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Seeking distraction: A motorbike ride in Abu Leila

Hajooj Kuka
Since fighting began in June 2011 in the Nuba Mountains, young people are left with little to do -- an early morning motorbike ride is a welcome distraction from a harsh everyday reality.
26.03.2013  |  Abu leila

It is rare to see a motorbike in the Nuba Mountains area of South Kordofan, where the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) fight a deadly battle.

According to the United Nations (UN) more than 200,000 people from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states have fled into South Sudan and Ethiopia, escaping continued aerial bombardment by the Sudanese Air Force and shelling by the two sides.

The people remaining in the area try to make ends meet, barely surviving on small scale farming and little else to do. For those who do not farm the land or rebuild their homes, life is slow and aimless. This is particularly true for the younger population.

Since the beginning of the conflict mid-2011, schools have operated only up until the eighth grade with frequent closures, and many absent students. Young people seeking education beyond the eighth grade-level are usually out of school and with little to do. Due to the limited options left, absorption into the conflict is a natural path for many young men.

Seeking distraction from this harsh reality, the two young men featured in this photo series enjoy an early morning motorbike ride in Abu Leila town in South Kordofan. The tranquility of the scene, captured by Hajooj Kuka in December 2012, makes one forget that this is a conflict zone that has displaced thousands: