby for peace, issued damaging and misleading reports on the famine. This attack was somewhat puzzling, since the government had lobbied for a complete cease-fire several times in 1998. The minister specifically rejected as "baseless" an MSF quote in a news report that in July about 120 people were dying daily in Ajiep;[771][771] the source of his information was not revealed, however. Ajiep has been in SPLA hands throughout the famine.

The search for solutions goes on as war-time human rights abuses induce famine and threaten thousands of Sudanese men, women, and children with death by starvation or military assault.


Prepared by the SPLM/SRRA-OLS Joint Targeting and Vulnerabilities Task Force in SPLM-controlled Areas of Bahr El Ghazal, Final Report, August 27, 1998 (Nairobi)


Phase 1February/March

Phase 2April - May

Phase 3 June - to date

Flight Ban/Limited Access

Flight Clearance but Limited Capacity

Increased capacity but problems continue

1.GOS imposed blanket flight suspension, limited access to airstrips and the delayed clearance of additional C-130 heavy lift cargo aircraft.

1. Lack of Capacity- Food- Planes- Fuel- Roads- Staff-Truck- non-food items

1. Distribution Systems- Failure of Targeting- Some groups marginalized/left out- Redistribution - even distribution/non needs based.- Favoritism

2. Poor planning and lack of contingency planning by OLS meant I that t was unable to effectively mitigate the impact of the flight suspension through the use of road access

2. Distribution Systems- Failure of Targeting- Some groups marginalized/left out- Redistribution - even distribution/non needs based.- Favoritism

2. Contribution/Tayeen

3. Poor roads and a lack of road transporters.

3. Contribution/Tayeen.

3. Under Capacity- Lack of cargo space for non-food items, support for feeding centers and general ration.

4. Centralization of relief services with clearance of 4 locations (drew large numbers of people to these few sites where they received very little).

4. Looting/banditry/theft.

4. Slow/late reassessment of needs, still causing underestimation of target population

Phase 1February/March(Cont.)

Phase 2April - May(Cont.)

Phase 3June - to date(Cont.)

5. Restricted ability to carry out effective rapid assessment - led to delays in identifying the severity and magnitude of the needs(underestimation of numbers)

5. Lack of assessment (no UNICEF/NGO global nutrition survey and underestimation of population in need).

5. Looting/banditry/theft

6. Banditry/looting/theft

6. Lack of UNICEF presence on ground to asses and co-ordinate.


7. Lack of UNICEF presence on ground to assess and coordinate.



Other factors that have contributed significantly to all problems at all Phases:


Disagreement over population figures


Underestimation of population in need


Poor communications and coordination between the agencies, SRRA, civil authorities, the community and, the targeted beneficiaries



Wau, originally established as a military camp by commercial slave traders in the nineteenth century, was an ethnically mixed town. Its early residents included some non-Arab, non-Muslim southern African peoples such as the Luo, Fertit, and Dinka from the rural areas around the town, and a substantial number of ex-soldiers and former slaves who had become detribalized, loosing their ethnic ties, speaking Arabic and becoming Muslims.[772][772] Some jellaba (a diaspora trading community so called because they wore the long white cotton jellabiya robe) -- or petty traders who were Arabic-speaking Muslims from different parts of northern Sudan—came to Wau as agents of wealthy Kordofan and Darfur slave traders.[773][773]

During the French-British rush to occupy Fashoda on the White Nile (near Malakal), the French entered Sudan from the west, subdued the local population, and set up Fort Dessaix (now Wau) in 1889.[774][774] Wau also had a Muslim West African component (Fellata, who migrated to Sudan following trade routes to Mecca). The Arabized Baggara cattle nomads, who as raiders of rural Bahr El Ghazal played a part in twentieth century Wau, lived north of Bahr El Ghazal, in Darfur and Kordofan, but did not settle in Wau.[775][775]

During the French-British rush to occupy fashoda on the White Nile (near Malakal), the French entered Sudan from the west, subdued the local population, and set up Fort Dessaix (now Wau) in 1889.[776][776] The British dominated Sudan from 1898-1956, and during that time Wau was [an] island of Arabic and Islam in a non-Muslim sea. Since it was not even located near the Northern Sudan... and the steamers could only ply the Jur [River] a few months of the year, the British officials had greater control over the Arabic presence. Wau had never possessed a local language. Numerous northern traders and Fellata... had settled there, criminals from Egypt were sent into exile there, northern artisans had come to live and work for the government, a mosque had been built...[777][777]

The Roman Catholic Verona Fathers, mostly Italian, had a presence in Wau, providing medical and educational as well as religious services. The British, to avoid competition and sectarian rivalries, had divided the south into Christian spheres of activity among these Catholics (who were allocated most of Bahr El Ghazal), the Anglican Christian Missionary Society (U.K.), and the American Presbyterians. These missionaries, the British rulers hoped, would proselytize and form a bulwark against the spread of Islam and provide schools and teachers at no cost to the British authorities.[778][778]

By 1998, Wau was unhappily and thoroughly ethnically mixed. One source, referring to 1987 when lives were lost in ethnic strife between the Fertit and Dinka in Wau, stated:

No one has ever been ‘at home' in Wau. Situated on the fringe of the Dinka country, it is surrounded by a host of disorganized and diverse peoples... It was and remains a town belonging to no single ethnic group, deriving its importance only from its position as a commercial and administrative center... Located in the midst of the vast Nilotic plain hundreds of miles from nowhere, it was miserable under the best of circumstances... [779][779]

The Fertit

Western Bahr El Ghazal was the area of the Fertit,[780][780] and Raga, 200 miles west of Wau by a road impassable eight months of the year because of flooding, was the Fertit center and the center of western Bahr El Ghazal.[781][781]

The Fertit are not one people. "Fertit" is a name given the many small tribes, including the Kreish (the largest ethnic group in western Bahr El Ghazal), Banda, Binga, all of Bantu origin, who live in western Bahr El Ghazal.[782][782]

[T]he term ‘Fertit' was used by the people of Dar Fur to the north to describe the non-Muslim and stateless societies south of the Bahr Al-Arab [River]. As a label it was associated with inferiority and enslavement.[783][783]

Dar ("house of" in Arabic) Fertit was a source of slaves to internal and external markets into the twentieth century.[784][784] No large state ever existed in Dar Fertit and its inhabitants had always fallen prey to external aggression.[785][785]

During the 1860s it was overrun by slave traders pressing up the rivers and overland from the east to plunder the land for ivory and its people... Raided by Azande, Dinka, and Mahdist expeditions... the inhabitants of Dar Fartit sought to eke out an existence while at the mercy of their predators.[786][786]

The Fertit are sedentary agriculturalists. Some practice traditional African religions and others have converted to Islam or Christianity.

One historically powerful if not numerous group in western Bahr El Ghazal were the families that ruled various small tribes, each with a form of centralized authority typically under a sultan. "The most eminent vassals of Darfur in the western Bahr el Ghazal were the ruling families of the Feroge, Nuagulgule, Binga, Kara, and some sections of the Kreish."[787][787] They were Arabized Muslims. The Feroge claimed a Borno (west African) origin and maintained links with Darfur.[788][788]

Islamization in western Bahr El Ghazal was a product of its integration into the trans-Saharan trading network, the political and commercial expansion of Darfur, and the establishment of the system of commercial companies' armed camps, zara'ib, in southern Sudan. The region was a major source of slaves during the Turco-Egyptian period (1821-81) and was raided by the Mahdists (1981-98) several times. Islam was adopted by ruling families but remained superficial among the vast majority of their people.[789][789]

Because of this veneer of Muslim influence in the area, the British rulers treated it as a Muslim enclave in the south and tried to implement their "Southern Policy" to purge Arab and Muslim influences from the south for the protection of the southern non-Arab and non-Muslim peoples. This policy was applied with varying degrees of effectiveness.

Among those resisting the "Southern Policy" were the Feroge.[790][790] In the 1930s Isa Fartak, sultan of the Feroge in Raga and well-educated in Arabic and Islam, fiercely resisted British efforts to eradicate Islam and Arabic from Raga and Bahr El Ghazal. Pursuant to the "Southern Policy" the British relocated the peoples of western Bahr El Ghazal in 1930, among other things moving the Feroge from their historical seat in Raga to Khor Shamman, a move the Feroge resented.[791][791] Isa Fartak's conflicts with the British came to a head in 1937 when he argued for an Arabic school in Raga. He was deposed and his brother Tamim was duly announced chief of the Feroge by the British.[792][792]

After independence in 1956 the Feroge families, including the Fartak, continued to dominate local politics in western Bahr El Ghazal; Isa Fartak was restored as chief of the Feroge. Successive post-colonial governments reversed the British "Southern Policy" and pursued assimilation with its twin components of Islam and Arabization. They established many schools and mosques, private Islamic organizations flocked to the region, and Muslim groups were promoted for government services and political representation in this part of Bahr El Ghazal.[793][793] During Nimeiri's rule (1969-85), the Feroge leader "Ali Tamim Fartak won election and became a member of the People's Council. He won again in 1986, this time as a member of the National Islamic Front."[794][794] In the 1986 elections, in the south the NIF captured only one Upper Nile constituency and one Bahr El Ghazal constituency. Ali Tamim Fartak won the Bahr El Ghazal constituency by a mere 158 votes.[795][795]

The ethnic, cultural and political polarization of western Bahr El Ghazal was evident in the first civil war and increased in the current war. Some Arabized, Islamized people of western Bahr El Ghazal were attracted by the NIF's militant Islam as a means of vindicating their role and presence in a sea of non-Arab non-Islamic southerners. The central government mobilized Muslim groups in Bahr El Ghazal against the SPLA, viewed as a Dinka army, arming private militias and exploiting their historical animosities with the Dinka.[796][796]

Ali Tamim Fartak continued in power in Wau after the 1989 NIF coup. He was in the Committee of Forty that ran Sudan in the aftermath of the June 30, 1989 coup.[797][797] He served as governor of Bahr El Ghazal then Western Bahr El Ghazal from about 1992/93 to 1998. He remained involved in southern politics as a top National Congress (NIF) member.[798][798]

The Dinka

The Dinka are the most numerous ethnic group in Sudan.[799][799] Their territory covers about one-tenth of the one million square miles that make Sudan the largest country in Africa.[800][800] Dinka land is a rich savannah, segmented by the waters of the Nile and its tributaries, in Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile, with some Dinka in Kordofan.[801][801]

The Dinka comprise twenty-five mutually independent tribal groups of common language (Dinka), physical appearance (very tall, slim and black Africans), facial scarification (usually Chevrons on the forehead), ethnocentric pride, and cultural uniformity in which cattle play a central part in their economic, social, religious and aesthetical life, as they do for other Nilotes such as the Nuer. Cattle provide dairy products, other food, and bridewealth, homicide, and other compensation. Cattle are not just assets; they are honored.

The traditional Dinka religion (with a belief in a Divinity and other lesser powers) is practiced although an unknown number have converted to Christianity (the Catholics proselytizing in Bahr El Ghazal and the Anglicans in the Bor area north of Juba) and a smaller number to Islam.

Rural Dinka society is transhumant. They migrate in the dry season (November-April) to rivers and other water sources where they fish and water the cattle. Rains start in April-May, and as the rains flood the low-lying areas the Dinka migrate with their cattle (tended in large cattle camps by boys and young men) to higher grounds and ridges, where they cultivate. As stores of grains harvested in the prior year are finally consumed, the "hunger gap" begins, lasting from April until the September/October harvest. During the hunger gap, milk from cattle is a main source of Dinka nutrition. The physical environment is extremely harsh. In the dry season, the soil dries up, in some places forming deep cracks in "black cotton" clay soil. Disease-bearing insects abound. In the rainy season, heavy and stormy rains lead to overflowing rivers, floods, swamps, mud, and malaria.


The Military Supply Train to Wau and the Diversion of Aid

The use of rail routes to transport large quantities of food is a tempting alternative to the costly air bridge. In 1962 the Sudan railroad was extended from Babanusa in Southern Kordofan to Aweil and Wau, and Wau is still its southernmost point.[802][802] The railroad reaches no other part of the south.

Attempts to use this railway to transport relief food to the famine-displaced in Wau, Aweil, and other locations along the line were completely defeated by government negligence, diversion, and corruption and by SPLA attacks during the 1988 famine. Both sides blocked access and looted land convoys (including vehicles) at the height of the 1988 famine.[803][803]

Although the track went as far south as Wau, by 1987 the track from Aweil to Wau, ninety-one miles, was completely abandoned to weeds and disuse. During the 1988 famine the train only reached Aweil, although before the war, the train from Babanusa went to Aweil and Wau at least twice a week.[804][804]

In the mid-1980s, trains from Babanusa to Aweil, which carried merchants' goods as well as some relief supplies, "did not move from Babanusa without the consent and active cooperation of the army."[805][805] Perhaps five or six merchants in Babanusa had sufficient funds to be able to afford to pay government officials for "permission" to take their goods by train to Aweil, where they could make a handsome profit.[806][806] Despite little SPLA presence in 1986, only small amounts of relief food were sent by train in 1986. A train arrived in Aweil in August 1986 with no relief food whatsoever.[807][807]

Under pressure from the donors to make sure that relief reached northern Bahr El Ghazal, Minister of Transport Fadallah Burma Nasir in May 1987 promised donors that three trains with 108 wagons full of food would be delivered monthly to Aweil. In fact only nineteen wagons were sent in one delivery during the four months from May to September 1987, and none at all were sent from October 1987 to February 1988. Some 600 tons of food were "discovered" in railway wagons at the Babanusa junction in September 1988, where they had sat for months.[808][808]

In March 1988, three trains finally arrived in Aweil with a total of seventy-one cars. Of these, more than half were military: fifteen were filled with grain for the army and twenty-one with soldiers and military goods. Eighteen carried merchants' goods and only seventeen carried relief; that was a larger proportion of relief than carried on any other train in the period from March 1986 to April 1989.[809][809]

After these three trains with military escorts, there were no trains until January 1989. During the period of the worst famine, trains did not bring any relief at all to Bahr El Ghazal, although they could have.

One reason the trains were stopped was to prevent the movement northward of those displaced by the famine. Many Dinka fleeing war and drought took the train, the most convenient form of transport out of Bahr El Ghazal since the tributaries of the White Nile are not always navigable and roads are unusable up to eight months a year. Because the railway between Aweil and Wau to the south was unusable, the train went one direction from Aweil: north.[810][810] On April 22, 1988, a train from Aweil arrived in Khartoum with 7,000 malnourished displaced people. Six children died on arrival at the Khartoum railway station, and the press reported it. The publicity was an embarrassment to the government. No further trains left Aweil until 1989, after the famine had subsided.[811][811]

The train became a factor in peace negotiations. In November 1988 one large political party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), reached an accord with the SPLA. The DUP recognized that the success or failure of the peace process was intimately linked with the success or failure of the relief trains; relief trains that functioned would be a sign of good faith to the SPLA and would demonstrate the feasibility of further negotiations with the SPLA. The DUP had strong ties with many military officers, so that military permission to use the trains for relief began to be forthcoming.[812][812]

The National Islamic Front was anxious to prevent a successful relief train operation; it consistently opposed any negotiations with the SPLA. The NIF-abetted opposition to relief-only trains in Southern Kordofan grew stronger as the trains grew more imminent. [813][813] When the NIF came to power through a military coup on June 30, 1989, the entire relief operation was put in jeopardy.

Efforts to use the railway to supply Wau and Aweil garrison towns with food for the thousands of displaced foundered under OLS. In April 1989, at the beginning of OLS' operations:

it was still a race against time to save an estimated 100,000 lives considered at risk in Southern Sudan, yet although the planes took off, the trains stood still...

The UN flagged train finally left Muglad [Kordofan] in the dawn of 20 May [1989] loaded with nearly 1,500 tons of sorghum. It reached Meiram by noon, but beyond there the poorly maintained tracks and roadbed forced the convoy to a crawl... The following day the train was stopped ten miles south of the [Bahr al Arab] river by about 200 murahileen, a ‘rag-tag band... young and nervous and interested in looting.' They were well armed, ill disciplined, and looking for khawajas [whites, foreigners]. [The UN's Bryan] Wannop and the UN monitors were marched to the bush, robbed, and stripped and would likely have been killed if the train crew had not intervened. The crew argued passionately for their release, and after collecting SL 3,240 from their own pockets, ransomed them from the militia.[814][814]

For the rest of the 1990s the railway from Babanusa to Wau was used for military resupply and some commerce, but the SPLA targeted the train to prevent resupply of the garrison towns. The train therefore was escorted by a large contingent of muraheleen, Popular Defense Forces, and army, slowly checking for land mines and sabotage. This trip, which in theory should take only days, now takes weeks. Apparently the track between Aweil and Wau was repaired for military purposes. The train goes to Aweil and Wau, however, only two or three times a year.[815][815]

Not all the delay is due to repair work. The government forces, particularly the muraheleen, use this massive gathering of armed force to wreak havoc on the villages closer to the railroad, looting cattle and grain, and abducting women and children.[816][816]

A cable written by the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, later declassified at the request of a member of Congress, claimed that between late 1992 and February/March 1993, two military trains took an estimated 3,000 (mostly muraheleen PDF) troops from Babanusa to Wau. Along the way they burned houses, stole cattle, and captured people. They used their horses to extend the range of military attacks on civilian villages. These forces were reported to have captured 300 women and children, using them for forced labor. They raped scores of women.[817][817]

In 1995, military trains but no relief trains arrived in Wau. The lack of train transport coupled with a decrease in barge cargo to Wau in 1995 reduced relief reaching Wau to one-fifth the 1994 volume.[818][818]

The train instead was used to divert food aid intended for Wau to Ed Daien [Al Diein] in Southern Darfur, with some 1,442.6 MT "redirected" after the train reached Babanusa.[819][819] A military train did make the journey from Babanusa to Wau, however, guarded by soldiers and militia who looted and captured women and children from villages along the way. The SPLA attacked the train and its "protectors," who fled with their captives to Aweil; the (southern) police chief at Aweil prevented the militia and soldiers from taking the estimated 500 women and children with them when they left Aweil. The militia and soldiers managed to hold on to the estimated 3,000 head of cattle they pillaged from the villages, however.[820][820]

In the 1998 famine, the government used the tragedy as a pretext to seek a lifting of the stiff U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Sudan in November 1997 so that it could acquire U.S. spare parts for the military Babanusa-Wau train. It claimed that the U.S. sanctions were "hindering relief operations" and preventing use of trains for moving relief supplies from north to south by barring imports of spare parts for U.S.-made locomotives.[821][821] The U.N. gave some consideration to using the Babanusa-Wau train in a "humanitarian corridor,"[822][822] although aware of the abusive role of the train in recent history. No doubt the government counts on donors discounting past train fiascos and disregarding current muraheleen train-facilitated slave-taking raids.

In November 1998, the SPLA, the Sudan government, and the U.N. reached an agreement for the repair of the railway and its use to transport clearly marked U.N. humanitarian relief convoys to Wau, under certain conditions.[823][823] It remains to be seen whether this improves or worsens the human rights and famine conditions in the region.

For the long run, Iran in July 1998 agreed to provide the state-run Sudan railway with 500 goods boxcars.[824][824]

SPLA Restrictions on Access and Diversion in the 1988 Famine

Government garrison towns also suffered from SPLA sieges, in a strategy intended to starve them into surrender. Starting in 1986, the SPLA blocked relief efforts to Juba (refusing permission for sixty relief lorries in February 1986), and threatened to shoot down flights to Wau in September 1986. Indeed, the SPLA shot down a civilian plane in Malakal on August 16, 1986, killing sixty persons. This had the immediate effect of causing the ICRC to abandon its emergency airlift to Wau, which had just started two days earlier, on August 14, 1986.[825][825] The SPLA has never quite lived down the negative image the Malakal downing created among northern Sudanese.[826][826]

In some cases, such as Torit in Eastern Equatoria, the SPLA siege strategy worked, although roundly denounced by the Catholic church and others for the civilian suffering it caused, and Torit fell in 1988.

The SPLA's siege strategy of the late 1980s and early 1990s made no concessions for civilians in government areas.[827][827] In part this was because the SPLA saw that the bulk of relief went to the government side, which was used to shore up resistance in garrison towns.

Currently the SPLA maintains sieges of all government garrison towns where it controls the surrounding rural areas, but it no longer takes a hard line against relief to garrison towns. It rarely withholds its permission for OLS to serve government areas or towns or threatens to shoot down planes. Its sieges are enforced by attacks on vehicles and mining of roads.


