This description contains some truth, but does not entirely capture the complexity of the situation. For example, the Nuba peoples who have suffered so much live in central Sudan, and many of them are Muslims. And one pernicious government strategy - part of its "divide to destroy" efforts - has been to encourage fighting within and among groups in the South, especially the Dinka and Nuer, with devastating effects for civilian members of those groups. In any event, the primary author of the Sudanese catastrophe over the past decade has been the Khartoum-based government of Omar el-Bashir, an army officer who seized power in a 1989 coup.
The Sudanese government uses a divide-to-destroy strategy to pit ethnic groups against each other, with devastating effects for civilians. Government-sponsored militias torch houses, loot food supplies and other property, and rape and murder with impunity. The government tolerates the taking of slaves, along with other booty, by Arab tribal militias that raid villages in the south and the Nuba Mountains. It also uses religion as a spur to violence, justifying persecution of and attacks against Christians, followers of traditional indigenous religions and Muslims who reject the government's extreme form of Islam.
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