The latest conflict in the Nuba Mountains of southern Sudan began in the mid-1980s and forms part of a larger conflict in which the main protagonists have been the National Congress Party (NCP) government of Sudan and the Southern People's Liberation Movement / Army (SPLM/A). The Nuba Mountains conflict has its origins not only in the relations between the 'Arab' Baggara groups and the neighbouring 'African' Nuba communities, who consider themselves systematically marginalised, but also in the deteriorating national political and economic conditions that have given rise to the SPLM/A rebellion in southern Sudan.
This paper explores conflict in the Nuba Mountains from 1985 to 2002, in which socio-culturally and economically influenced political determinants, manifested in inter-ethnic relations and local associations with the government and the SPLM/A, and in the politico-economic context, including the relationship between the state and local communities, are pivotal. The paper compares this period with the scenario after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 and provides some thoughts on the efforts currently needed to minimise violent conflict in South Kordofan. The findings suggest that it is necessary to analyse resource scarcity and disputes in their socio-cultural and political contexts to capture the origins of insurgencies accurately, as in the case of Nuba Mountains where 'external' actors, namely the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A, have largely orchestrated war and peace. Moreover, it is important for the international community to refocus its efforts in South Kordofan by resuming its pressure on the signatories to the CPA to improve the possibilities of the agreement's successful implementation.
The views expressed in this paper are the author's own or retrieved from the sourced material and do not necessarily reflect those of his institution of affiliation.