In the month of April 1998, after the flight ban was lifted, the WFP announced that southern Sudan required 6,000 MT of relief food, at least two-thirds of that (4,000 MT) for 350,000 of the worst affected in Bahr El Ghazal. The WFP conceded that from April 1-20, it distributed a total of 1,335 MT of food aid to OLS (Southern Sector) beneficiaries, of which 808 MT went to the 240,000 beneficiaries in Bahr El Ghazal. "This represents 22 percent of the projected monthly requirement for the region."[828][828]

An obvious limitation on the amount of relief delivered to Bahr El Ghazal was that the WFP had Sudan government permission for only one large cargo aircraft, a C-130. The WFP appealed to the government to grant clearance for one more.[829][829] Clearance was granted a few days later,[830][830] on the eve of IGAD peace talks with the SPLA in Nairobi in May.

One additional aircraft was not enough, and WFP/OLS asked for two additional C-130s and one Buffalo (for landing in difficult terrain to deliver seeds and tools) for Lokichokkio and another C-130 for El Obeid (government-controlled territory of Kordofan).[831][831] Permission was granted.[832][832]

But the numbers discovered to be in need were growing faster than aircraft capacity. Although by May 1, one source estimated that those at risk of famine in Sudan were 2.48 million, the official estimates had not reached that number.[833][833] Hopeful estimates were that the additional aircraft would enable delivery of 6,000 MT of food a month (1,000 MT by road and barge) for 380,000 people in government and rebel areas of Bahr El Ghazal, and 410,000 in other parts of Sudan.[834][834]

The WFP admitted to an understandably chaotic state of affairs in May:

We're working at top speed to double and triple the entire operation in a matter of days. This means pulling in staff from other countries and arranging for three times the amount of food, fuel and airdropping equipment to be moved into position to meet the enormous needs of this operation.[835][835]

With additional aircraft, limiting factors still included the rain which made dirt airstrips unusable,[836][836] lack of jet fuel,[837][837] the quantity of food available for distribution from the forward supply depots in Kenya and Uganda,[838][838] and the infrastructure in these two countries: Kenyan ports were congested and roads were washed away by floods. Northern Ugandan roads were mined by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)[839][839] and by the West Nile Bank Front, both Sudan-government supported Ugandan rebel groups. They also occasionally ambushed relief convoys going to Sudan.[840][840]

By the end of June, the estimated number at risk in Bahr El Ghazal was raised to 701,000 (not counting Wau).[841][841] The WFP also concluded it needed to give a bigger food ration to those already being reached. Those assisted in prior months had received less than full rations, and far less than they needed.[842][842] Under WFP guidelines, a full ration per person per day is approximately 0.4 kilograms in weight, and thirty days' full ration for one person is about twelve kilograms.[843][843] The June WFP monthly delivery target was 9,600 MT;[844][844] this would require a jump in capacity. USAID observed, "Last month [May] only 3,860 MT was delivered to all of southern Sudan."[845][845] The Sudan government authorized WFP to expand large capacity aircraft from five to twelve which would double the amount of food transported to 10,000 MT per month. The WFP reported that "famine zones are emerging in about 25 pockets of the Bahr El Ghazal region, and there are reports that children are dying at the rate of about 15 per day."[846][846]

Shortly thereafter, the WFP announced it was targeting 2.6 million people throughout Sudan: 1.2 million in SPLA areas of southern Sudan; 1.2 million in government areas of southern Sudan, South Kordofan and South Darfur; and 200,000 in northern Sudan.[847][847] Although a comparative wealth of detail is available about target populations and amounts delivered in the southern sector of OLS, the target populations served by the northern sector in southern Sudan are not as clear.

In early July, the government authorized a total of thirteen large aircraft at U.N. request to serve the southern sector. The Sudan operation became the largest airdrop operation in the thirty-five year history of the WFP.[848][848] Some said it was larger than the Berlin airlift.[849][849] By the end of August, fifteen large cargo planes were authorized and in place,[850][850] and eighteen by October, traveling to one hundred locations.[851][851]

The increase in volume of food delivered after the cease-fire (coinciding with the steady build-up of OLS) was marked: WFP delivered 10,300 MT of food aid in July to southern Sudan, and 16,800 MT in August, 70 percent by air.[852][852] Food deliveries to Bahr El Ghazal in September were about 15,000 MT.[853][853]

The U.N. Consolidated Appeal for 1999 summed it up:

During 1998, OLS mounted the most complex set of interventions in its ten-year history. By the end of November, WFP had delivered 88,000 MTs of food. At the height of the crisis, WFP was delivering an average of 15,000 MTs of food per month to an estimated one million beneficiaries using a combination of road, river and air corridors.

... With the exception of the two-month flight ban over Bahr Al Ghazal imposed by the Government, OLS was able to access more locations per month than at any other time in its history. On average, 204 locations received flight clearance each month.[854][854]


1.         Kwac Makuei, Aweil, Northern Bahr ElGhazal: Kwac, a Dinka from the area, was in Anyanya II and joined the SPLAearly on. He went to Ethiopia for training; in Ethiopia he protested that themanifesto of the SPLA had been written by a minority, and should be rewritten.On behalf of SPLA Commander-in-Chief John Garang, Kerubino arrested Kwac, Lt.Col. Victor Bol Agolom, and others at the same time. They were in an SPLAprison without trial from 1984 until 1992.

Kwac and others, including Martin Majier Gai, werefreed from their jail in Kaya, Eastern Equatoria, in 1992 by mutinous SPLA soldiers.Kwac went with some of them to the Central African Republic. Majier, who wentback to the SPLA, was later summarily executed by the SPLA, which claimed heand others were killed trying to escape from jail.[856][856]

After his escape, Kwac went to Nairobi, where he wassympathetic to Riek and Kerubino but was not in the Kerubino Bahr El Ghazalfighting force. After the Political Charter was signed, Kwac went from Nairobito Aweil and was important in mobilizing the intellectuals in Aweil to supportthe Political Charter and Peace Agreement. He also commanded troops there, andsuccessfully fought off the SPLA/Kerubino attack on Aweil on January 28-29,1998.

2.Charles Julu Kyopo, a Jur (Luo), waselected governor of Western Bahr El Ghazal, had been a lecturer in JubaUniversity, based in Khartoum since 1987. After the Peace Agreement he movedback to his home in Wau and became a politician. Both Kerubino and Riekregarded him as their candidate.

3.Taban Deng Gai, a Jikany Ching Nuerfrom near Bentiu, was elected governor of Wihda or Unity state. He joined theSPLA and was camp coordinator of Itang refugee camp in Ethiopia from 1989 to1991 when the camp was evacuated. He joined with Riek in the split from theSPLA in 1991.

4.Riek Gai Kok,governor of Jonglei, wasa pharmacist who joined the SPLA in 1987. He trained in Bonga and was sent toKapoeta to run the medical dispensary for the SPLA. He stayed there until 1992,when he joined with William Nyuon, a Nuer commander, in his defection from theSPLA to Riek's forces. When William switched sides again to the SPLA, Riek Gaistayed with SSIM, where he was at one time director of the Relief Associationof South Sudan (RASS), the relief arm of SSIM. In 1995 he participated in thefighting in Waat by Riek's forces against SPLA forces led by William Nyuon andJohn Luk (both Lou Nuer).

5.Henry Jadawas elected governor of BahrEl Jabal, is a Bari. He was never with the SPLM/A or SSIM/A. He retired as acolonel in the Sudanese army, and before the December 1997 election was agovernment-appointed speaker in the Juba state assembly. All the candidates forgovernor in Juba had been with the government for a long time. No others putthemselves forward as candidates.

6.Abdalla Kapelo, a young Toposa man, waselected governor of Eastern Equatoria. A NIF member and never associated withthe SPLM/A or SSIM/A, he defeated SSIM candidate Dr. Thomas Abol Shidi, aLatuka from the Lango section, in the election.

7.Arop Achier Akol, a Dinka from Gogrial,was elected governor of Warab state (Gogrial, a garrison town, is the only partof Warab in government hands). Originally he was in Anyanya II and then joinedthe SPLA. Garang arrested him and held him in Bilpam, from which he escapedbefore the August 1991 break between Riek and Garang. He then joined Anyanya IIand remained with it after the Peace Agreement was signed. He is pro-separationand Riek forces consider him pro-SSIM. (His stepbrother George Kongor is aformer Sudan army officer who is now second vice president of Sudan and servedas governor of Bahr El Ghazal in the early 1990s.) In the election, he defeatedthe Kerubino candidate, Faustino Atem Gualdit.

8.Nikora Magar Achiek, a Dinka fromRumbek, was elected governor of Lakes (Buheirat). (All Lakes territory,including the capital Yirol, is in SPLA hands.) He was part of the KerubinoBahr El Ghazal militia. The Peace Agreement was signed in his presence.

9.Dr. Timothy Tutlam, elected Upper Nilegovernor, was a Nuer educated as a medical doctor. He was in the SPLA before hejoined SSIM in 1992, where he served as director of RASS.[857][857]He died in the plane crash in Nasir on February 12, 1998, with many othergovernment officials including Sudan's first vice president.

10.Isaiah Paulwon the election in WesternEquatoria. He was with Anyanya and was incorporated into the Sudan army afterthe first civil war was settled. A Zande, he became a Sudan army general andfought the SPLA for a long time. The Riek forces believe him to be a supporterof self-determination for and separation of the south from Sudan.

(undated but after July 4, 1998)

The Co-ordinating Council of the Southern States Office ofthe President


Brother Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmed ElBashir, President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces

May peace, compassion and blessing of Allah be uponyou.



Threats to the Khartoum Peace Agreement


My Dear President,


As you are aware, the state of Northern Bahr el Ghazalwitnessed in the past few days extremely dangerous and bloody eventsperpetrated by some armed elements of the government.


1.These armedelements of the central government executed 13 officers, NCOs and men of theSouth Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) who were giving protection to governor KwacMakuei Mayar who was recently elected by the State Assembly by a democraticmajority in implementation of the Khartoum Agreement. The strange thing aboutthis sad incident is the fact that the 13 innocent persons who were killed incold blood were among the heroes and strong believers in the Peace Agreementwho fought courageously in Aweil against Garang's forces that launched a savageattack on the town. They were able to repulse the attack and liberated the townand recaptured the tank which the SPLA had captured from the government army.

2.In thehandling of that incident, we noticed sadly, the undermining of the role of theCo-ordinating Council. I should have been kept in the picture as soon as ithappened in my capacity as the executive and political authority in the South.But what happened is that I only heard about the incident very late after theformation of an investigation committee. However, despite the bitterness andsadness I felt about the incident, my meeting with you about the incident andyour stern instructions for the immediate solution of the problem and torestore the situation to normality, helped again to rekindle good feelings inme and contributed to the elimination of the uncertainty and doubts whichsurrounded the incident. The atmosphere was clear again.

But the other unfortunate thing again is the fact thatthe investigation committee failed to travel to Aweil for unknown reasons. Myown firm conclusion is that the government is condoning and supporting thosewho committed the crime and not showing any seriousness in finding thesolutions which are expected by everybody. The governor of Northern Bahr elGhazal has concrete evidence showing that he was the one who was deliberatelytargeted for assassination. The strange thing about the present serioussecurity situation is that the investigation seems to have been called off orsuspended without my knowledge. I do not therefore know what the next step issupposed to be.

3.Apart from theevents of Aweil, the situation in Unity state constitutes another area ofconcern. Since September 17, 1997, Unity State has been the theater of acriminal war. Paulino Matiep is waging an aggressive and destructive waragainst the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) and innocent civilians resultingin the destruction of homes, property, and services infrastructures. In hislast attack, Paulino Matiep burnt and destroyed the hospitals at Nhial Dieu,Kok and Duar as well as Ler main hospital. The first three hospitals arespecialized hospitals for the treatment of kala azar. The destruction isestimated at 350 million dollars. Paulino Matiep also stole cattle, burnt anddestroyed villages and school buildings at Rub Nyagai, Nhial Dieu, Chotbiel, Kok,Buau, Ngorny, Tut Nyang, and the headquarters of the province, Ler. The valueof property destroyed is estimated at 50 billion Sudanese pounds. It is to benoted that those areas affected are areas that have never witnessed any kind ofdestruction during the whole period of the civil war.

One of the most disappointing aspects of thissituation is that the victims of this senseless destruction are the very peoplewho have been singing and praising the new era of peace ushered in by theKhartoum Agreement. Now their reward is the destruction of their lives andproperty. At this juncture, may Your Excellency allow me to remember withappreciation and admiration the loyal son of the Sudan, the Martyr Al ZubeirMohamed Saleh who exerted strenuous efforts to stop bloodshed in Unity statethrough reconciliation and compromise which bloodshed was instigated by PaulinoMatiep against his own peaceful people and against the security, stability anddevelopment of the area.

4.From thesurface the problem appeared to be the failure of Mr. Paul Lilly to secureelection to the post of governor of Unity state. Paul Lilly was the favoredcandidate of Paulino Matiep. But the successful candidate was Mr. Taban DengGai. The election of Taban Deng Gai was received with open hostility by PaulinoMatiep who declared that he would not co-operate with him [Taban Deng Gai].

Since then, I have considered Paulino Matiep one of myofficers in the SSDF subject to my orders. All my contacts with the Sudan armywere limited to asking the army not to supply Paulino with ammunition and othermilitary hardware in his fight against SSDF. To my great surprise I wasinformed recently by the Minister of Defense that in fact Paulino Matiep is ageneral in the Sudan army and enjoys all the rights and privileges of ageneral. If this is the case, the question to be asked is, in whose interestdoes the Sudan army fight against the SSDF which is its ally? It would havebeen understandable for Paulino to defect from the SSDF to join Garang'smovement. But we cannot understand why Paulino defects from the SSDF to jointhe Sudan army and then turns into an enemy of the SSDF and fights it with themilitary resources of the Sudanese state to which we all belong, instead ofsupporting and co-operating with it in facing the dangers and challenges topeace and stability in the area.

5.We stood veryfirmly with Mr. Arop Achier the present governor of Warab state although he waselected with only a majority of two votes (against the candidate who was put upby Major General Kerubino Kuanyin to oppose Mr. Arop Achier's election) becauseministers in the state who were not members of the state assembly were allowedto participate in the voting. So, if the current crisis is caused bycompetition over the position of governor, why cannot we all support thegovernors who have been elected by the majority vote in the legislativeassemblies of Aweil and Bentiu? Why do we use double standards in these twocases to the extent that some of us have taken a stand that is contrary to alldocuments and agreements to which we in the various southern factions havecommitted ourselves, thereby causing the actions and omissions disunity ratherthan unity?

6.Among thethings we hear but which we are not able to believe is an assertion that theSudan army is totally opposed to the provision of the Khartoum Peace Agreementwhich allows for the formation of a military force in the South, the SSDF. TheArmy's rejection of the SSDF is very evident from some of the issues we haveraised above. This is also clear from therepeated refusal by the Army tosupply the SSDF with ammunition, weapons, uniforms, and other militarymaterials to the degree that the SSDF has become unable to maintain securityand stability or protect the Peace Agreement.

We do understand at this early age of the PeaceAgreement that there are doubts and reservations about the SSDF. But thequestion is, what interest will these doubts and reservations serve given thatwe have decided to make peace our destiny and a major historical achievementwhich we must protect? We have through our voluntary and free will promised andcommitted ourselves to implement the provisions of the Peace Agreement in thehope that there will be reciprocal commitment so that we can build bridges ofconfidence and unity, and provide chances for better understanding,co-ordination and co-operation between the SSDF and the Sudan army.

7.My dearPresident,

The historic Khartoum Agreement is now being put to aserious test and is facing a real danger because of some wrong calculations bysome military leaders and shameful divisive tactics of those who are opposed topeace and stability in the country.

But at this very critical moment in which the survivalof the Peace Agreement is being called into question, the genuineness of theNational Salvation Revolution and its commitment to live up to its promisesremains to be the only remedy and hope for us and the people. We consider thePeace Agreement as one of the major achievements of the National SalvationRevolution of which it should be proud and preserved.

The major events which our country witnessed,beginning with the signing of the Khartoum Agreement and the translation of itsprovisions into reality on the ground, have no doubt improved the image of theSudan in the international community and among the people of Sudan in bothNorth and South. History will record with great appreciation and praise suchgreat historical events witnessed by our country like the RevolutionaryCongresses, the election of the governors of the Southern States by the StateAssemblies, the formation of the Co-ordinating Council and governments of theSouthern States and the promulgation of the Permanent Constitution whichenshrines the Khartoum Peace Agreement as one of its fundamental principles.

8.One of thefunctions of the Co-ordinating Council under the Peace Agreement is theresponsibility for security in the South. It is our view particularly after theevents of Bentiu and Aweil that if the responsibility for security is not fullyhanded to the Co-ordinating Council and the governors in their states, thePeace Agreement as a whole will be threatened and will be rendered empty of itscontent and therefore meaningless.

9.One otherthreat to peace which is by no means less dangerous than the ones mentionedabove is the total lack of financial resources for the Peace Agreement'simplementation. Since its establishment the Co-ordinating Council has beenexperiencing serious shortage of finance. It is a fact that the Council in thelast four months received something less than 2% of its budgetary allocations.This has had very negative effects on the performance of the governments of theSouthern states and the Co-ordinating Council at its headquarters in Juba.

My dear President,

You are the captain of our brilliant ship. We havegreat trust in your abilities and great leadership. We believe that with yourwisdom and clear vision our country will overcome all these difficulties andtribulations with the help of Allah.

Accept your excellency my great thanks and appreciation.

Dr. Riek Machar,

Assistant to the President of the Republic

President of the Co-ordinating Council for SouthernStates


1.Memo fromgovernor of Unity state on the security situation in his state. It wasdiscussed in an emergency meeting of the Co-ordinating Council on July 4, 1998.The Council resolved the following:

a)Declare theprovinces of Rup Kotru and Ler as disaster areas.

b)Formation of acommittee to assess the damage caused by the fighting.

2.Fighting stillcontinues in Unity state.

(reprinted from Human Rights Watch/Africa,CivilianDevastation, 1994)

Starvation of Civilians as a Method of Combat

Starvation of civilians as a method of combat has becomeillegal as a matter of customary law, as reflected in Protocol II [of 1977 tothe 1949 Geneva Conventions]:

Article 14 -- Protection of objects indispensable tothe survival of the civilian population

Starvation of civilians as a method of combat isprohibited. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless, forthat purpose, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population,such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops,livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works.

What is prohibited is using starvation as"a weapon toannihilate or weaken the population."Using starvation as a method ofwarfare does not mean that the population has to reach the point of starving todeath before a violation can be proved. What is forbidden is deliberately"causing the population to suffer hunger, particularly by depriving it ofits sources of food or of supplies."

This prohibition on starving civilians"is a rule fromwhich no derogation may be made."[858][858]No exception was made for imperative military necessity, for instance.

Article 14 lists the most usual ways in which starvation isbrought about. Specific protection is extended to"objects indispensableto the survival of the civilian population,"and a non-exhaustive list ofsuch objects follows:"foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the productionof foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies andirrigation works."The article prohibits taking certain destructive actionsaimed at these essential supplies, and describes these actions with verbs whichare meant to cover all eventualities:"attack, destroy, remove or renderuseless."

The textual reference to"objects indispensable to thesurvival of the civilian population"does not distinguish between objectsintended for the armed forces and those intended for civilians. Except for thecase where supplies are specifically intended as provisions for combatants, itis prohibited to destroy or attack objects indispensable for survival, even ifthe adversary may benefit from them. The prohibition would be meaningless ifone could invoke the argument that members of the government's armed forces orarmed opposition might make use of the objects in question.[859][859]

Attacks on objects used"in direct support of militaryaction"are permissible, however, even if these objects are civilianfoodstuffs and other objects protected under article 14. This exception islimited to the immediate zone of actual armed engagements, as is obvious fromthe examples provided of military objects used in direct support of militaryaction:"bombarding a food-producing area to prevent the army fromadvancing through it, or attacking a food-storage barn which is being used bythe enemy for cover or as an arms depot, etc."[860][860]

The provisions of Protocol I, article 54 are also useful asa guideline to the narrowness of the permissible means and methods of attack onfoodstuffs.[861][861]Like article 14 of Protocol II, article 54 of Protocol I permits attacks onmilitary food supplies. It specifically limits such attacks to those directedat foodstuffs intended for the sole use of the enemy's armed forces. This means"supplies already in the hands of the adverse party's armed forces becauseit is only at that point that one could know that they are intended for useonly for the members of the enemy's armed forces."[862][862]Even then, the attacker cannot destroy foodstuffs"in the military supplysystem intended for the sustenance of prisoners of war, the civilian populationof occupied territory or persons classified as civilians serving with, oraccompanying, the armed forces."[863][863]

Proof of Intention to Starve Civilians

Under article 14, what is forbidden are actions taken withthe intention of using starvation as a method or weapon to attack the civilianpopulation. Such an intention may not be easy to prove and most armies will notadmit this intention. Proof does not rest solely on the attacker's ownstatements, however. Intention may be inferred from the totality of the circumstancesof the military campaign.

