Civilians’ survival strategies amid institutionalized insecurity and violence in the Nuba Mountains, Sudan

Civilians’ survival strategies amid institutionalized insecurity and violence in the Nuba Mountains, Sudan

The Nuba’s peripheral homeland of the Nuba Mountains, in southern Kordofan, is one of Sudan’s current killing fields, with high numbers of civilian casualties, of wounded and internally displaced persons, refugees, families, and individuals. One key overarching argument framing this paper is that the recurring and prolonged wars in Sudan are better understood when put in a wider precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial historical context of the Sudanese socio-political historiography. Thus, it is argued here that the present excessive violence in Sudan in general, and in the Nuba Mountains in particular, is essentially a result of institutionalized insecurity prevalent throughout the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial history of the Sudanese state.

The wide range of literature covering different political episodes in Sudan supports this assertion. It succinctly confirms the continuity of institutionalized insecurity and perpetual violence from the precolonial kingdom; the Turco-Egyptian rule and its slave trade institutions, the Mahdist’s brutal Jihaddiya of forced militarization; the colonial closed district policy coupled with brutal punitive operations, the postcolonial violence and protracted civil wars generated by the state against its own citizens at the peripheries.

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