Photograph by Meredith Davenport
A Nuba imam leads a prayer in one of Kauda's mosques, which was looted by government forces after the regime issued a proclamation of jihad, or holy war, in 1992. The jihad, legalized a few months later as a fatwah, or religious decree, was directed against those living in rebel-held areas, including parts of the Nuba Mountains occupied by the Sudan People's Liberation Army. It made all Nuba outside government territory, regardless of their religion, targets for attack. "An insurgent who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate, and a non-Moslem is a nonbeliever," read the decree. "Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them."