Particularly relevant to assessment of intention is theeffort the attacker makes to comply with the duties to distinguish betweencivilians and military targets and to avoid harming civilians and the civilianeconomy.[864][864]If the attacker does not comply with these duties, and food shortages result,an intention to attack civilians by starvation may be inferred.

The more sweeping and indiscriminate the measures takenwhich result in food shortages, when other less restrictive means of combat areavailable, the more likely the real intention is to attack the civilianpopulation by causing it food deprivation. For instance, an attacker whoconducts a scorched earth campaign in enemy territory to deprive the enemy ofsources of food may be deemed to have an intention of attacking by starvationthe civilian population living in enemy territory. The attacker may not claimignorance of the effects upon civilians of such a scorched earth campaign,since these effects are a matter of common knowledge and publicity. Inparticular, relief organizations, both domestic and international, usuallysound the alarm of impending food shortages occurring during conflicts in orderto bring pressure on the parties to permit access for food delivery and toraise money for their complex and costly operations.

The true intentions of the attacker also must be judged bythe effort it makes to take prompt remedies, such as permitting relief convoysto reach the needy or itself supplying food to remedy hunger. An attacker whofails to make adequate provision for the affected civilian population, whoblocks access to those who would do so, or who refuses to permit civilianevacuation in times of food shortage, may be deemed to have the intention tostarve that civilian population.


Copyright (c) February 1999 by Human Rights Watch

All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

ISBN 1-56432-193-2

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 99-60897

Addresses for Human Rights Watch

350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10118-3299

Tel: (212) 290-4700, Fax: (212) 736-1300, E-mail:

1522 K Street, N.W., #910, Washington, DC 20005-1202

Tel: (202) 371-6592, Fax: (202) 371-0124, E-mail: [email protected]

33 Islington High Street, N1 9LH London, UK

Tel: (171) 713-1995, Fax: (171) 713-1800, E-mail: [email protected]

15 Rue Van Campenhout, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: (2) 732-2009, Fax: (2) 732-0471, E-mail:[email protected]

Web Site Address:

Listserv address: To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to [email protected] with "subscribe hrw-news" in the body of the message (leave the subject line blank).

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.

We investigate and expoe human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the internationalcommunity to support the cause of human rights for all.


Human Rights Watch conducts regular, systematic investigations of human rights abuses in some seventy countries around the world. Our reputation for timely, reliable disclosures has made us an essential source of information for those concerned with human rights. We address the human rights practices of governments of all political stripes, of all geopolitical alignments, and of all ethnic and religious persuasions. Human Rights Watch defends freedom of thought and expression, due process and equal protection of the law, and a vigorous civil society; we document and denounce murders, disappearances, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, discrimination, and other abuses of internationally recognized human rights. Our goal is to hold governments accountable if they transgress the rights of their people.

Human Rights Watch began in 1978 with the founding of its Europe and Central Asia division (then known as Helsinki Watch). Today, it also includes divisions covering Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition, it includes three thematic divisions on arms, children's rights, and women's rights. It maintains offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, London, Brussels, Moscow, Dushanbe, Rio de Janeiro, and Hong Kong. Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Jeri Laber special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Susan Osnos, associate director; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

The regional directors of Human Rights Watch are Peter Takirambudde, Africa; José Miguel Vivanco, Americas; Sidney Jones, Asia; Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia; and Hanny Megally, Middle East and North Africa. The thematic division directors are Joost R. Hiltermann, arms; Lois Whitman, children's; and Regan Ralph, women's.

The members of the board of directors are Jonathan Fanton, chair; Lisa Anderson, Robert L. Bernstein, William Carmichael, Dorothy Cullman, Gina Despres, Irene Diamond, Adrian W. DeWind, Fiona Druckenmiller, Edith Everett, James C. Goodale, Vartan Gregorian, Alice H. Henkin, Stephen L. Kass, Marina Pinto Kaufman, Bruce Klatsky, Alexander MacGregor, Josh Mailman, Samuel K. Murumba, Andrew Nathan, Jane Olson, Peter Osnos, Kathleen Peratis, Bruce Rabb, Sigrid Rausing, Anita Roddick, Orville Schell, Sid Sheinberg, Gary G. Sick, Malcolm Smith, Domna Stanton, and Maya Wiley. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair of Human Rights Watch.


[1][1]David Keen,The Benefits of Famine: A Political Economy of Famine and Relief inSouthwestern Sudan, 1983-1989 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press,1994), p. 92.

[2][2]Southernersfrequently refer with all respect to leaders by their first names, unless thefirst name is a Christian name, in which case the last name is used. Therefore"Kerubino" is used for Kerubino Kuanyin Bol throughout this report, and"Garang" for John Garang, although SPLA supporters will often refer to him as"Dr. John," on account of his doctoral degree in agronomics. Southerners evenrefer to the president of Sudan, Omar El Bashir, as "Omar."

[3][3]Human RightsWatch/Africa, Civilian Devastation: Abuses by All Parties in the War inSouthern Sudan (New York: Human Rights Watch, June 1994), pp. 228-35.

[4][4]Arok ThonArok was a Dinka Sudanese army officer who attended military school inKhartoum. He joined the SPLA in 1983, was jailed by the SPLA, escaped withKerubino in 1992, and then joined Riek's forces in 1993.

[5][5]For anexcellent and comprehensive assessment of the rebel movements in southernSudan, see Peter Adwok Nyaba, The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan(Kampala, Uganda: Fountain Press, 1997). He reports that Kerubino made contactwith Khartoum government agents while in Kampala, Uganda in 1992, after hisescape from SPLA jail. Ibid., p. 122.

[6][6]CharlesOmondi, "Sudan: Warlord not remorseful," Africanews, Issue 29 (Nairobi), August1998.

[7][7]Human RightsWatch, Behind the Red Line, Political Repression in Sudan (New York: HumanRights Watch, May 1996), pp. 318-23.

[8][8]SPLM/SRRA-OLSJoint Targeting and Vulnerabilities Task Force in SPLM Controlled Areas of BahrEl Ghazal, Final Report ("Joint Task Force Report"), Nairobi, August 27, 1998,p. 2.

[9][9]Kerubinosigned as Deputy Chairman and Deputy Commander-in-Chief, South SudanIndependence Movement/Army (SSIM/A).

[10][10]World HealthOrganization (WHO), Report of a WHO/UNICEF Joint Assessment Mission to Bahr ElGhazal, Sudan, Executive Summary of Mission Report, Rome, August 26, 1998("WHO/UNICEF Mission"). Juba is the largest town in the south.

[11][11]"RebelRadio Reports ‘Surprise' Capture by SPLA of Rumbek Town," Voice of Sudan, Voiceof the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), in Arabic, May 2, 1997, BBCMonitoring Service: Middle East, May 5, 1997; "Southern Sudan Rebels ClaimAnother Victory," Reuter, Nairobi, May 11, 1997; "Opposition Radio Reports SPLACapture of Yirol," Voice of Sudan, Voice of NDA, in Arabic, June 17, 1997, BBCMonitoring Service: Middle East, June 19, 1997.

[12][12]See "SPLALeader Garang on Capture of Yei, POWs, Government's Peace Moves," Al Hayat(London), April 23, 1997, in Arabic, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East, April25, 1997.

[13][13]Human RightsWatch confidential interview with former Wau civil servant, Wunrok, Bahr ElGhazal, Sudan, May 8, 1998.

[14][14]Human RightsWatch confidential interview with resident of Wau, Nairobi, May 2, 1998. Thegovernment and northern Sudanese are interchangeably referred to by manysoutherners as "Arabs."

[15][15]Human RightsWatch interview, Wunrok resident, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan, May 7, 1998.

[16][16]JonathanWright, "Sudanese Militia Releases Red Cross Pilots, Nurse," Reuters, Nairobi,December 8, 1996.

[17][17]"Politicaland Civil Unrest: Sudan," Lloyd's Information Casualty Report, Khartoum, May 26,1998, quoting remarks carried in the government‑owned Sudan al‑Hadithdaily on May 25, 1998.

[18][18]Human RightsWatch interview, Martin Marial, former dean, College of Education, Wau, inNairobi, May 3, 1998.

[19][19]Human RightsWatch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[20][20]Human RightsWatch interview with human rights researcher, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[21][21]Human RightsWatch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[22][22]Human RightsWatch interview, Martin Marial, May 3, 1998.

[23][23]Human RightsWatch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[24][24]SeeAppendix B, The Ethnic Groups of Wau.

[25][25]See AppendixB. "Fertit" is not an ethnic group or tribe but a derogatory term for the smallAfrican ethnic groups of western Bahr ElGhazal.

[26][26]A Dinkaorganization in Khartoum is campaigning to return to the original name,"Jieng," which was spurned as unpronounceable by European explorers in theeighteenth century, and corrupted to the name of a chief, Deng Kak, into Dinka.The Dinka (or Jieng) make up about 12 percent of Sudan's people. Nhial Bol,"What's in a Name?" Inter-Press Service (IPS), Khartoum, December 26, 1998.

[27][27]Jur is theDinka word, broadly speaking, for non-European, non-Arab foreigner. HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998; Human Rights Watch interview,Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[28][28]See RaymondC. Kelly, The Nuer Conquest (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press,1985). For a list of other scholars who sought to isolate the criticaldifferences between the Nuer and the Dinka that could account for theconsistent military superiority of the former throughout the nineteenthcentury, see Sharon E. Hutchinson, Nuer Dilemmas: Coping with Money, War, andthe State (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), pp. 31-32.

[29][29]StefanoSantandrea, Ethno-Geography of the Bahr El Ghazal (Sudan) (Bologna, Italy:Gafopress, 1981), pp. 130-31.

[30][30]Fellata isthe name for West Africans who came through Sudan following west-east traderoutes across the Sahel, many on pilgrimage to Mecca, and settled in Sudan ascultivators. Many were Fulani religious teachers. "Fellata" was a pejorativeterm applied by Arabic-speaking northern Sudanese to all immigrants from WestAfrica, who settled mostly in western Sudan. It is not a definitive ethniccategory, but is associated with hard, menial, and unskilled agricultural work.Ahmad Alawad Sikainga, Slaves into Workers: Emancipation and Labor in ColonialSudan (Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1996), pp. 66-67.

[31][31]P.M. Holtand M.W. Daly, A History of the Sudan from the Coming of Islam to the PresentDay, 4th ed. (New York: Longman Press, 1989), p. 70.

[32][32]Ibid., p.180. Anyanya was the name of a poison made in Madi country (near Juba) insouthern Sudan from snakes and rotten beans. Ibid.

[33][33]Ibid., p.187.

[34][34]See AhmadAlawad Sikainga, The Western Bahr Al-Ghazal Under British Rule: 1898-1956(Athens, Ohio: Center for International Studies, 1991), pp. 123-24.

[35][35]AfricanRights, Food and Power in Sudan: A Critique of Humanitarianism (London: AfricanRights, May 1997), p. 95.

[36][36]Burr andCollins, J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins, Requiem for the Sudan: War,Drought, and Disaster Relief on the Nile (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1995),p. 132.

[37][37]Ataul Karim,Mark Duffield, et al., OLS, Operation Lifeline Sudan: A Review (Nairobi: July1996) ("OLS Review"), p. 163.

[38][38]Ibid., p.189.

[39][39]Ibid., p.188.

[40][40]Human RightsWatch confidential interview with former Wau agency employee, Lokichokkio,Kenya, May 11, 1998.

[41][41]OperationLifeline Sudan (OLS) (Southern Sector), Emergency Update No. 11 (Nairobi), May29, 1997.

[42][42]World FoodProgramme (WFP), Emergency Report No. 42: Sudan, October 17, 1997.

[43][43]Office forthe Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), "United Nations ConsolidatedInter-Agency Appeal for Sudan, January-December 1998," United Nations, New Yorkand Geneva, February 17, 1998.

[44][44]Human RightsWatch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.


[46][46]AfricaWatch, Denying the Honor of Living: Sudan, A Human Rights Disaster (New York:Human Rights Watch, 1990), pp. 100-01.

[47][47]Human RightsWatch interview, human rights activist, January 22, 1999. For a discussion ofAnyanya II, see below.

[48][48]Alex deWaal, "Some comments on militias in contemporary Sudan," in Herve Bleuchot,Christian Delmet, and Derek Hopwood, eds., Sudan: History, identity, ideology(Reading, U.K.: Ithaca Press, 1991), p. 80.

[49][49]AfricanRights, Food and Power in Sudan, p. 247.

[50][50]Keen, TheBenefits of Famine, p. 84.

[51][51]Burr andCollins, Requiem for the Sudan, p. 79.

[52][52]DeWaal,"Militias," pp. 80-81.

[53][53]Burr andCollins, Requiem for the Sudan, pp. 74-75.

[54][54]DeWaal,"Militias," p. 81; Africa Watch, Denying the Honor of Living, pp. 68-70.

[55][55]Burr andCollins, Requiem for the Sudan, pp. 90-91 (footnotes omitted).

[56][56]DeWaal,"Militias," p. 81.

[57][57]Burr andCollins, Requiem for the Sudan, p. 91.

[58][58]Ibid., pp.90-91 (footnotes omitted).

[59][59]Human RightsWatch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998; see Africa Watch, Denyingthe Honor of Living, p. 69.

[60][60]DeWaal,"Militias," p. 81.

[61][61]Burr andCollins, Requiem for the Sudan, p. 132. The authors note that the commissioner,a Zande from Tambura and a graduate of southern Sudan's only high school,Rumbek secondary school, it was a terrible admission to have to make. Ibid.

[62][62]Ibid., p.199.

[63][63]The samenumber of displaced famine migrants were in Wau nine years later, in August1998.

[64][64]Burr andCollins, Requiem for the Sudan, p. 223.



[67][67]Ibid., pp.223-24.

[68][68]Human RightsWatch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[69][69]OLS Review,p. 201.

[70][70]Human RightsWatch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, U.S. Representative of the UnitedDemocratic Salvation Front (UDSF), Washington, DC, December 14, 1998.

[71][71]Keen, TheBenefits of Famine; OLS Review; African Rights, Food and Power in Sudan; Burrand Collins, Requiem for the Sudan.

[72][72]Muraheleenalso raided Nuer civilians in Upper Nile, but those raids do not appear to havefigured centrally in the 1998 famine in Western Upper Nile.

[73][73]Keen, TheBenefits of Famine, p. 79; Anyanya II is discussed below in the chapter onWestern Upper Nile. See Africa Watch, Denying the Honor of Living, pp. 81-92,regarding the muraheleen militias.

[74][74]AfricanRights, Food and Power in Sudan, p. 19; Keen, The Benefits of Famine, p. 94.

[75][75]Human RightsWatch, Behind the Red Line, pp. 307-314; Human Rights Watch/Africa and HumanRights Watch Children's Rights Project, Children of Sudan: Slaves, Street Childrenand Child Soldiers (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1995), pp. 31-53.

[76][76]DeWaal,"Militias," p. 74. Although tribal leaders of the Humr Baggara and Ngok Dinkaagreed in February 1986 to pay compensation for raids, it was neverforthcoming, and the raiding continued. In January 1988 the Rizeigat Baggaraand the Malwal Dinka chiefs met, but the Rizeigat chiefs were unable to controlthe raiders. The growth of the Baggara militias contributed to a longer-termdecline in the traditional leaders' authority. Keen, The Benefits of Famine, p.107.

[77][77]DeWaal,"Militias," p. 74.

[78][78]Abel Alier,Southern Sudan: Too Many Agreements Dishonored (Reading, U.K.: Ithaca Press,1991), pp. 276-77. Abel Alier helped negotiate the Addis Ababa agreement, whichended the first civil war (1955-72). He served as vice president of Sudan until1981, and in the 1990s he has played a leading role in the unarmed civicopposition in Khartoum.

[79][79]Keen, TheBenefits of Famine, pp. 53-69. Parts of Darfur suffered a famine in 1983-85.Alexander de Waal, Famine That Kills: Darfur, Sudan, 1984-1985 (Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1989).

[80][80]Keen, TheBenefits of Famine, p. 94.

[81][81]Human RightsWatch/Africa, Children of Sudan: Slaves, Child Soldier and Street Children, pp.31-53; Ushari Ahmad Mahmud and Suleyman Ali Baldo, Human Rights Violations inthe Sudan 1987: Al Diein Massacre: Slavery in the Sudan (Khartoum: July 1987)(available from Human Rights Watch).

[82][82]"SouthernSudanese party advocates disbanding of militia forces," DPA, Khartoum, February1, 1999. SANU is one of the few pre-1989 political parties to have registeredunder the government's controversial 1999 law governing political associations.

[83][83]Keen, TheBenefits of Famine, p. 33. River in Arabic is bahr, in Dinka kir.

[84][84]DeWaal,"Militias," p. 73.

[85][85]Francis M.Deng, War of Visions: Conflict of Identities in the Sudan (Washington, D.C.:The Brookings Institution,1995), pp. 227-80.

[86][86]The finalstatement of the IGAD peace negotiations held in Addis Ababa in August 1998said that the SPLA agreed to exclude the provinces of Southern Kordofan andSouthern Blue Nile from the definition of South Sudan, but insisted that theSouth include the Abyei region. The government refused to include Abyei withinthe boundaries of South Sudan for purposes of the referendum. "Sudan peacetalks end in disagreement," Reuters, Addis Ababa, August 7, 1998.

The position of the Riek Machar forces is that therewill first be a vote on self-determination for the 1956 south, and if this areavotes for separation, there will then be a vote by the people of Abyei onself-determination. Human Rights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang,December 14, 1998.

[87][87]Human RightsWatch interview, Abyei official, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 7, 1998.

[88][88]Human RightsWatch interview, Abyei elder, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[89][89]This refersto the time before Kerubino began his pro-government military activities inBahr El Ghazal, in 1994. Kerubino was in SPLA prisons from 1987 until 1992."The time of Omar Bashir," leader of the military coup and then president ofSudan, refers to June 30, 1989 to the present.

[90][90]Human RightsWatch/Africa, Civilian Devastation, pp 195-223.

[91][91]Human RightsWatch interview, Dinka widow, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan, May 8, 1998.

[92][92]Human RightsWatch interview, Dinka woman, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan, May 8,1998.

[93][93]OLS Review,p. 15.

[94][94]Keen, TheBenefits of Famine, pp. 130-31 (footnote omitted).


[96][96]AfricanRights, Food and Power in Sudan, p. 126.

[97][97]OLS Review.

[98][98]Iain Levine,"Promoting humanitarian principles: the Southern Sudan Experience," Relief andRehabilitation Network Paper (London), May 1997. p.7.

[99][99]U.S. Agencyfor International Development (USAID), Famine Early Warning System (FEWS)Special Report 97-6, "Southern Sudan: Monitoring a Complex Emergency,"September 16, 1997. Southern Sudan is almost three times the size of itsneighbor, Uganda, the territory of which is 236,040 square kilometers.

[100][100]OLSReview, p. 33.

[101][101]HumanRights Watch, Behind the Red Line, pp. 331-34.

[102][102]Notonly food is delivered: medical assistance and inputs such as fishing nets andseeds are provided to help the war-affected population feed itself. Educationis assisted, in recognition of the fact that a whole generation is growing upwithout access to schools during the war.

[103][103]Ofthis, WFP had ninety-five staff in the field. The WFP, which transports therelief food into southern Sudan, employed fifty staff in Lokichokkio and about200 local staff on a casual basis at the airstrip to bag and load food onto theaircraft. WFP E-mail, Lindsey Davies to Human Rights Watch, October 23, 1998.

The WFP planned to increase its staff to 125; WFPfield staff had numbered only twenty-five in early 1998. News Release, "OLS andthe SRRA Announce New Measures to Help Ensure Food Reaches Hungry in SouthernSudan," Nairobi, September 9, 1998.

[104][104]HumanRights Watch interview, John Ryle, coauthor of OLS Review, September 8, 1998.

[105][105]OLSReview, p. 55.

[106][106]Levine,"Promoting Humanitarian Principles," p. l 2.

[107][107]Ibid.,p. 13.

[108][108]Ibid.,p. 18.

[109][109]Remarksby Kate Almquist, Associate Director, World Vision, at U.S. Committee forRefugees press conference, Washington, DC, December 10, 1998. Relief operationsin the normally calm SPLA-controlled Western Equatoria were disrupted in lateOctober and early November 1998 when SPLA troops, deserting from the heavyfighting around Torit which the government eventually won, made their way hometo Bahr El Ghazal.

At the time, the OLS announced that it was withdrawingforty-two non-essential staff, leaving twenty in place. News Release, "OLS andthe SRRA Announce New Measures to Help Ensure Food Reaches Hungry in SouthernSudan," Nairobi, September 9, 1998. This followed two attacks on relief workersand a series of thefts. See Mohamed Ali Saeed, "Khartoum accuses SPLA ofhindering relief, taking supplies," Agence France Presse (AFP), Khartoum,November 12, 1998.

[110][110]OLS,"An OLS Position Paper: The Humanitarian Emergency in Sudan," Nairobi, July 31,1998.


[112][112]OLSReview, p. 5.

[113][113]HumanRights Watch/Africa, Civilian Devastation, pp. 146-173.

[114][114]OLSReview, p. 264.

[115][115]Statementof Catherine A. Bertini, Executive Director of WFP to the Committee onInternational Relations, House of Representatives: The crises in Sudan andNorthern Uganda, WFP web posted, August 4, 1998. One metric ton equals 1,000kilograms or 2,200 pounds.

[116][116]"Costof U.N. Aid Shipment to Sudan," AP, August 8, 1998. This includes the price ofthe corn ($204), shipment from the reserve stocks in the U.S. to Kenya ($77),road transport to Lokichokkio, Kenya ($140), air drop flight to Maper ($972),administrative costs (Kenya) ($279), and administrative costs (WFPheadquarters) ($101).

[117][117]OLS(Southern Sector), Press Release, "Another Large Cargo Aircraft Approved toDeliver Relief Supplies to Thousands if Needy in Southern Sudan," Nairobi,April 25, 1998.

[118][118]Thedistribution on the ground is discussed further below. The cost of $0.715 isfor corn only; other items must be included for a minimally nourishing diet.

[119][119]OLSReview, p. 160.

[120][120]Ibid.,p. 42.

[121][121]Ibid.,p. 57.


[123][123]SeeOLS (Southern Sector), Emergency Sitrep, No. 14 (Nairobi), August 1-31, 1998:Access Issues: Maridi, Mundri, Panyagor, Yomciir, Ikotos, and Karkar weredenied clearance by the Sudan government for the month of August 1998; the samewere denied clearance in September. OLS (Southern Sector), Emergency Update No.15 (Nairobi), September 16, 1998. Most of these locations are accessible byroad from Uganda and Kenya and are in Western or Eastern Equatoria. In October,after heavy fighting around the Eastern Equatorian garrison town of Torit, manyadditional rural locations (under SPLA control) mostly in Equatoria but distantfrom Torit were put off limits to relief by the government. They includedLabone, Yei, Nimule, Boma, Duk Padiet, and Koch. WFP, Sudan Bulletin No. 52,October 1-5, 1998.

[124][124]OLS(Southern Sector), Press Release, "Another Large Cargo Aircraft Approved."

[125][125]WFP,Emergency Report No. 17 of 1998, April 28, 1998: Sudan.

[126][126]OLSReview, pp. 56-57.

[127][127]OLSReview, p. 160.

[128][128]DanielJ. Shepard, "Emergency food deliveries to Sudan resume," Earth Times NewsService, August 3, 1996, [email protected].

[129][129]USAID,FEWS Bulletin, June 26, 1997, Southern Sudan: WFP reported only 18 percent ofplanned food deliveries were possible in May 1997 due to the government'sflight ban and heavy rains.

[130][130]OLSReview, p. 160.

[131][131]Ibid.,p. 161.

[132][132]OLSReview, p. 162. The WHO/UNICEF Mission in 1998 found that interruption due towar suspended training of health personnel, especially medical assistants, forsome fifteen to twenty years. The medical assistants working with NGOs ingeneral were older men trained in places like Wau in the 1960s and 1970s.WHO/UNICEF Mission: Health manpower and training.

The commonly reported diseases were malaria,diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections, skin infections, eye infections,and trauma. Tuberculosis was an important cause of morbidity and mortality.Sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhea and HIV, were also reported. Severalendemic parasitic diseases were reported to cause substantial but localizedmorbidity and even mortality: onchocerciasis (river blindness), Guinea worm(dracunculiasis), kala azar (visceral Leishmaniasis or black fever), andAfrican trypanosomiasis; control programs for the first two were carried out inBahr El Ghazal with the support of the Carter Center. WHO/UNICEF Mission:Health status of the population.

[133][133]OLSReview, pp. 162-63.

[134][134]Ibid.,p. 161.

[135][135]AfricanRights, Food and Power in Sudan, p. 283.

[136][136]OLSReview, p. 200.

[137][137]Ibid.,p. 164.

[138][138]JointTask Force Report, p. 2.

[139][139]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan, May 8, 1998.

[140][140]Amongthe crimes believed to have been committed by splinter militias, according toone source, were the abductions of some twelve wealthy persons in Wau, held forransom. Human Rights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.


[142][142]Foran evaluation of the arms flow to the Sudan military and rebel forces, seeHuman Rights Watch, Global Trade, Local Impact: Arms Transfers to all Sides inthe Civil War in Sudan (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 1998). There areunconfirmed allegations that Iraq secretly built a chemical weapons plant inWau. Alan Cooperman, "Moving Target Iraq has secretly built chemical weaponsplants in Sudan," U.S. News and World Report (New York), February 16, 1998,referring to a draft report by the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force onTerrorism and Unconventional Warfare. This was not mentioned by any of the Wauresidents interviewed by Human Rights Watch in 1998, and there were no reportsthat the government used chemical weapons during the rebel attack on Wau.

[143][143]HumanRights Watch interview, Martin Marial, May 3, 1998. The police commander in1996-98 was said to be Luka Mudria, a Fertit from western Bahr El Ghazal,appointed to this Ministry of Interior post by Khartoum.

[144][144]MajorGeneral Umar Abd al Qadir held the post of area military commander. "DefenseCommittee Visits Wau Following Rebel Attacks," Sudan TV, Omdurman, in English,January 30, 1998, BBC Monitoring Service, February 2, 1998.

[145][145]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.


[147][147]Ibid.The muraheleen were incorporated into the PDF but maintained their separate andrather autonomous tribal units. See Human Rights Watch, Behind the Red Line,pp. 273-292.

[148][148]Ibid.,pp. 284-86.

[149][149]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, Kenya, May 6, 1998.

[150][150]HumanRights Watch, Behind the Red Line, pp. 285-86.

[151][151]HumanRights Watch interview, Martin Marial, Nairobi, May 3, 1998.

[152][152]Ibid.Teaching at the Bahr El Ghazal university was in Arabic and English.

[153][153]Everyuniversity has a college of education because there is a high demand forteachers. Ibid.

[154][154]HumanRights Watch interview, Martin Marial, Nairobi, May 3, 1998.

[155][155]Kurmukwas temporarily captured by the SPLA in December 1987 also. Keen, The Benefitsof Famine, p. 71.

[156][156]DavidOrr, "Rebel Unity Spurs Sudan Call to Arms," Independent (London), Nairobi,January 16, 1997; "Sudan Closes University so Students Go to War Zone," Reuter,Khartoum, January 14, 1997 (students were to fight "Ethiopian aggression").

[157][157]HumanRights Watch interview, Martin Marial, Nairobi, May 3, 1998. The University ofJuba had been relocated to Khartoum in 1987 because of the war. Openinguniversities in many towns and decentralizing education was a NIF project tomake higher education more available. A side effect would have been to relocatethe problematic student population, which never lost its penchant for non-NIFpolitics despite a heavy NIF presence, from Khartoum. See Behind the Red Line,pp. 232-251.

[158][158]MarialBai, Wau County, is not to be confused with the larger Marial Bai located tothe northwest in Aweil County of Northern Bahr El Ghazal state.

[159][159]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.


[161][161]Apparentlythe government sent two high-ranking emissaries from the ministry of defense toWunrok to plead with Kerubino to end the stand-off. Kerubino was finallyconvinced by U.S. emissary Bill Richardson (prior to Richardson's appointmentas U.S. ambassador to the U.N.), amid front-page bargaining, to settle forsubstantially less than the $10 million sought. Elif Kaban, "Rice and RadiosHelp Sudan Hostage Negotiators," Reuter, Geneva, December 10, 1996; HumanRights Watch confidential interview, New York, November 1996.

[162][162]"Warand Politics: Kerubino Gives NIF A Run For Their Money While SPLA Watches,"Sudan Democratic Gazette (London), Year IX, No. 93, February 1998. This monthlyis written and published by exiled opposition leader Bona Malwal, also a BahrEl Ghazal Dinka.

[163][163]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998; Human Rights Watch interview,Sudan, May 17, 1998.

[164][164]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[165][165]AlfredTaban, "Sudan Rebels and Tribes Flee Famine, Fighting," Reuters, Maryal Bai,Sudan, January 29, 1998.

[166][166]HumanRights Watch interview, Sudan, May 17, 1998.

[167][167]"Sudanto Bring Defecting Rebels into Armed Forces," Reuters, Khartoum, January 12,1998.

[168][168]HumanRights Watch interview, May 8, 1998.

[169][169]"GovernmentBegins Airlifts to Help ‘Returnees' in South," Republic of Sudan Radio,Omdurman, in Arabic, January 9, 1998, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East,January 12, 1998.

[170][170]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[171][171]AlternateCommander Marial Camuong Yol was interviewed by Christian SolidarityInternational. CSI, "CSI Visit to Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan (focusing onSlavery, Arab-Dinka Relations, Kerubino&the SPLA, Humanitarian Aid&Religious Persecution)," Binz, Switzerland, September 5-10, 1998.

[172][172]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998. The Belanda live south ofWau. They are an agricultural Luo people related to the Jur. Santandrea,Ethno-geography of Bahr El Ghazal, pp. 136-37.

[173][173]PoliticalCharter, April 10, 1996, Khartoum (containing fourteen points of generalprinciples), signed by First Vice President Zubeir, Riek, and Kerubino.

[174][174]HumanRights Watch interview, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Nairobi, June 21, 1993.

[175][175]Therehave been numerous internal boundary redrawings and divisions since 1956. Thelast was in 1994 when Sudan was divided into twenty-six states, ten of themsouthern. What was Bahr El Ghazal in 1956 was divided into Northern Bahr ElGhazal (Aweil), Western Bahr El Ghazal (Wau), Warab (Tonj), and Lakes orBuheirat (Yirol).

[176][176]TheSudan Peace Agreement, Khartoum, April 21, 1997. It was signed for the "rebels"by Riek, Kerubino, Commander Kwac Makuei Mayar (or Kawac Makwei, Chairman andCommander-in-Chief, South Sudan Independents Group), Dr. Thisphohis Ochang Loti(a Lokoya never in the SPLA; Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, Equatoria DefenseForce created in 1995), Samuel Aru Bol (of Rumbek, Chairman, Union of SudaneseAfrican Parties), and Arok Thon Arok Kongor (Chairman, Bor Group). Only Riekand Kerubino had more than a handful of armed followers.

At the same time as the Peace Agreement was signedwith the above six, a separate peace agreement was entered into with a factionfrom the Nuba Mountains, the "SPLM/Nuba Mountains group," led by Muhammad HarunKafi. "Peace Accord with Rebel Factions Signed in Khartoum," Republic of SudanRadio, Omdurman, April 21, 1997, in Arabic, BBC Monitoring Service: MiddleEast. This faction was not known to have any troops.

Those who joined the Peace Agreement after it wassigned were the SPLM-United (a faction of the SSIM headed by Dr. Lam Akol,loosely based on his Shilluk tribe), by amendment to the Peace Agreement onSeptember 21, 1997 that was negotiated by Dr. Lam Akol and signed by CommanderAkwoch Mayong Jago: also signing for the SPLA-United were Major General BushraUthman Yusuf, secretary of military affairs, Upper Nile military area, and CommanderAwad Jago Musa al‑Mek Kur, member and animal resources minister. It waswitnessed by His Majesty Reth Kwongo Dak Padiet, the reth (king) of theShilluk.

[177][177]PeaceAgreement, Ch. 5 (1) (c): "The President of the Republic in consultation withparties signatory to this Agreement shall appoint the President of theCoordinating Council." He is accountable to the President of the Republic.Ibid., (1) (b).

[178][178]"SudanesePresident Appoints Head of Southern [Council]," Xinhua, Khartoum, August 7,1997.

[179][179]PeaceAgreement, Ch. 5 (9): "governors of the southern states shall be members in theCoordinating Council by virtue of their post."

[180][180]"InfightingAmong Southern Leaders Threatens Council," IPS, Khartoum, August 11, 1997.

[181][181]"Kerubino,Arok Thon and Faustino Reinstated," Sudan Update (London), vol. 8, No. 19,September 15, 1997, quoting al-Anbaa, August 23, 1997.


[183][183]"PresidentBashir Dismisses State Governors Pending Gubernatorial Election," Republic ofSudan Radio, Omdurman, in Arabic, August 9, 1997, BBC Monitoring Service:Middle East, August 11, 1997; "New Governors Elected in 15 Northern States,"Republic of Sudan Radio, Omdurman, in Arabic, August 15, 1997, BBC MonitoringService: Middle East, August 18, 1997.

[184][184]"Sudanesestates governors relieved of office," AFP, Khartoum, August 9, 1997.

[185][185]ThePeace Agreement states: "The President of the Coordinating Council inconsultation with Southern political forces shall recommend his cabinetincluding the Governors (Walis) to the President of the Republic forappointment." Ch. 5, art. 7 (1) (d).

[186][186]HumanRights Watch interview with Biel Torkech Rambang, representative in the U.S. ofUDSF, Washington, DC, December 14, 1998.


[188][188]"Newgovernors for southern states to be elected soon," SUNA News Agency, Khartoum,November 23, 1997. Peace Agreement, Ch. 5 (9): "governors of the southernstates shall be members in the Coordinating Council by virtue of their post."

[189][189]ThePeace Agreement provides in Ch. 5 (1) (g): "Until the atmosphere is conducivefor elections of State Assemblies to take place, the President of theCoordinating Council, in consultation with the political forces, shallrecommend to the President of the Republic new members of legislativeassemblies in the Southern States for appointment."

[190][190]"Sudanesepresident appoints new southern state assemblies," Deutsche Presse-Agentur(DPA), Khartoum, November 17, 1997.

[191][191]"Sudanesepresident dissolves state parliaments, appoints new southern state assemblies,"DPA, Khartoum, November 17, 1997. State parliaments have not had a particularlysound institutional life. As of January 1, 1999, President Bashir dissolved thestate parliaments (appointed in late 1997) on the grounds that there would beelections for these bodies at the beginning of 1999. These elections wereexpected to be contested by parties as yet not registered under thegovernment's "political association" bill lifting the ban on multipartypolitics. The state parliaments would be empty until some time in 1999."Sudanese presidentdissolves stateparliaments," DPA, Khartoum, December 31, 1998.

[192][192]"NewGovernors for Southern States to be Elected Soon," SUNA News Agency, Khartoum,in English, November 23, 1997, BBC Monitoring Summary of World Broadcasts.

[193][193]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, December 14, 1998.

[194][194]Rieksources say Kerubino and Makuei were not close. See Appendix E.

[195][195]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998; "New Governors Elected inSouthern States," SUNA News Agency, Khartoum, in English, December 1, 1997, BBCMonitoring Summary of World Broadcasts.

[196][196]Letter,Dr. Riek Machar to President Omar Hassan Ahmed El Bashir (undated, but afterJuly 4, 1998), Appendix F.

[197][197]LamAkol, a Shilluk, originally said he accepted nomination to the office ofgovernor of Upper Nile state, "‘in response to a demand by the people of UpperNile,'"which included the Shilluk. "Former rebel accepts nomination forgovernor's post in Sudan," AFP, Khartoum, November 23, 1997."Former Sudaneserebel leader defeated in state elections," DPA, Khartoum, December 1, 1997.

[198][198]Tutlam,plus Political Charter and Peace Agreement signatories First Vice President AlZubeir Mohamed Salih and Arok Thon Arok, and others, died in a plane crash inFebruary 1998, which Lam Akol survived. "Sudan vice president dies in planecrash, SPLA claims downing," AFP, Khartoum, February 12, 1998. The SPLA laterwithdrew its claim of responsibility for the crash.

[199][199]"FormerSudanese rebel leader defeated in state elections," DPA, Khartoum, December 1,1997.

[200][200]SeeAppendix E.

[201][201]AlfredTaban, "Sudan Names Ex-rebel as Vice-President," Reuters, Khartoum, January 16,1998.

[202][202]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[203][203]"ArmyChief Visits Returnees in South," Sudan TV, Omdurman, in Arabic, January 25,1998, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East, January 27, 1998. On December 26,1997, according to Governor Charles Julu, the army chief of staff and theminister of state for defense went to meet Kerubino in Marial Bai. Arop Madut,"Governor Julu Speaks About the January Rebels," Sudanow, Khartoum, April 1998,pp. 18-19.

[204][204]Madut,"Governor Julu Speaks About the January Rebels;" Human Rights Watch interview,Nairobi, May 1, 1998. As of January 1998 the exchange rate was U.S. $ 1 = 2,055Sudanese pounds.

[205][205]HumanRights Watch/Africa, Civilian Devastation, p. 229.

[206][206]Thethree-day feast ending Ramadan started on January 28 and ended on Sunday,February 1, 1998.

[207][207]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[208][208]HumanRights Watch interview, Sudan, May 17, 1998.

[209][209]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[210][210]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998. In a telling remark, thisWestern-educated Dinka civil servant rather contemptuously dismissed theseDinka converts to Islam, saying, "They had no place in Dinka society. They hadnothing to lose." Ibid.

[211][211]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, December 14, 1998.

[212][212]Thischapter draws on eyewitness and other accounts, including a confidentialpreliminary report on the fighting and subsequent massacre done by reliablesourcesfor their institution in March 1998 and another confidential report onthe same topic by a reliable source for his separate institution in April 1998.All concerned wanted the reports treated confidentially and therefore theirauthors must remain anonymous.

[213][213]Accordingto one source, it took about three weeks to organize this expedition.Confidential communication to Human Rights Watch, September 22, 1998.

[214][214]"Warand Politics: Kerubino Gives NIF A Run," Sudan Democratic Gazette, February1998.

[215][215]CSI,"CSI Visit to Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan," September 5-10, 1998.

[216][216]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 10, 1998.

[217][217]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[218][218]Confidentialreport on Wau, April 1998; Human Rights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11,1998.

[219][219]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998. To our knowledge, no further report wasissued by these authors, who must remain anonymous.

[220][220]HumanRights Watch interview, Sudan, May 17, 1998.

[221][221]MatthewBigg, "Sudan Rebels Say Government Controls Wau Airport," Reuters, Nairobi,January 31, 1998.

[222][222]"OppositionRadio Reports Almost 1,000 Government Soldiers Killed in Wau," Voice of Sudan,Voice of the National Democratic Alliance, in Arabic, February 14, 1998, BBCMonitoring Service: Middle East, February 16, 1998. The announcement alsostated that ten members of Warab state legislature and nine from Buheirat(Lakes) legislature joined the SPLM.

[223][223]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998. Defection of southern police,prison guards, game wardens and even army officers to the rebel side duringSPLA attacks on garrison towns is not unusual; it happened most notably in Jubaduring the 1992 SPLA attacks on that garrison town, the largest in the south.


[225][225]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[226][226]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998.

[227][227]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[228][228]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[229][229]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[230][230]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 10, 1998.

[231][231]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[232][232]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[233][233]WFP,Emergency Report No. 10 of 1998, March 6, 1998: Sudan.

[234][234]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998.

[235][235]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.


