South Kordofan is the southernmost region of modern Sudan (then, the middle of Sudan) that butts up against Darfur.
I was sent to this expansive state of Sudan to observe and report on the state of voter registration in preparation for parliamentary elections to be held in mid-2011. Starting in Kadugli, the capital of this state, we made our way west toward Darfur over the course of weeks, starting in Lagawa and progressing all the way to Babanousa, the capital of the homeland of Misseriya.
A single registration center often would take us 4 hours to reach, traversing dry river beds that are 15+ feet deep and winding our way across land that seems to have been emptied but for the bright red trees that rise out of red soil. Then, suddenly, a community will appear, kids will be seemingly in the middle of nowhere, camels will come out of the bush, a train will cross the horizon where no train track is visible, and a body of water will be seen. All this exists in an environment of lawlessness, where often we were escorted by military in convoys that have truck mounted anti-aircraft weaponry.
The loneliness there was both lovely and eery.
To see photos from Khartoum, read this blog entry.