[237][237]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[238][238]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.


[240][240]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[241][241]Ibid.The Jur in Wau live near the Umbili mission, in the Nazareth neighborhood withthe Dinka, and in other locations east and west of the Jur River.

[242][242]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.


[244][244]HumanRights Watch interview, Jur woman, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[245][245]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998. Several who heard a radiobroadcast of an SPLA announcement that it was still occupying Wau after January29 commented that this broadcast was incorrect. Apparently the SPLA andKerubino held on to Aweil longer than Wau, despite fierce resistance by thegovernor Kwac Makuei of the SSDF, who alleged later that he was the target of aJune 1998 assassination attempt by government soldiers. See below and AppendixE.

[246][246]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998.


[248][248]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[249][249]Confidentialreport on Wau, April 1998.

[250][250]Ibid.;Human Rights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[251][251]AropMadut, "Governor Julu Speaks About the January Rebels," Sudanow, Khartoum,April 1998, pp. 18-19.

[252][252]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[253][253]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998.

[254][254]Confidentialreport on Wau, April 1998.


[256][256]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998.

[257][257]Confidentialreport on Wau, April 1998.

[258][258]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998.

[259][259]HumanRights Watch interview, May 2, 1998.

[260][260]Confidentialpreliminary report on Wau, March 1998.

[261][261]AlfredTaban,"Sudan Says Government Ally Rejoins Rebels," Reuters, Khartoum,February 5, 1998.

[262][262]"ArmySpokesman on Wau Situation, Reports Second Rebel Attack in the East," Sudan TV,Omdurman, in Arabic, January 30, 1998, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East,February 2, 1998; "Sudanese army admits 23 men killed defending Wau," AFP,Khartoum, January 31, 1998.

[263][263]"SudanRebels Claim Kill 768 Government Troops," Reuters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,February 14, 1998;"Opposition Radio Reports Almost 1,000 GovernmentSoldiers Killed in Wau," Voice of Sudan, Voice of the National DemocraticAlliance, in Arabic, February 14, 1998, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East,February 16, 1998.

[264][264]"OppositionRadio Says Battle for Wau Continuing. Several Areas Liberated," Voice of Sudan,Voice of the National Democratic Alliance, in Arabic, January 30, 1998, BBCMonitoring Summary of World Broadcasts, February 2, 1998; Bigg, "Sudan RebelsSay Government Controls Wau Airport."

[265][265]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[266][266]Confidentialreport on Wau, April 1998.

[267][267]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[268][268]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[269][269]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.



[272][272]Ibid.;Human Rights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[273][273]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998; the capacity of the hospital was560 beds, according to the WHO/UNICEF Mission. It found that in early June 1998there were only 20 percent (112) of the beds in use, mainly by children.

[274][274]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[275][275]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.



[278][278]NewSudan Council of Churches, Press Release, "20 Massacred in Wau Town," Nairobi,February 26, 1998. New Sudan Council of Churches is composed of Christianchurches whose congregations are in rebel areas.


[280][280]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[281][281]ConfidentialReport on Wau, April 1998. A former Wau civil servant volunteered that Kongor,a Dinka from Tonj, had been a good governor, the best Bahr El Ghazal ever had.

[282][282]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[283][283]Lootingor pillage is forbidden in IV Geneva Convention of 1949, art. 33, and inProtocol II of 1977 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, art. 2 (g). The prohibitionon pillage is an old principle of international law. It is general in scope andconcerns not only pillage through individual acts without the consent of themilitary authorities, but also organized pillage as conducted in former wars,when the booty allocated to each soldier was considered as part of his pay.Jean S. Pictet, ed., Commentary, IV Geneva Convention Relative to theProtection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva: International Committeeof the Red Cross, 1958), p. 226.

To pillage is defined as "to rob, plunder, or sack, asin war; to take possession of, to carry off as booty; to rob with openviolence."

To loot is "to rob, sack, or carry off as booty." TheOxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971).

[284][284]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[285][285]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[286][286]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.

[287][287]"GovernmentOfficial Links Attack on Wau with Foreign Conspiracy," SUNA News Agency,Khartoum, in English, February 7, 1998, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East,February 10, 1998.

[288][288]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.


[290][290]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998.


[292][292]Gov.Charles Julu repeated the government's line that "gangsters" looted the Dinkaquarters. Arop Madut, "Governor Julu Speaks About the January Rebels," Sudanow,Khartoum, April 1998, pp. 18-19.

[293][293]HumanRights Watch interview, Sudan, May 17, 1998.

[294][294]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

[295][295]HumanRights Watch interview, Sudan, May 17, 1998.

[296][296]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[297][297]"Sudan'sFormer Rebels Told to Hand Over Arms," Reuters, Khartoum, February 18, 1998.

[298][298]AlfredTaban, "Pro-government factions clash in Sudan," Reuters, Khartoum, July 7,1998.

[299][299]"RuralBahr El Ghazal Benefits from Sophisticated, Displaced Town Talent," SudanDemocratic Gazette, Year IX, No. 101 (London), October 1998, p. 10 ("The ruralareas are now benefitting from the talents and experience of educated peoplewho have been forced to flee into the countryside from the National IslamicFront (NIF) regime controlled towns. These educated people are helping thelocal people to cope with the trauma of war and famine and are proving theirworth in practice."); David Fox, "Sudan intellectuals try to keep mind, bodyalive," Reuters, Turalei, Sudan, March 6, 1998.

[300][300]SeeConfidential report on Wau, April 1998.

[301][301]"Sudan'sPresident Calls for Peace, National Unity," Xinhua, Khartoum, December 16,1997. Those sworn in were Charles Julu (Western Bahr El Ghazal), Kwac Makuei(Northern Bahr El Ghazal), Nikora Magar Achiek (Lakes or Buheirat), Arop AchierAkol (Warab), Taban Deng Gai (Unity or Wihda), Dr. Timothy Tutlam (Upper Nile,formerly head of Relief Association for Southern Sudan, relief arm of SSIM/A),Riek Gai Kok (Jonglei, head of RASS prior to Dr. Tutlam), Henry Jada (Bahr ElJabal), Abdalla Kapelo (Eastern Equatoria), and Isaiah Paul (WesternEquatoria). See Appendix E.

[302][302]"PresidentBashir Names New Southern States' Governments," Republic of Sudan Radio,Omdurman, February 27, 1998, in Arabic, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East,March 2, 1998.

[303][303]Confidentialreport on Wau, April 1998.

[304][304]"PresidentBashir Names New Southern States' Governments," Republic of Sudan Radio,Omdurman, February 27, 1998, in Arabic; in English, BBC Monitoring Service:Middle East.

[305][305]Compare"New Governors Elected in Southern States," SUNA, Khartoum, in English,December 4, 1997, BBC Monitoring Service: Middle East, with "President BashirNames New Southern States' Governments," February 27, 1998.

[306][306]"MangoAjack Elected Wali of Upper Nile State," SUNA News Agency, Malakal, Sudan, May24, 1998. Lam Akol, who by then was appointed Transportation Minister, did notcontest these elections.

[307][307]AlfredTaban, "Pro-government factions clash in Sudan," Reuters, Khartoum, July 7,1998.

[308][308]MohammedOsman, "Refugees from Famine in Sudan Town," Associated Press (AP), Wau, Sudan,August 13, 1998.

[309][309]"Thirteendie in attack on south Sudanese governor's residence," AFP, Khartoum, June 18,1998.

[310][310]Letter,Riek to Bashir, Appendix F.

[311][311]"SudaneseReligions Clash at State Funeral," All Africa News Association (AANA),Khartoum, February 24, 1998; "Sudan-Political Plane Crash," Africa Confidential(London), February 20, 1998.

[312][312]SeeMohamed Ali Saeed,"Conflicts rage on in Sudan, despite humanitarian crises,"AFP, Khartoum, July 29, 1998.

[313][313]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[314][314]WFP,Emergency Report No. 10 of 1998, March 6, 1998: Sudan.

[315][315]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998; Aweil population, WHO/UNICEFMission, para. 2.

[316][316]OLS(Southern Sector), Bahr El Ghazal Emergency Sitrep No. 4, Nairobi, February 14,1998.

[317][317]WFP,Emergency Report No. 05 of 1998, January 30, 1998: Sudan.

[318][318]OCHA,U. N. Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan, 1998.

[319][319]TheSRRA is the relief arm of the SPLM/A.

[320][320]JointTask Force Report, p. 3. Most of OLS' major donors did not respond adequatelyto the 1997 predictions. Their response improved after widespread publicityabout the famine.

[321][321]USAID,FEWS Bulletin, January 28, 1998: Southern Sudan. In the opinion of someexperienced relief personnel, this may overstate the importance of cultivationto the Dinka diet, which traditionally relies also on fish, wild food, and onmilk and other cattle products.

[322][322]Manywild foods consumed during famines in southern Sudan are naturally toxic rootsthat require days of careful preparation; they provide little nutrition butfill the stomach. During the 1998 drought, wild food production was adverselyaffected by the lack of rain. WHO/UNICEF Mission: Household food resources.

[323][323]JointTask Force Report, p. 3.

[324][324]"U.N.Starts Airdrop to 150,000 Displaced Sudanese," Reuters, Nairobi, February 3,1998.

[325][325]MatthewBigg,"Sudan government bans aid flights to battle region," Reuters,Nairobi, February 4, 1998; OLS (Southern Sector), Northern BEG Emergency SitrepNo. 2, Nairobi, February 6, 1998.

[326][326]ChegeMbitiru, "U.N. Begins Sudan Food Airdrops," AP, Nairobi, February 26, 1998; See"Sudan government suspends aid flights to south," Reuters, Nairobi,October 1, 1998.

[327][327]OLS(Southern Sector), Northern Bahr el Ghazal Emergency Sitrep No. 2, Nairobi,February 6, 1998.


[329][329]OCHA,New York, February 6, 1998.

[330][330]"UNAgency delivers food to Sudan from Uganda," Reuters, Nairobi, February 25,1998.

[331][331]OCHA,OCHA InterAction Meeting, February 27, 1998, Background Papers: Sudan.


[333][333]ChegeMbitiru, "UN Begins Sudan Food Airdrops," AP, Nairobi, February 26, 1998.

[334][334]JointTask Force Report, p. 4.


[336][336]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 9, 1998.


[338][338]OLS(Southern Sector), Northern Bahr El Ghazal Emergency Sitrep No. 7 for March8-10, 1988 (Nairobi), March 16, 1998.

[339][339]CatherineBond,"Sudan famine has dire effect on Dinka's cattle economy,"CNN(web posted), Mayath, Sudan, July 18, 1998.

[340][340]JamesC. McKinley, Jr., "Famine Looming, Sudan Curbs Relief to Rebel-Held Areas," NewYork Times, Adet, Sudan, March 18, 1998.

[341][341]OLS,Press Release, "Flight Suspension to Bahr El Ghazal lifted," Khartoum andNairobi, April 2, 1998.

[342][342]"ReliefSupplies reaching Southern Sudan: official," AFP, Khartoum, April 13, 1998.

[343][343]"Governmentplane bombs feeding center in southern Sudan," AFP, Nairobi, June 12, 1998.

[344][344]OLS(Southern Sector), Northern BEG Emergency Sitrep No. 2, 6 February 1998.

[345][345]OLS(Southern Sector), BEG Emergency Sitrep No. 4, 14 February 1998.

[346][346]Mckinley,Jr., "Famine Looming."

[347][347]MatthewBigg, "U.N. Says 100,000 Sudanese at Risk after Battle," Reuters, Nairobi,February 10, 1998.

[348][348]XuJianmei, "War‑Wounded Sudanese Yearn to Go Home," Xinhua Agency,Lokichokio, Kenya, April 3, 1998.

[349][349]MickToal, in "No Winners in an Endless War," Sunday Herald Sun (Australia), April12, 1998, reported, "Photographing the effects of the bombing or showing aninterest in military activity leads to arrest." He was arrested four times bySPLA military intelligence during his visit. In Yei a senior SPLA officerintervened, but finally he was escorted (minus some of his camera gear) fromanother location to the Uganda border.

[350][350]W.F.Deedes, "Sudan: Notebook‑Praise to Those Who Never Despair," DailyTelegraph (London), April 17, 1998.

[351][351]ChegeMbitiru, "Aid worker: Sudanese air force bombs hospital, killing sevenpatients," AP, Nairobi, March 5, 1998; Human Rights Watch interview,Lokichokkio, May.

[352][352]Thegovernment insisted that all of Yei was one large military base, but a HumanRights Watch visit in October 1997 revealed that this was not so. A chief toldHuman Rights Watch that the SPLA had been based inside Yei but he and otherchiefs prevailed on the SPLA commander to move the base outside of town toreduce the incidence of abuses against civilians committed by undisciplinedsoldiers.

[353][353]Evena military hospital is not a legitimate military target; this hospital treatedboth military and civilian patients.

[354][354]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 10, 1998.

[355][355]"NorwayMP caught in Sudan government bombing raid," Reuters, Nairobi, January 28,1999.

[356][356]"SudanGovt Bombed Civilian Hospital Aid Agency," Reuters, Nairobi, January 14, 1999.

[357][357]"Governmentplane bombs feeding centre in southern Sudan," AFP, Nairobi, June 12, 1998.

[358][358]OCHA,Consolidated Appeal for Sudan, 1999, p. 20.


[360][360]Foodand Agriculture Organization (FAO), Special Alert No. 282 - Sudan, Rome, May15, 1998.

[361][361]JointTask Force Report, p. 10.

[362][362]WFPfood aid deliveries to southern Sudan were 10,300 MT in July and 16,800 MT inAugust, 70 percent of which was by air. WFP, Emergency Report No. 36 of 1998,September 11, 1998: Sudan.

[363][363]"Resultsof occasional survey and anecdotal reports of malnutrition were not convincingto donors, as demonstrated by how severe circumstances became before resourcescould be solicited for intervention." WHO/UNICEF Mission: Nutritionalsurveillance.

[364][364]JointTask Force Report, p. 11.

[365][365]FAOGlobal Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture, SpecialAlert No. 282, Country Sudan, "Grave Food Supply Difficulties in Southern Sudanand a Bleak Production Outlook for 1998," Rome, May 15, 1998.

[366][366]WHO/UNICEFJoint Mission: Household food resources.

[367][367]USAID,FEWS Bulletin May 1998, May 20, 1998.

[368][368]OCHA,U.N. Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan, January-December 1999, NewYork, January 25, 1999, p. 18.

[369][369]Bylate 1988 the SPLA had a strong presence along the Bahr El Arab river (exceptin eastern Bahr El Ghazal where Twic Dinka were attacked by Baggara raiders andothers in December 1988). The river flooded and that too decreased raiding.Keen, The Benefits of Famine, p. 91. In northern Bahr El Ghazal, Aweil washarassed by the SPLA commander Daniel Awet Akot, who "fought furiously to ridBahr El Ghazal of Muraheleen." Burr and Collins, Requiem for the Sudan, p. 50.

[370][370]Acease-fire, however, has halted most raids from July 15, 1998.

[371][371]"GovernmentThreatens to Close Relief Corridors to Bahr Al‑Ghazal," SUNA News Agency,Khartoum, in English, April 22, 1998; see "Cabinet Discusses Rebel Activitiesin West," Sudan TV, Omdurman, April 26, 1998:"The cabinet also spelt outways and efforts to purge the rebels' hostile movement against the innocentcitizens in the [Darfur] area."

[372][372]See,for example, Sudan Foundation, "The Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan: The Facts,"London, May 1998, a document produced by a pro-government foundation in London.It selectively cites U.N. press releases thanking the government for approvingadditional C-130's, without any objective discussion of the origins of thefamine, government militias' abuses, or the government-imposed two-month flightban.

[373][373]AnonymousDiary, April to June, 1998.

[374][374]"Rebelssaid to kill 18 in southern Sudan," Reuters, Khartoum, May 5, 1998.

[375][375]AlfredTaban, "Sudan Talks Outcome Gets Mixed Reception," Reuters, Khartoum, May 7,1998.

[376][376]TheUmma Party, whose leaders used the Baggara as a proxy force against the SPLA,is now an ally of the SPLA in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed in1995 of military and political opponents of the NIF government.

[377][377]"Sudaneseopposition denies massacring Arab tribesmen, blames Khartoum," AFP, Cairo, May10, 1998.

[378][378]"Spokesmanaccuses rebels of attempting to control oil fields," AFP, Khartoum, May 16, 1998.

[379][379]"SPLAcalls for reconciliation talks with Arab tribes of central Sudan," AFP, Cairo,June 8, 1998.

[380][380]"Arabtribe rejects truce with Sudanese rebels," AFP, Khartoum, June 21, 1998.


[382][382]HumanRights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 7, 1998.

[383][383]Therewere reports of conflict in other areas of Darfur in 1998 as well:characterized as ethnic strife over land rights between Arabs and the black Furcommunity, it left 235 dead, forty-three injured and some seventy-four villagesburned. Some 6,000 Sudanese fled into neighboring Chad as refugees. "SudaneseFlee to Chad as Crisis Escalates," Xinhua, Nairobi, June 22, 1998.

[384][384]Formore testimonies of former slaves, see Christian Solidarity International, "CSIVisit to Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan (focusing on Slavery, Arab-DinkaRelations, Kerubino&the SPLA, Humanitarian Aid&ReligiousPersecution), Binz, Switzerland, September 5-10, 1998. CSI has published manytestimonies of former slaves and is engaged in a slave redemption programthrough which it has redeemed some 3,000 slaves since 1995. Ibid. The programis somewhat controversial on the grounds that foreign purchasers may raise themarket price of redemption without being able to redeem all available slaves.

[385][385]YaaiDeng Yaai from Mariam, Western Aweil, Bahr El Ghazal, May 1998, quoted byEpiscopalian priest Marc Nikkel in Letter no. 12, May 31, 1998 (c/o CMS, PO Box40360, Nairobi). See Marc Nikkel, "‘Children of Our Fathers' Divinities' or‘Children of Red Foreigners?'‘ Themes in Missionary History and the Rise of anIndigenous Church among the Jieng Bor of Southern Sudan, ed. Andrew Wheeler,Land of Promise: Church Growth in a Sudan at War(Nairobi: Paulines PublicationsAfrica, 1997).

[386][386]AnonymousDiary, April to June 1998.


[388][388]RosalindRussell,"Sudan army advance threatens aid efforts - agencies,"Reuters, Nairobi, May 19, 1998.

[389][389]CorinneDufka,"Fighting, poor roads hamper Sudan food aid,"Reuters, Bahr ElGhazal, southern Sudan, May 30, 1998.

[390][390]MarcNikkel, Letter no. 12, May 31, 1998.

[391][391]Dufka,"Fighting, poor roads."


[393][393]PaulCullen, "Hunger and war driving Sudanese Towards Abyss," Bahr El Ghazal,Southern Sudan, Irish Times (Dublin), June 2, 1998.

[394][394]LouiseTunbridge, "Sudan raid survivors creep out from the swamps," Daily Telegraph(London), Aweng, Southern Sudan, June 4, 1998.

[395][395]"Tribal'knights' wreck Sudanese rebel camps, recover livestock,"AFP, Khartoum,May 29, 1998, quoting Commissioner Kamal Sidahmed of Al Diein [Al Daien], SouthDarfur, in the Khartoum newspaper Akhbar al-Youn.

[396][396]Namesof churches, their denominations, and dates of destruction are reported in MarcNikkel Letter no. 12, May 31, 1998.

[397][397]RosalindRussell,"Aid workers say Sudan cavalry torch rebel villages,"Reuters, Nairobi, May 22, 1998.



[400][400]CarolineDavies,"Khartoum's 'holy war' against Christians turns into bloodygenocide,"Daily Telegraph (London), May 26, 1998.

[401][401]PeterBeaumont, "He's Just One in a Million," Observer (London), May 31, 1998.

[402][402]"Horrificmassacre Report in Southern Sudan," AANA, Nairobi, June 1, 1998.

[403][403]DavidOrr, "Raiders Sow Terror on Sudan Front Line," Times (London), June 2, 1998.

[404][404]LouisMeixler, "Food a key weapon in Sudan civil war," AP, Maper, Sudan, August 5,1998.

[405][405]WFP,Press Release, "WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini calls on internationalcommunity to help end fighting in southern Sudan," New York, July 10, 1998.

[406][406]Meixler,"Food a key weapon in Sudan civil war."

[407][407]Interviewsby Jeff Drumtra, U.S. Committee for Refugees, Abok, Warab state, Sudan, June21, 1998.

[408][408]"Warand Politics: NIF Regime's Forces Fail to Control Northern Bahr El Ghazal,"Sudan Democratic Gazette (London), Year IX, No. 98, July 1998, p. 2.

[409][409]"Sudanairlift grows in efforts to combat famine," Reuters, Nairobi, August 30, 1998.

[410][410]"Sudangovernment suspends aid flights to south," Reuters, Nairobi, October 1, 1998.

[411][411]WFP,Emergency Report No. 38 of 1998, September 25, 1998: Sudan.

[412][412]OCHA,U.N. Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan, January-December 1999, NewYork, January 25, 1999, p. 2.

[413][413]Ibid.,p. 1.

[414][414]OLS,Press Release, "OLS Survey Shows Child Malnutrition is Growing in Bahr ElGhazal," Nairobi/Khartoum, July 13, 1998.

[415][415]MedecinsSans Frontiers, Nutrition Guidelines (Paris: Medecins Sans Frontiers, 1995)(1st ed.), pp. 31-33.

[416][416]Ibid,p. 89.

[417][417]"Moststandardized indicators of malnutrition in children are based on measurementsof the body to see if growth has been adequate (anthropometry)." Medecins SansFrontiers, Nutrition Guidelines, p. 16. Weight for height (W/H) is an indicatorof acute malnutrition that tells if a child is too thin for a given height(wasting). In emergencies, W/H is the best indicator because it is a goodpredictor of immediate mortality risk and it can be used to monitor theevolution of the nutritional status of the population, according to thismedical NGO. Ibid.

[418][418]InPanthou, Bahr El Ghazal, MSF-Belgium observed that out of concern for theirother children, many mothers of children qualifying for therapeutic feedingdeclined the twenty-four hour residential therapeutic treatment and took home supplementaryrations instead. These rations were not likely to go exclusively to the targetchild because there was not yet any general food distribution. WHO/UNICEFMission: Feeding programs, Southern sector.

[419][419]MartinDawes,"New food fears in southern Sudan,"BBC News, World: Africa,June 5, 1998.

[420][420]GeorgeMulala, "Sudanese family perish outside jammed food center," Reuters, Ajiep,Sudan, July 30, 1998.

[421][421]"Deathsquadruple in 10 days in Sudanese town: MSF," AFP, Nairobi, July 23, 1998.

[422][422]AlessandroAbbonizio, "Famine worsens in southern Sudan," AFP, Ajiep, Sudan, July 19,1998.

[423][423]SamanthaBolton, International Press Officer for Doctors Without Borders, "South Sudan:Testimonies of a human tragedy," Nairobi, August 31, 1998.

[424][424]WFP,Emergency Report No. 31 of 1998, July 31, 1998: Sudan.

[425][425]WFP,Emergency Report No. 38 of 1998, September 25, 1998: Sudan.

[426][426]'"Sudanfamine victims struggle with rains - agency," Reuters, Nairobi, October 22,1998. Bor, north of Juba on the White Nile, also was suffering its worstflooding in ten years, and some 80,000 were at risk there. Ibid.

[427][427]RosalindRussell,"Southern Sudan Fights Loosing Battle Against Hunger,"Reuters, Ajiep, Southern Sudan, July 3, 1998.

[428][428]Whenthe famine was a few months old, a standardized criteria for admittance to thefeeding programs in Sudan was suggested: all children below 70 percent weightfor height were to receive therapeutic feeding, and those between 70 and 80percent weight for height were to receive supplemental feeding. OLS (SouthernSector), Emergency Update No. 15, September 16, 1998.

[429][429]HughNevill, "In southern Sudan, it's sister against sister," AFP, Agangrial, Sudan,July 22, 1998.

[430][430]WFP,Emergency Report No. 10 of 1998, March 6, 1998: Sudan.

[431][431]Interviewby Jeff Drumtra of USCR with former Wau civil servant, World Vision fooddistribution site north of Tonj, Warab state, June 21, 1998

[432][432]LarryMinear, Humanitarianism Under Siege: A Critical Review of Operation LifelineSudan (Trenton, N.J.: Red Sea Press, 1991), p. 10, quoting United NationsDevelopment Programme, "Survey Mission to Aweil, November 30-December 1,1988"(Khartoum).

[433][433]Keen,The Benefits of Famine, p. 87; Burr and Collins, Requiem for the Sudan, p. 132.

[434][434]WFP,Emergency Report No. 28 of 1998, July 10, 1998: Sudan.

[435][435]OLS(Southern Sector), Northern Bahr El Ghazal Emergency Sitrep No. 7, covering8-10 March, 16 March 1998.

[436][436]WFP,Emergency Report No. 10 of 1998, March 6, 1998: Sudan.

[437][437]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[438][438]Thedisplaced who had never lived in Wau (mostly rural Dinka) soon outnumbered Wauresidents among the beneficiaries. In August 1998 the former Wau residentsconstituted only 30 percent of the total registered relief population in Wau.

[439][439]WFP,Emergency Report No. 22 of 1998, May 29, 1998: Sudan.

[440][440]FAOGlobal Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture, SpecialAlert No. 282, Country Sudan, Date: 15 May 1998: "Grave Food SupplyDifficulties in Southern Sudan and a Bleak Production Outlook for 1998";WHO/UNICEF Mission: Nutrition.

[441][441]WFP,Emergency Report Update as of 1 June 1998 (Sudan).

[442][442]"Sudandonates grain to Niger as Barre ends Khartoum visit," DPA, Khartoum, May 6,1998.

[443][443]WFP,Emergency Report No. 25 of 1998, June 19, 1998: Sudan.

[444][444]WFP,Emergency Report No. 28 of 1998, July 10, 1998: Sudan.

[445][445]WFP,Sudan Daily Bulletin No. 1, July 6 -1998 (Rome, July 7).

[446][446]WFP,Emergency Report No. 28 of 1998, July 10, 1998: Sudan.

[447][447]SCF,Sudan Emergency Bulletin Seven, October 15, 1998.

[448][448]WFP,Emergency Report No. 28 of 1998, July 10, 1998: Sudan. In the 1988 famine,thousands of starving Dinka went north to Abyei where they received no foodallocation at all in 1987. African Rights, Food and Power in Sudan, p. 108. Inthe famine summer of 1988, in Meiram, another southern Kordofan town (on therailway) to which the Dinka fled, the death rates reached unprecedented levelsof one percent per day (100 deaths/10,000 people/day), far higher than anylevels recorded before for famines in Africa. Ibid., p. 95. George Mulala,"Sudanese family perish outside jammed food center," Reuters, Ajiep, Sudan,July 30, 1998.

[449][449]WFP,Emergency Report No. 31 of 1998, July 31, 1998: Sudan.

[450][450]ICRC,Press Release, "Emergency assistance in Bahr El Ghazal Province," Geneva, July17, 1998.

[451][451]ActionContre la Faim (ACF) announced it was sending a team to Wau to open threeclinic and three therapeutic nutritional centers. "Hunger group to open foodcenters, clinics in Sudan," AFP, Paris, August 4, 1998. ACF was expelled fromSPLA areas by the SPLA in September 1997, on the pretext that it was engaged inspying for the government in the Labone area of Eastern Equatoria. ACF deniedthese charges and counterclaimed that it was expelled because it wanted toconduct a household survey to find out why in Labone, where adequate relieffood was provided, the malnutrition rate was high; possibly the SPLA wasdiverting relief food. The ACF expulsion affected Bahr El Ghazal because ACFran many supplementary feeding centers there, and was one of the few agencieswith long presence in Bahr El Ghazal. The dispute with the SPLA was neverresolved.

[452][452]AlfredTaban, "South Sudan Town Swells with Starving Villagers," Reuters, Khartoum,July 23, 1998.

[453][453]"Mortality,malnutrition soaring in Southern Sudan: official," AFP, Khartoum, July 22,1998.

[454][454]WFP,Emergency Report No. 31 of 1998, July 31, 1998: Sudan.

[455][455]Savethe Children, Press Release, "More than Two Million at Immediate Risk,"Westport, Connecticut, USA, July 2, 1998.

[456][456]"Upto 30 die each day among starving displaced persons in Sudan," AP, Khartoum,July 18, 1998; WHO/UNICEF Mission: health status of the population.

[457][457]WFP,Press Release, "Severely Malnourished in Wau Begin Receiving Cooked Food fromWFP," Nairobi, July 31, 1998.

[458][458]WFP,Sudan Daily Bulletin No. 36, September 9, 1998.

[459][459]USAID,"Relief Efforts in Sudan Continue To Fall Short of Target," August 28, 1998.

[460][460]MohammedOsman, "Refugees From Famine in Sudan Town," AP, Wau, Sudan, August 13, 1998.

[461][461]NhialBol, "More than 30,000 Peasants Made Homeless by Heavy Rains," IPS, Khartoum,September 1, 1998.

[462][462]Savethe Children, "More than Two Million at Immediate Risk."

[463][463]"Hunger,Poverty, Force Widows to Give Up Children," IPS, Wau, Southern Sudan, November19, 1998.

[464][464]ICRC,"Update No. 98/05 on ICRC Activities in Sudan, Geneva, December 6, 1998.

[465][465]OLS(Southern Sector), Emergency Sitrep No. 11, June 30, 1998.

[466][466]OLS(Southern Sector), Emergency Sitrep No. 14, August 1-31, 1998.

[467][467]Confidentialcommunication, July, 1998.

[468][468]ErwinJourand, "South Sudan famine victims await any benefits from cease-fire," AFP,Wau, Sudan, July 21, 1998.

[469][469]WHO/UNICEFMission: Food aid.

[470][470]JointTask Force report, p. 5.

[471][471]Thisbombing and the simultaneous U.S. bombing of mujahedeen camps in Afghanistanwere said to be in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of the U.S. embassiesin Nairobi, Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, killing almost 250 and injuringthousands.

[472][472]PhilipWailer, "UNICEF: Inability to get visas hindering famine relief effort," AP,Geneva, August 18, 1998.

[473][473]JohnC. Hammock and Sue Lautze,"Sudan, The other casualty: famine relief;Missile strikes disrupt humanitarian aid for 2 million," Boston Globe, August30, 1998.

[474][474]"SudanClaims Relief Plane Spied," AP, Naibori, August 30, 1998.

[475][475]WFP,Sudan Daily Bulletin No. 44, September 14, 1998.

[476][476]ICRC,"Update No. 98/05 on ICRC activities in Sudan," Geneva, December 6, 1998.

[477][477]OLSReview, p. 56.

[478][478]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 1, 1998.

[479][479]CorinneDufka, "Aid food just in time for Sudan's starving," Reuters, Ajiep, Sudan, May4, 1998.

[480][480]CharlesOmondi,"Kerubino defends SPLA soldiers," Nation (Nairobi), July 30, 1998.

[481][481]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 9, 1998.

[482][482]JamesC. McKinley, Jr., "Fueled by Drought and War, Starvation returns to Sudan," NewYork Times, Anthou, Sudan, July 24, 1998.

[483][483]MohammedOsman, "Refugees from Famine in Sudan Town," AP, Wau, Sudan, August 13, 1998.

[484][484]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 2, 1998. No further details wereavailable.

[485][485]HughNevill, "Aid for Sudan ending up with SPLA: relief workers," AFP, Rumbek,Sudan, July 21, 1998. The bishop is based in Nairobi and frequently visits hisflock in SPLA-held territory.

[486][486]LouisMeixler, "Sudan Aid Drops Face Obstacles," AP, Maper, Sudan, August 8, 1998.

[487][487]HughNevill, "Agencies, rebels set up task force on food diversion," AFP, Nairobi,July 23, 1998.

[488][488]MartinDawes, "Theft Hampers Sudan aid effort," BBC News, World: Africa, Ajiep, SouthSudan, July 22, 1998.

[489][489]ManoahEsipisu,"Rebels say Sudan U.N. relief agencies inefficient," Reuters,Nairobi, July 27, 1998; see "U.N. hits back at Sudan rebels' accusations ofcorruption," DPA, Nairobi, July 27, 1998.

[490][490]JointTask Force Report, p. 5.


[492][492]InPanthou, a survey by MSF reported a death rate for internally displacedchildren that was very much higher than for resident children: 43.8 deaths per10,000 people per day for displaced children under the age of five, comparedwith 2.6 deaths per 10,000 people per day for resident children under the ageof five. The overall level of malnutrition among under fives was 53.4. OLS(Southern Sector), Emergency Sitrep No. 14, August 1-31, 1998 (Nairobi).

[493][493]JointTask Force Report, pp. 6-8.

[494][494]Ibid.p. 16.

[495][495]Savethe Children Alliance Press Release, "More than Two Million at Immediate Risk,"Westport, Connecticut, U.S., July 2, 1998.

[496][496]JointTask Force Report, p. 16.



[499][499]Ibid.p. 8.

[500][500]NewsRelease, "OLS and the SRRA Announce New Measures to Help Ensure Food ReachesHungry in Southern Sudan," Nairobi, September 9, 1998.

[501][501]Ibid.WFP, which had twenty-five field staff at the beginning of 1998, was going toincrease their number from eighty-five (in October) to 125.

[502][502]WFP,Sudan Bulletin No. 65, December 6-13, 1998, December 18, 1998.



[505][505]OCHA,"United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan, January-December1999," New York, January 25, 1999.

[506][506]"Sudaneserebels announce unilateral cease‑fire for three months," AP, Nairobi,July 15, 1998; "Sudanese Rebels Announce Cease‑Fire for Three Months,"AP, Nairobi, July 16, 1998; UNICEF immediately urged the parties to extend thethree-month Bahr El Ghazal cease-fire in time and area. "UNICEF chief warnscease‑fire not enough for southern Sudan," AP, Nairobi, July 23, 1998.

[507][507]WFP,Press Release, "WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini calls on internationalcommunity to help end fighting in Southern Sudan," New York, July 10, 1998.

[508][508]"Sudan,Rebels to Extend Cease‑Fire," AP, United Nations, New York, October 12,1998. The SPLA announced it was extending the cease-fire in Bahr El Ghazal toWestern Upper Nile, where pro-government militias were fighting each other andthe SPLA had no troops. "Sudan rebels say extending ceasefire in south,"Reuters, Nairobi, October 8, 1998. The government said it wanted to extend thecease-fire throughout Sudan, but ultimately only agreed to a Bahr El Ghazalcease-fire.

[509][509]IanFisher, "Warring Parties in Sudan Extend Cease-Fire in Famine Area," New YorkTimes, January 16, 1999.

[510][510]WFP,Emergency Report, No. 36 of 1998, September 11, 1998: Sudan.

[511][511]WFP,Emergency Report No. 38 of 1998, September 25, 1998: Sudan.

[512][512]"FamineTakes Hold in Bahr El Ghazal as Unrest is Feared for 1999," Sudan DemocraticGazette (London), Year IX, No. 101, October 1998, p. 5. See the chapter onWestern Upper Nile below.

[513][513]AfricanRights, Food and Power in Sudan, p. 95. From May to September 1989 there was anational cease-fire (except in the central Nuba Mountains); early OLSoperations were tied to "corridors of tranquility." This permitted plantingwithout interference by the raiders. Then in 1990, breaking with the pastpattern, there was a truce along the border between the SPLA and Misseriya andRizeigat (Baggara subgroups) which continued-- intermittently-- until 1996. OLSReview, p. 172. It allowed people to circulate between their homes areas andrelief centers in government-held areas, as circumstances required. Ibid.

[514][514]"Sudanesemilitiamen report killing 98 rebels in Bahr al-Ghazal," DPA, Khartoum, July 23,1998.

[515][515]FAO,Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission to Southern Sudan, November 18. 1998.In southern Sudan, the rains stabilized from mid-July and "resulting yields arefar better than last year."

[516][516]"ReliefBeats Famine in South Sudan," Reuters, Khartoum, December 3, 1998.

[517][517]SeeU.S. Committee for Refugees, "Sudan inLate ‘98: Updated Findings andRecommendations Based on Completed USCR Site Visits," Washington, DC, December1998.

[518][518]WFP,Sudan Bulletin No. 65, December 6-13, 1998, dated December 18, 1998.

[519][519]"ReliefBeats Famine in South Sudan," Reuters, Khartoum, December 3, 1998. Some 1,000MT are earmarked for Juba, to last more than two months. Prior convoys sent inMay and August 1998 delivered more than 4,000 MT of food along the Nile. Ibid.

[520][520]MikeCrawley, "Breakthrough in Sudan talks helps food delivery," Dawn/LAT-WP NewsService, London, November 23, 1998.

[521][521]DavidLjunggren, "Sudan, rebels agree to boost aid workers' safety," Reuters, London,November 19, 1998.

[522][522]Crawley,"Breakthrough in Sudan food talks helps food delivery."

[523][523]OCHA,"Consolidated Appeal for 1999,"p.2.


[525][525]Ibid.,p. 7.

[526][526]KarlVick, "Aid Agencies Warn Anew That Sudan Faces Famine," Washington Post,Nairobi, December 24, 1998.

[527][527]Remarksof Jeff Drumtra, Press Conference, U.S. Committee for Refugees, Washington, DC,December 10, 1998; USCR, "Sudan in Late ‘98."

[528][528]JudithAchieng, "Malnutrition On The Rise," IPS, Nairobi, December 23, 1998.

[529][529]"AidAgencies Warn S. Sudan Could Revert To Acute Famine," AP, Nairobi, December 22,1998.

[530][530]Achieng,"Malnutrition On The Rise."

[531][531]KarlVick, "Aid Agencies Warn Anew That Sudan Faces Famine."

[532][532]MatthewBigg, "Sudan warlord defects back to government," Reuters, Nairobi, January 5,1999.

[533][533]Kerubinois a Dinka from Bahr El Ghazal and Paulino is a Bul Nuer; it is said thatPaulino is married to Kerubino's daughter.

[534][534]MatthewBigg, "Sudan warlord defects back to government," Reuters, Nairobi, January 5,1999. Another report claimed that Kerubino flew to Khartoum in late December1998 with ten of his sons, was received by Riek Machar, and asked to rejoin theSSDF. "Sudan: the Fall and Rise of a Warlord," IPS, Khartoum, January 5, 1999.It is highly unlikely Kerubino would have gone to Khartoum before clarifyinghis relationship with the government. When it comes to Kerubino, however,nothing is entirely impossible.

[535][535]"Kerubinoreportedly seeking to rejoin Sudan's government side," AFP, Khartoum, January4, 1998.

[536][536]"Sudan:the Fall and Rise of a Warlord," IPS, Khartoum, January 5, 1999.

[537][537]"Sudan:Ceasefire for three months," U.N. OCHA Integrated Regional Information Network(IRIN), Update No. 588 for Central and Eastern Africa, January 15, 1999.

[538][538]MatthewBigg, "Sudan rebel leader complains of harassment by SPLA," Reuters, Nairobi,November 13, 1998.

[539][539]"SudaneseRebels Wrangle in Nairobi," AANA, Nairobi, November 30, 1998.

[540][540]JudithAchieng and Nhial Bol, "Sudanese Rebel Leaders Hunt Down Each Other in Kenya,"IPS, Nairobi/Khartoum, November 19, 1998.

[541][541]MatthewBigg, "Sudan rebel leader complains of harassment by SPLA," Reuters, Nairobi,November 13, 1998.

[542][542]"Sudaneserebel group denies harassing its commander," AFP, Nairobi, November 16, 1998.

[543][543]Achiengand Bol, "Sudanese Rebel Leaders Hunt Down Each Other."

[544][544]"SudaneseRebels Wrangle in Nairobi," AANA, Nairobi, November 30, 1998.

[545][545]StevenMuiruri,"New Twist in Gen. Garang Episode," Africa News Service, Nation,Nairobi, November 18, 1998.

[546][546]"SudaneseRebels Wrangle in Nairobi," AANA, Nairobi, November 30, 1998.

[547][547]Muiruri,"New Twist in Gen. Garang Episode."

[548][548]JohnNyaga, "Sudanese rebels accuse sometime ally of assassination bid," AFP,Nairobi, November 18, 1998.

[549][549]Achiengand Bol, "Sudanese Rebel Leaders Hunt Down Each Other."

[550][550]SudaneseCatholic Information Office, Sudan Monthly Report (Nairobi), January 15, 1999,referring to January 7, 1999.

[551][551]OwinoOpondo, "Gun-Fight in Nairobi Exposes Rift in SPLA," Africa News Service, EastAfrican (Nairobi), November 25, 1998.

[552][552]Opondo,"Gun-fight in Nairobi Exposes Rift in SPLA."

[553][553]"Kerubinosays he will not rejoin Sudan government side," AFP, Nairobi, November 19,1998.

[554][554]Opondo,"Gun-fight in Nairobi Exposes Rift in SPLA."

[555][555]Muiruri,"New Twist in Gen. Garang Episode."

[556][556]Achiengand Bol, "Sudanese Rebel Leaders Hunt Down Each Other."


[558][558]"SudaneseChurch Leaders Meet SPLA Rival Groups," AANA, Nairobi, December 7, 1998.

[559][559]"Kerubinosays he will not rejoin Sudan government side," AFP, Nairobi, November 19,1998.

[560][560]FAO,Crop and Food Supply Assessment, Southern Sudan, November 16, 1998.

[561][561]"Sudansigns deals to export 200,000 T of sorghum," Reuters, Khartoum, December 8,1998.

[562][562]SeeAppendix C.

[563][563]"HumanRailway," Indian Ocean Newsletter (Paris), no. 832, November 7, 1998.

[564][564]HumanRights Watch interview, Ambassador Dick McCall, after OFDA/BPRM/InterActionMeeting, Washington, DC, November 19, 1998.

[565][565]Crawley,"Breakthrough in Sudan food talks helps food delivery."

[566][566]Thistripartite agreement was signed by the South Sudan Coordinating Council (forthe government), the SPLM, and OCHA on November 18, 1998 in Rome.

[567][567]SeeU.S. Committee for Refugees, "Sudan in Late ‘98," Washington, DC, December 10,1998. The USCR advocates declaring southern Sudan a "humanitarian autonomouszone" for purposes of delivering humanitarian relief whenever and whereverrequired. Whatever the approach, one should be selected and enforced.

[568][568]OCHA,U.N. Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan, 1998.

[569][569]Accordingto one authority, the Nuer do not call themselves ‘Nuer." They are "Nath" or"Naath." Nuer is the name given them by the Dinka and other outsiders. Naathmeans "people." Bodley, Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States, and the GlobalSystem (London and Toronto: 1994).

[570][570]Kelly,The Nuer Conquest; see also Hutchinson, Nuer Dilemmas, pp. 31-32.

[571][571]"ChinaCompletes 1,110-km Oil Pipelining Project in Sudan," Asia Pulse via COMTEX,Beijing, December 14, 1998. According to this article, the U.S.$215 million oilpipeline was completed ahead of schedule.

[572][572]MurielAllen, "Oil a Political Weapon in Southern Sudanese Politics," Chamber WorldNetwork International Ltd., Middle East Intelligence Wire, Middle East Times,July 11, 1997; see below.

[573][573]"Arakis:High Risk Oil Play," Silicon Investor Home Page, April 27, 1998; (January 28, 1998).

[574][574]"Sudan:Gold and Oil Companies as Military Targets," 1998 IPR Strategic BusinessInformation Database, April 14, 1998.

[575][575]MichelaWrong, "Sudan: Oil seen as new lifeblood," Financial Times (London), June 11,1998; see "Sudan Begins Construction of Oil Pipeline," PANA, Khartoum, May 26,1998. Another government official, Hassan al-Tom, director general at theministry of energy and mining, estimated a $300 million yearly savings.Alistair Lyon, "Sudan pipeline key to future oil plans," Reuters, Khartoum,August 28, 1998.

[576][576]"SudanTo Be Self-Sufficient In Oil By 1999 - Report," AP, Khartoum, November 24,1998.

[577][577]AlistairLyon, "Sudan pipeline key to future oil plans," Reuters, Khartoum, August 28,1998.

[578][578]CommanderSalva Kiir is now second in command in the SPLA.

[579][579]Alier,Southern Sudan, p. 240.

[580][580]Alier,Southern Sudan, pp. 239-40.

[581][581]Hutchinson,Nuer Dilemmas, p. 288.

[582][582]AnyanyaII was beginning to form in dispersed areas of Bahr El Ghazal by 1980. FrancisDeng, War of Visions, p. 331.

[583][583]AnyanyaII advocated complete independence for the south, in contrast to the SPLA goalof a "united, secular Sudan." The leadership of Anyanya II was dominated byNuer officers.

[584][584]HumanRights Watch interview with former SSIA combatant, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.Paulino had been in Anyanya and was integrated into the Sudan army as a resultof the Addis Ababa agreement. He was based with Battalion 104 in Akobo on theEthiopian border when he and other southerners rebelled against the Sudangovernment and fled to Ethiopia in 1975. In about 1978, apparently homesick,Paulino returned to Bentiu and formed his own militia. Human Rights Watchinterview, Biel Torkech Rambang, U.S. representative of UDSF, Washington, DC,December 14, 1998. UDSF is the political group formed by Riek Machar of theex-rebel, pro-government forces.

[585][585]Keen,The Benefits of Famine, p. 93.

[586][586]Ibid.,p. 79.

[587][587]Hutchinson,Nuer Dilemmas, p. 5.

[588][588]Ibid.p. 100.

[589][589]DeWaal,"Militias," pp. 79-80. Nevertheless, Chevron never returned to operate the oilfields, which were abandoned until the late 1990s.

[590][590]Ibid.,p. 78.

[591][591]Hutchinson,Nuer Dilemmas, p. 6; see Alier, Southern Sudan, pp. 275-76. The author givesthe date of Gordon Kong's switch to the SPLA as 1988.

[592][592]Hutchinson,Nuer Dilemmas, p. 100-01, n. 50.

[593][593]DeWaal,"Militias," p. 80.

[594][594]Alier,Southern Sudan, pp. 275-76.

[595][595]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, December 14, 1998.

[596][596]DouglasH. Johnson, Nuer Prophets: A History of Prophecy from the Upper Nile in theNineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), p. 342.

[597][597]Hutchinson,Nuer Dilemmas, p. 339.

[598][598]RueiKuic was a Nuer prophet from the Zeraf island area active in thesereconciliation negotiations. Johnson, Nuer Prophets, p. 324.

[599][599]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, December 14, 1998.

[600][600]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 11, 1998.

[601][601]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel TorkechRambang, December 14, 1998.

[602][602]HumanRights Watch telephone interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, January 21, 1999.

[603][603]HumanRights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 6, 1998.

[604][604]Confidentialdocument, May 18, 1998.


[606][606]"KerubinoGives NIF A Run For Their Money While SPLA Watches,"Sudan DemocraticGazette (London), Year IX, No. 93, February 1998.

[607][607]"38Reported Dead in Fighting Between Sudan Forces,"Reuter, Khartoum, January19, 1998.

[608][608]"Sudaneseoil fields are military target for Sudanese rebels,"Alexander's Gas&Oil Connections, January 28, 1998.

[609][609]"OilOperations Threatened, Scores Killed in Clashes - Rebel Movement," Al-Hayat(London), in Arabic, January 28, 1998.

[610][610]Letter,Riek to Bashir, Appendix F.

[611][611]Ibid.;see Michela Wrong, "Sudan: Mirage of peace shimmers over drought-hit country,"Financial Times (London), July 30, 1998.

[612][612]Letter,Riek to Bashir, Appendix F.

[613][613]HumanRights Watch interview, Nairobi, April 29, 1998.

[614][614]Ibid.;Human Rights Watch interview, Lokichokkio, May 17, 1998.




[618][618]"Spokesmanaccuses rebels of attempting to control oil fields,"AFP, Khartoum, May16, 1998.

[619][619]"Sudan:Hi-tec protection for pipeline,"Indian Ocean Newsletter (Paris), May 23,1998.

[620][620]InApril 1998 the Energy and Mining Minister of Sudan, Dr. Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz,announced that the Public Chinese Petroleum Company would begin work witharound 5,000 Chinese employees working in the field of petroleum in Sudan. Hesaid that tens of Chinese companies operating in Sudan in the fields ofpetroleum, mining, energy, agriculture, industry, and roads. "Establishment ofPetroleum Pipe-Line To Begin Early Next May," SUNA, Beijing, April 22, 1998.

[621][621]"2,000Chinese prisoners building Sudanese oil pipeline: opposition," AFP, Cairo,August 19, 1998. The NDA alleged the prisoners were promised a $5,000 salaryper year plus their freedom after two years. Ibid.

[622][622]MatthewBigg,"Sudan Oil State Favours Secession, government doesn't,"Reuters, Nairobi, May 12, 1998.

[623][623]Confidentialdocument provided by author, dated May 18, 1998.

[624][624]OCHA,U.N. Consolidated Inter‑Agency Appeal for Sudan, 1998. This would besufficient for forty-three days of full rations, assuming 2,100kilocalories/person/day.

[625][625]WFP,Emergency Report No. 26 of 1998, June 26, 1998: Sudan. This would be sufficientfor twelve days of full rations for this population, also based on 2,100kilocalories/person/day.

[626][626]"Aidagencies pull out of Sudanese region,"AFP, Nairobi, July 7, 1998; MSFpress release, "Insecurity Hinders Provision of Humanitarian Assistance inSouthern Sudan," Nairobi, July 7, 1998.

[627][627]AlfredTaban,"Pro-government factions clash in Sudan,"Reuters, Khartoum,July 7, 1998.

[628][628]"Inter-factionfighting reported in southern Sudan,"AFP, Khartoum, July 7, 1998.

[629][629]"Pro-governmentfactional fighting still rages in south Sudan,"AFP, Khartoum, July 12,1998.

[630][630]"Nearly50 die in Sudan clashes,"AFP, Khartoum, July 19, 1998.

[631][631]Towhich development projects the delegation referred was unclear, because asidefrom NGO health and assistance programs, the only development has been in theoil fields.

[632][632]"ProGOS fighting factions,"AFP, Khartoum, July 15, 1998.

[633][633]"Aidworkers hiding in bush after sending SOS,"AFP, Nairobi, July 16, 1998.

[634][634]"Pro-governmentfactions reach ceasefire in southern Sudan,"AFP, Khartoum, July 21, 1998.

[635][635]"CiviliansDisplaced by Sudan Fights,"AP, Khartoum, July 27, 1998.

[636][636]OLS(Southern Sector), Emergency Sitrep No. 14, August 1-31, 1998.

[637][637]LotteHughes, "'I know no one will take care of me if I go blind,'" Times (London),July 22, 1998.

[638][638]"Pro-governmenttroops retake Sudanese towns," AFP, Khartoum, September 7, 1998.

[639][639]AlfredTaban, "Clashes bring turmoil to Sudan oil zone," Reuters, Khartoum, September15, 1998.

[640][640]MohamedOsman, "400 Reported Dead in Sudan Battles," AP, Khartoum, September 14, 1998.


[642][642]AlfredTaban, "Clashes bring turmoil to Sudan oil zone," Reuters, Khartoum, September15, 1998. The article says that the government stopped supplying arms to thetwo leaders since their conflict intensified in January, but does not cite asource for that assertion.

[643][643]MatthewBigg, "Sudan rebels target garrison town," Reuters, Nairobi, September 30,1998.

[644][644]WFP,Sudan Bulletin No. 53 for October 6-8, 1998, dated October 8, 1998.

[645][645]"WFPResumes Food Aid To Sudan," PANA, Nairobi, December 10, 1998.

[646][646]OCHA,Consolidated Appeal for Sudan, 1999, p. 20.

[647][647]Ibid.,p. 10.

[648][648]Nyamlellgoes back and forth from government to SPLA hands. At the time of this writing,it was in SPLA hands. It is an area that has suffered greatly from muraheleenraids that loot cattle and capture women and children to use as slaves. Thepresence of Riek's SSDF there would suggest a connection between the SSDF-or atleast this commander- and the muraheleen slave raiders.

[649][649]MohamedAli Saeed, "Conflicts rage on in Sudan, despite humanitarian crisis," AFP,Khartoum, July 29, 1998.

[650][650]AlfredTaban, "Pro-government ally splits from Sudan coalition," Reuters, Khartoum,October 11, 1998.

[651][651]"1,000pro-government militias defect to Sudanese rebel group," AFP, Khartoum, October24, 1998; "Pro-government troops join rebels in Southern Sudan," Reuters,Khartoum, October 24, 1998.

[652][652]"Sudanconfirms defection of militia leader to rebel group," DPA, Khartoum, November10, 1998.

[653][653]"Moresouthern Sudanese fighters returning to rebel ranks: SPLA," AFP, Cairo, October31, 1998.


[655][655]"Sudanpro-government southern rebels end feud," Reuters, Khartoum, November 15, 1998.

[656][656]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, December 14, 1998.

[657][657]"WFPResumes Food Aid to Sudan," PANA, Nairobi, December 10, 1998.


[659][659]WFP,Sudan Bulletin No. 60, November 4-6, 1998, November 6, 1998.

[660][660]KarlVick, "Aid Agencies Warn Anew That Sudan Faces Famine."

[661][661]OxfamGG (Great Britain), "Getting back on the road to peace," London, August 28,1998.

[662][662]Itwould take about fifteen years to recover the cost of the pipeline from transitfees that would be charged to users, a government minister said. Alistair Lyon,"Sudan pipeline key to future oil plans," Reuters, Khartoum, August 28, 1998.

[663][663]"SudanTo Be Self-Sufficient In Oil By 1999 - Report," AP, Khartoum, Sudan, November24, 1998. Sudan had signed twelve agreements with international companies formineral and gold prospects, and exported five tons of gold in a Sudanese-Frenchjoint venture.

[664][664]"OilElectricity Profile, Sudan," U.S. Energy Information Administration,Washington, DC, October 1998; Arakis Press Release, "Arakis Announces PipelineUnder Construction," Calgary, Canada, May 7, 1998; see"Black gold crucialto Sudanese peace," Calgary, Africa Analysis, No. 297, May 15, 1998.

[665][665]"OilElectricity Profile, Sudan," USEIA; Arakis Press Release, May 7, 1998.

[666][666]DavidIvanovich, "USA: House Votes to Blacklist U.S. Oil Industry Ties to Syria,Sudan," Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, Houston Chronicle (Texas, U.S.A.),July 9, 1997.

[667][667]KimberleyMusic, "House Approves Limiting President's Ability to Bypass Trade," The OilDaily, July 10, 1998.

[668][668]DavidIvanovich, "USA: House Votes to Blacklist U.S. Oil Industry Ties to Syria,Sudan," Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, Houston Chronicle (Texas, U.S.A.),July 9, 1997.

[669][669]"WhiteHouse Statement on New Sanctions on Sudan," White House, Washington, DC,November 4, 1997: Declaration of Emergency and Imposition of Sanctions, basedon Sudan's sponsorship of international terrorism, efforts to destabilizeneighboring countries, and its "abysmal human rights record."

[670][670]JeffreyJones, "Cash crunch may force sale of Canada's Arakis Energy," Reuters,Calgary, Canada, July 7, 1998.


[672][672]ArakisPress Release,"Arakis Announces Pipeline Under Construction," Calgary,Canada, May 7, 1998.

[673][673]"ArakisCEO says Sudan to support buyout," Reuters, Calgary, Canada, August 17, 1998.

[674][674]"TalismanTakeover of Arakis: Urgent Action Required," Inter-Church Coalition on Africa,129 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON Canada M4V 1N5,

[675][675]"ArakisHolders Approve C$265.8 Mln Purchase by Talisman Energy," Bloomberg, Calgary,Canada, October 7, 1998.

[676][676]"Canadiancorporate involvement in Sudan Action against Talisman Energy Inc. Neededurgently, Canadian agencies tell Axworthy [minister for foreign affairs],"Inter-Church Coalition on Africa, November 18, 1998.

[677][677]HumanRights Watch telephone interview, December 15, 1998.

[678][678]Alier,Southern Sudan, p. 160.

[679][679]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, December 14, 1998.

[680][680]SeeAppendix E.

[681][681]"Thirteendie in attack on south Sudanese governor's residence," AFP, Khartoum, June 18,1998.

[682][682]SeeAppendix F for the text of the letter, which was obtained from a reliablesource close to the UDSF.


[684][684]HumanRights Watch interview, Biel Torkech Rambang, December 14, 1998.


[686][686]LetterRiek to Bashir, Appendix F.


[688][688]"FormerSudanese rebel commander justifies deaths of two of men," DPA, Khartoum, June26, 1998.

[689][689]"Sudanmilitia commanders to move to Juba," Reuters, Khartoum, September 3, 1998.

[690][690]Letter,Riek to Bashir, Appendix F.

[691][691]"Sudan'sformer rebels told to hand over arms," Reuters, Khartoum, February 18, 1998.

[692][692]"Sudantroops halt militia clash in Khartoum," Reuters, Khartoum, August 9, 1998.

[693][693]"Sudanmilitia commanders to move to Juba," Reuters, Khartoum, September 3, 1998.

[694][694]"Twoheld for questioning after Sudan slaying," AFP, Khartoum, June 25, 1998; "Twokilled in attack on Sudanese faction offices in Khartoum," AFP, Khartoum, June25, 1998.

[695][695]"FormerSudanese rebel commander justifies deaths of two of men," DPA, Khartoum, June26, 1998.

[696][696]"QuarrelingSudanese militiamen turn on police: report," AFP, Khartoum, August 9, 1998.

[697][697]"Sudanmilitia commanders to move to Juba," Reuters, Khartoum, September 3, 1998.

[698][698]"Sudanto set up joint committee of army, rebel defectors," AFP, Khartoum, October 28,1998.

[699][699]"Riftin Sudanese pro-Khartoum faction leads to clash: report," AFP, Khartoum,October 22, 1998.

[700][700]"SudanDisarms Pro-Government Militias in Khartoum," Reuters, Khartoum, November 19,1998; "Former Guards of Southern Leaders Disarmed in Khartoum," PANA, Khartoum,November 22, 1998.

[701][701]"Pro-Khartoummilitias slam Sudan govt arms raid," Reuters, Khartoum, November 28, 1998.

[702][702]"SudanDisarms Pro-Government Militias in Khartoum;" "Sudanese government beginsoperation to disarm former rebels," DPA, Khartoum, November 19, 1998.

[703][703]NhialBol, "Tension Builds, as Attempts to Disarm Militias Intensify," IPS, Khartoum,November 20, 1998.


[705][705]"SudanDisarms Pro-Government Militias in Khartoum," Reuters, Khartoum, November 19,1998.

[706][706]NhialBol, "Tension Builds, as Attempts to Disarm Militias Intensify," IPS, Khartoum,November 20, 1998.


[708][708]RosalindRussell, "Sudan rebels invite government factions back to fold," Reuters,Nairobi, November 20, 1998.

[709][709]"Pro-Khartoummilitias slam Sudan govt arms raid."

[710][710]AlfredTaban, "Sudan militia leader condemns disarmament," Reuters, Khartoum, December7, 1998.

[711][711]"Sudanmilitia commanders to move to Juba," Reuters, Khartoum, September 3, 1998.

[712][712]AlfredTaban, "Sudanese authorities seek to evict unruly militias," Reuters, Khartoum,December 3, 1998.


[714][714]AlfredTaban, "Sudan militia leader condemns disarmament," Reuters, Khartoum, December7, 1998.

[715][715]TheMurle militia is based on the Murle ethnic group, from the Ethiopian-Sudanborder south of Akobo.

[716][716]"Sudanesepro-government militia clash in Juba," Reuters, Khartoum, January 12, 1999.

[717][717]"Pro-governmentfactions fight in Sudan," AFP, Khartoum, January 12, 1999.

[718][718]"Pro-governmentmilitias ordered out of south Sudan's main town," AFP, Khartoum, January 15,1999.

[719][719]AlfredTaban, "Sudan militia splits from pro-government coalition," Reuters, Khartoum,January 21, 1999.

[720][720]"SouthSudanese movement to form independent party," AFP, Khartoum, January 8, 1999;"Sudan's breakaway politicians urged to quit gov't jobs," AFP, Khartoum,January 24, 1999; "South Sudan leader refuses to give up government role," AFP,Khartoum, January 28, 1999.

[721][721]KevinAshley, Paul Murphy and Kate Biong, "Nagorban and Heiban County,27/2/98-16/3/98," Nairobi ("1998 Nuba Needs Assessment"), p.3.

[722][722]Forbackground, see African Rights, The Nuba of Sudan: Facing Genocide (AfricanRights: London, 1995).

[723][723]1998Nuba Needs Assessment, p. 1.

[724][724]SeeAfrican Rights, Facing Genocide.

[725][725]HumanRights Watch interview, Nuba Mountains, May 17, 1998.

[726][726]HumanRights Watch interview, Nuba Mountains, May 16, 1998

[727][727]1998Nuba Needs Assessment, p. 2.

[728][728]1998Nuba Needs Assessment, p. 1.

[729][729]Ibid,p. 3.

[730][730]Ibid.,p. 4.


[732][732]OCHA,U.N. Consolidated Appeal for Sudan for 1998.

[733][733]InternationalFederation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Press Release, "Killedin the line of duty," Geneva, June 11, 1998; Alfred Taban, "Three aid workersshot dead during Sudan mission," Reuters, Khartoum, June 10, 1998.

[734][734]"SPLAdenies killing relief workers in Nuba Mountains," AFP, Nairobi, June 11, 1998.

[735][735]OCHA,Minutes of the OCHA/InterAction Meeting, United Nations, June 26, 1998.

[736][736]HumanRights Watch telephone interview, Tony Raby, OCHA Desk Officer for Sudan,United Nations, January 4, 1999.


[738][738]OCHA,"Sudan: Ceasefire extended for three months," IRIN Update No. 588 for Centraland Eastern Africa, January 15, 1999, citing Ambassador Vraalsen.



[739][739]SeeGeorge Alagiah, "Hungry for the Truth," Guardian (London), May 25, 1998,responding to some British aid agencies' criticism that his reportingexaggerated the crisis.

[740][740]See"The Rest of the Story," Brill's Content (New York), December 1998/January1999, pp. 38-39, commenting on a photograph in southern Sudan by award-winningTom Stoddard of an emaciated child on hands and knees staring up at awell-dressed figure who has stolen relief food the boy was given. Thephotograph appeared with others in "A Famine Made by Man," U.S. News and WorldReport (New York), September 14, 1998, pp. 38-43.

[741][741]"FamineVictims Need Peace Not Charity," Sunday Telegraph (London), May 3, 1998.

[742][742]"Howaid can make a lasting difference," Independent (London), November 21, 1998.

[743][743]OwenBowcoff, "Short attacks "unnecessary" charity appeal for Sudan," DailyTelegraph (London), May 21, 1998.

[744][744]"BritishMPs back charities in Sudan appeal row," Reuters, London, August 6, 1998.

[745][745]OLSReview, p. 161.

[746][746]MarkDuffield, "NGOs, Disaster Relief and Asset Transfer in the Horn: PoliticalSurvival in a Permanent Emergency," Development and Change (SAGE, London,Newbury Park and New Delhi), vol. 24 (1993), pp. 131-57; see Duffield, "Theemergence of two-tier welfare in Africa: marginalization or an opportunity forreform?" Public Administration and Development, Vol. 12 (London: John Wiley&Sons, Ltd, 1992), pp. 139-54; Duffield, "Relief in War Zones: Toward anAnalysis of the New Aid Paradigm," Third World Quarterly, vol. 18 (3) (1997);Duffield, "Post-Modern Conflict: Warlords, Post-Adjustment States and PrivateProtection," Journal of Civil Wars (April 1998).

[747][747]"Foodfor war," Financial Times (London), May 15, 1998 ("donors free the protagonistsfrom responsibility for their actions, thus reducing the pressure to reach asettlement.").

[748][748]WFP,Emergency Report No. 22 of 1998, May 29, 1998: Sudan.

[749][749]In1987 nearly 9,000 MT of sorghum destined for starving Dinka displaced in Wauwas pillaged at Raga with the connivance of local officials. Burr and Collins,Requiem for the Sudan, pp 75-80.

[750][750]Burrand Collins, Requiem for the Sudan, pp. 145-46.

[751][751]AfricanRights, Food and Power in the Sudan, p. 238.

[752][752]Seethe discussion regarding the Joint Task Force, above.

[753][753]SPLAcommunication to Human Rights Watch, July 1998.

[754][754]See"In the Countryside of Bahr El Ghazal; People Make Do with Precious LittleWhile the OLS Food Helps the NIF Regime to Convert the Population To Islam InWau Town," Sudan Democratic Gazette (London), Year IX, No. 101, October 1998,pp. 6-7.

[755][755]"Theequivocal autonomy of OLS in the South has thus been purchased at the expenseof displaced and war-affected populations in the North." OLS Review, p. 60.

[756][756]RosalindRussell, "Red Cross returns to Sudan after 18-month absence," Reuters, Nairobi,May 14, 1998.

[757][757]"Dozensof Sudanese war‑wounded stream into Red Cross hospital," AFP, Nairobi,September 29, 1998. The ICRC hospital is staffed by seventeen expatriates and150 national employees, admits 2,000 patients and carries out 5,000 operationseach year. ICRC, "Update No. 98/05 on ICRC Activities in Sudan," Geneva,December 8, 1998.

[758][758]ICRC,Press Release, "Emergency assistance in Bahr Al Ghazal province," Geneva, July17, 1998.

[759][759]SeeBurr and Collins, Requiem for the Sudan, pp. 243-44 (NPA provided aid forsoutherners in SPLA villages in the early 1990s).

[760][760]HumanRights Watch interview, Sudan, May 7, 1998.

[761][761]HughNevill, "Aid agencies feeding two armies in Sudan," AFP, Nairobi, July 27,1998.

[762][762]SeeOLS Review and Joint Task Force Report, among other studies.

[763][763]SeeSudan Focal Point-Europe conference paper presented at Conference: Sudan - ACry for Peace, Stockholm, October 16-17, 1998, analyzing the setback to thepeace process caused by the U.S. bombing of Khartoum on August 20, 1998, andthe prospects for peace. Sudan Focal Point‑Europe, Weinberg 62, P.O.Box1900964, 31134 Hildesheim Germany.

[764][764]"WFPdirector urges the world to end war in Sudan, " AFP, Nairobi, July 10, 1998;WFP, Press Release, "Statement of Catherine A. Bertini, Executive Director ofWFP to the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives: Thecrisis in Sudan," August 4, 1998, web posted at

[765][765]OLS,"An OLS Position Paper: The Humanitarian Emergency in Sudan," Nairobi, July 31,1998.

[766][766]OxfamGB's paper entitled "Getting back on the road to peace," London, August 28,1998, also pointed out that the momentum for peace suffered a severe setbackbecause of the U.S. missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum. Thepaper presented alternatives on how to restart the peace process.

[767][767]OCHA,Minutes of OCHA/InterAction Meeting, October 30, 1998. See Save the ChildrenFund, CARE International and Oxfam GB, "Sudan: Who has the will for peace?"(October 22, 1998), webposted on December 1, 1998,

[768][768]PaulLewis, "Private Aid Groups Press U.N. To Help End Sudan's Civil War," New YorkTimes, United Nations, November 1, 1998.


[770][770]"Sudanaccuses NGOs of serving hostile political ends," AFP, Khartoum, December 28,1998.


[772][772]Sikainga,Slaves into Workers, pp. 53-54.

[773][773]RichardGray, A History of the Southern Sudan 1839-1889 (London: Oxford UniversityPress, 1961), p. 67.

[774][774]Sikainga,The Western Bahr Al-Ghazal, p. 21.

[775][775]RobertO. Collins, Shadows in the Grass, Britain in the Southern Sudan, 1918-1956 (NewYork: Yale University Press, 1983), p. 178.

[776][776]Holtand Daly, A History of the Sudan, p. 70.

[777][777]RobertO. Collins, Shadows in the Grass, Britain in the Southern Sudan, 1918-1956 (NewYork: Yale University Press, 1983), p. 178.

[778][778]Sikainga,Western Bahr Al-Ghazal, p.194.

[779][779]Burrand Collins, Requiem for the Sudan, p. 74.

[780][780]Sikainga,Slaves into Workers, p. 35.

[781][781]Collins,Shadows in the Grass, p. 180. Raga was no garden spot. In 1998, it was reportedthat river blindness was spreading there; 95 percent of its estimated 400,000population was said to have the disease and 20 percent (80,000) were said to bealready blind. Sudan Update, January 13, 1998.

[782][782]Sikainga,Western Bahr Al-Ghazal, p. xiii.

[783][783]Ibid.,p. xiv.

[784][784]Ibid,p. 33.

[785][785]Ibid,p. 122.

[786][786]Collins,Shadows in the Grass, p. 180.

[787][787]Sikainga,Slaves into Workers, p. 8.

[788][788]Sikainga,Western Bahr Al-Ghazal, p. 85.

[789][789]Ibid,p. 106.

[790][790]Collins,Shadows in the Grass, p. 180.

[791][791]Sikainga,Western Bahr Al-Ghazal, p. 88.

[792][792]Collins,Shadows in the Grass, pp. 189-90.

[793][793]Sikainga,Western Bahr Al-Ghazal, p. 123.

[794][794]Ibid.,pp. 120, 89.

[795][795]JamesChinyankandath, "The 1986 Elections," in Peter Woodward, ed., Sudan AfterNimeiri (London: Routledge, 1991), p. 86.

[796][796]Sikainga,Western Bahr Al-Ghazal, pp. 123-24.

[797][797]HumanRights Watch interviews, Martin Marial, May 3, and Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May5, 1998.

[798][798]AliTamin Fartak demanded that Riek Machar quit his government post as head of theSouth Sudan Coordinating Council after Riek formed a party, the UnitedDemocratic Salvation Front Party, from his ex-rebel political group. "Sudan'sbreakaway politicians urged to quit government jobs," AFP, Khartoum, January24, 1999. Riek declined to quit.

[799][799]TheEncyclopedia Britannica, World Data Annual 1993.

[800][800]FrancisMading Deng, The Dinka of the Sudan (Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press,1972), p. 1.

[801][801]Ibid.,pp. 1-2.

[802][802]Holtand Daly, A History of the Sudan, p. 177. The railroad does not pass throughGogrial.

[803][803]AfricanRights, Food and Power in Sudan, p. 247.

[804][804]Alier,Southern Sudan, p. 283.

[805][805]Keen,The Benefits of Famine, p. 116.

[806][806]Ibid.,p. 117.

[807][807]Ibid.,p. 141.

[808][808]Ibid.,pp. 142-44. Fadallah Burma Nasir, now as then an Umma Party member, has beenjailed frequently by the Bashir government for alleged conspiracies and otherillegal opposition activities.

[809][809]Ibid.,pp. 142-43.

[810][810]TheSudan government likes to point to the existence of almost two millioninternally displaced southerners in Khartoum as proof that it does not abusetheir rights, the implication being that they would not go to Khartoumotherwise. This sounds plausible only to those who are not familiar with theextremely rudimentary transportation system in Sudan, and the difficultgeography of Bahr El Ghazal. Many internally displaced in Khartoum are fromBahr El Ghazal because, logistically, the trip is easier on the railroad, whichis one of the few avenues of transportation for that region. The train onlygoes north. Whatever economic opportunities there are in this underdevelopedcountry are generally found in the capital.

[811][811]Keen,The Benefits of Famine, p. 127.

[812][812]Ibid.,p. 168.

[813][813]Ibid.,p. 171.

[814][814]Burrand Collins, Requiem for the Sudan, pp. 198-99 (footnotes omitted).

[815][815]HumanRights Watch interview, Martin Marial. Estimates vary. Another source said,"The train went to Wau four to six times in all from 1992 to 1997 (therewas no train in January 1998). The supplies are airlifted from El Obeid to Wauin cargo planes." Human Rights Watch interview, Nairobi, May 8, 1998.


[817][817]U.S.Embassy Cable, attached to letter from Robert A. Bradtke, Acting AssistantSecretary for Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of State, May 1993, to TheHonorable Frank R. Wolf, House of Representatives.

[818][818]OLSReview, p. 247.

[819][819]OLSReview, Appendix II, p. IV, Figure A.5.

[820][820]HumanRights Watch/Africa, Children of Sudan, pp. 41-42.

[821][821]MohamedAli Saeed,"Sudan's junta calls for more aid, broadening of ceasefire,"AFP, Khartoum, July 21, 1998, quoting Minister for Social Planning Maj.-Gen.Hassan Osman Dhahawi.

[822][822]WFP,Press Release, Khartoum, July 16, 1998.

[823][823]MinimumOperational Standards for Rail Corridors and Cross-Line Road Corridors, signedin Rome, November 18, 1998.

[824][824]"Iranto supply Sudan with railway carriages,"DPA, Khartoum, July 15, 1998.

[825][825]AfricaWatch, Denying the Honor of Living, p. 108.

[826][826]Thecurrent government of Sudan shot down a civilian plane belonging to MSF-Franceon December 21, 1989, as it took off from Aweil. The government deniedresponsibility and claimed the plane was struck by an SPLA missile but it washit by a missile fired from a location not more than 200 meters from the housesof the MSF personnel, inside government-controlled Aweil. Burr and Collins,Requiem for the Sudan, pp. 260-61. The government's flight bans impliedly carrythe threat of shooting down any plane venturing into its sovereign airspacewithout permission. That is sufficient for insurance companies.

[827][827]AfricanRights, Food and Power in the Sudan, p. 99.

[828][828]WFP,Emergency Report No. 17 of 1998, April 28, 1998: Sudan; see WFP, Press Release,"WFP Seeks to Step Up its Airlift of Food Aid to Southern Sudan to AvertCatastrophe in the Bahr El Ghazal Region," Nairobi, April 21, 1998.

[829][829]WFP,Press Release, "WFP Seeks to Step Up its Airlift of Food Aid to Southern Sudanto Avert Catastrophe in the Bahr El Ghazal Region," Nairobi, April 21, 1998.

[830][830]OLS(Southern Sector), Press Release, "Another Large Cargo Aircraft Approved," Nairobi,April 25, 1998.

[831][831]WFP,Emergency Report No. 17 of 1998, April 28, 1998: Sudan:.

[832][832]OLS(Southern Sector), Press Release, "UN Granted Permission to Fly Four AdditionalAircraft," Khartoum/Nairobi, May 3, 1998.

[833][833]StephanieNebehay, "UN Appeals for $65.8 ml. to avoid famine in Sudan," Reuters, Geneva,May 1, 1998.

[834][834]OLS,Press Release, "UN Granted Permission to Fly Four Additional Aircraft."

[835][835]WFP,Press Release, "WFP Announces the Arrival of Additional Aircraft," Nairobi, May7, 1998. Food aid originally allocated for other regions appeared to have beendiverted to manage the crisis in Bahr El Ghazal, thus deepening the crisis inother areas. International Office of Jesuit Refugee Service, JRS Dispatches No.30, July 1, 1998: "Southern Sudan: Food Aid Diverted."

[836][836]"RainsThreaten Food Distribution to Southern Sudan: WFP," AFP, Nairobi, May 15, 1998.

[837][837]WFP,Emergency Report No. 19 of 1998, May 8, 1998: Sudan.

[838][838]USAID,FEWS Bulletin, May 1998, May 20, 1998.

[839][839]SeeHuman Rights Watch/Africa and Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project, TheScars of Death: Children Abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda (NewYork: Human Rights Watch, September 1997).

[840][840]"ReliefEnvoy Ambushed Outside Sudan," AANA, Koboko, Uganda, October 26, 1998: an NPArelief convoy returning from Sudan after having delivered relief supplies wasambushed inside Uganda two kilometers from Koboko on October 15. In this mostserious ambush of NPA workers to date, two NPA cars came under heavy fire, andthe truck driver, his assistant, and the officer in charge were killed on thespot. All were Sudanese. Another two, one a woman passenger, were injured.

[841][841]Ithas been pointed out that the 701,000 estimate suggests that the U.N. iscapable of estimating this population to the nearest 1,000. No such capacityexists anywhere, to our knowledge.

[842][842]TheWFP food basket for Sudan at this time was calculated to add enough to existingfood resources to assure 1,900 kilocalories/person/day. The food aid basketconsisted of sorghum or maize, pulses, cooking oil and salt. The cereals wereunmilled "and no compensation was made for energy losses during hand milling.Salt was rarely distributed." Cooking oil was less frequently distributedbecause it could not be delivered by airdrop. WHO/UNICEF Mission: Food aid.

[843][843]"Full"rations (assuming no other source of food is available) are defined as 1,900kilocalories per day by WFP, 2,100 by MSF, and 2,400 by the ICRC. "Most healthorganizations believe that the 1900Kcal/person/day ration is insufficient (whenthere are no other sources of food)."MSF, Nutrition Guidelines, p. 24.

[844][844]WFP,Press Release, "WFP seeks to expand food aid cooperation in Sudan," Nairobi,June 11, 1998.

[845][845]USAID,FEWS Bulletin, June 1998, June 26, 1998.

[846][846]WFP,Press Release, "Sudan to Allow Major Expansion of WFP Humanitarian AirOperation," Nairobi, June 26, 1998.

[847][847]WFP,Press Release, "WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini Calls on theInternational Community to Help End Fighting," New York, July 10, 1998.

[848][848]USAID,Sudan Complex Emergency Situation Report No.2, Washington, DC, July 15, 1998.

[849][849]"SudanRelief To Surpass Berlin Airlift Aid, Rice Says," testimony of AssistantSecretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice to a joint hearing of theHouse Subcommittee on Africa and the Subcommittee on International Operationsand Human Rights, U.S. Congress, July 29, 1998.

[850][850]"Sudanairlift grows in efforts to combat famine," Reuters, Nairobi, August 30, 1998.

[851][851]"Sudangovernment suspends aid flights to south," Reuters, Nairobi, October 1, 1998.

[852][852]WFP,Emergency Report, No. 36 of 1998, September 11, 1998: Sudan.

[853][853]WFP,Emergency Report No. 38 of 1998, September 25, 1998: Sudan.

[854][854]OCHA,U.N. Consolidated Appeal for 1999, p. 20.

[855][855]HumanRights Watch interviews in Nairobi and Lokichokkio, Kenya; Bahr El Ghazal,Sudan; and Washington, DC, including Biel Torkech Rambang, U.S. representativeof United Democratic Salvation Forces, Washington, DC, December 14, 1998.

[856][856]SeeHuman Rights Watch/Africa, Civilian Devastation, p. 225. Since publication ofthat report, Human Rights Watch has received additional information from anumber of sources that Martin Majier Gai, Martin Makur Aleu, and MartinKajiboro (referred to as "the three Martins") were executed by an SPLA officerwhile in custody.

[857][857]Abrief account of his escape before capture by the SPLA appears in Human RightsWatch/Africa, Civilian Devastation, p. 136.

[858][858]InternationalCommittee of the Red Cross, Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: Geneva1987), p. 1456.

[859][859]Ibid.,pp. 1458-59.

[860][860]Ibid.,p. 657. Another authority gives the following examples of direct support:"an irrigation canal used as part of a defensive position, a water towerused as an observation post, or a cornfield used as cover for the infiltrationof an attacking force."Michael Bothe, Karl Josef Partsch, and Waldemar A.Solf, New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers:The Hague/Boston/London, 1982), p. 341.

[861][861]Article 54 of Protocol I is the parallel, for international armed conflicts, toarticle 14, Protocol II in its prohibition on starvation of civilians as amethod of warfare.

[862][862]Bothe,New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflict, p. 340.

[863][863]Ibid.,pp. 340-41.

[864][864]Civiliansare not legitimate military targets; this is expressly forbidden by U.N.General Assembly Resolution 2444, Respect for Human Rights in Armed Conflicts,United Nations Resolution 2444, G.A. Res. 2444, 23 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 18) p.164, U.N. Doc. A/7433 (1968). The duty to distinguish at all times betweencivilians and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objects,includes the duty to direct military operations only against militaryobjectives.

This report charges that the Sudanese government's abusive tactics, and the predatory practices of rebel forces and government-sponsored tribal militia, have turned this famine into a disaster requiring the largest emergency relief operation in the world in 1998,and the largest airlift operation since the Berlin airlift. The government spends about one million dollars a day on the war, roughly the same amount the international community spent on relief at the height of the famine. It also urges the warring parties to end looting and attacks on civilians, as well as the diversion of civilian relief aid. It calls on the Sudan government and rebel authorities to punish those guilty of such abuses. And it asks that the international community actively support U.N.human rights monitors for Sudan, either inside the country or on its borders, who would be tasked to promptly inform the world of human rights abuses, especially those that might lead to another famine. Finally, the report calls on the government of Sudan to honor the promise it made to the U.N. Secretary-General in 1998, to provide humanitarian access to rebel areas of the Nuba Mountains which have been besieged for ten years by the government.

This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.