Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Inter-Sudan War, Part 3

Before continuing, you may wish to be familiar with the contents of Land of the Blacks, Part 5, as well as Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

We begin this post reviewing Sudan's South Kordofan governor says life back to normal in region, dated June 26, 2011.

KHARTOUM, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Sudan's South Kordofan State Governor Ahmed Haroun said Saturday that life in the region has been restored to its normal course after clashes it has witnessed since June 6.

Haroun, who was speaking through a video conference Saturday from the state's capital Kadogli, reiterated that the situation was stable and that the Sudanese army were maintaining the initiative in all parts of the region.

"The humanitarian conditions are stable thanks to the efforts of the Humanitarian Aid Commission and the UN agencies, top of them the World Food Program (WFP) and UNICEF besides the Sudanese Red Crescent," said Haroun.

"The citizens who deserted the region have started to return," he added.

On June 6, military clashes broke out in South Kordofan State on the border between north and south Sudan between the Sudanese army and military groups belonging to Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)-Nuba Mountains' sector, in what the army termed as "rebellion."

It is important to keep in mind that Governor Ahmad Muhammad Harun (and I spell his name the way the International Criminal Court does) is under indictment for a long list of crimes, and has an international warrant out for his arrest (see Land of the Blacks, Part 5).

He was President Bashir's main guy in charge of genocide in Darfur; Bashir moved him to South Kordofan in 2009, with an intention that was obviously to prepare to do the same thing there; and that is what is now happening.

Sudan's President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir

We now consider excerpts from Plight of the Nuba of Kordofan, by El-Tahir El-Faki:

June 20, 2011 — During the height of the Darfur crisis the Islamic regime of President Bashir lead massive ethnic and genocide campaigns against the indigenous Africans to replace them with Arabs from countries such as Chad, Central Africa, Niger, Mauretania and Mali. While the international community was concentrating on the Darfur crisis, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) was reminding all concerned that the issue was national requiring holistic solutions. Furthermore it stressed that it would only be a matter of time before Bashir would repeat the same scenario in Kordofan. The indicators were clear and copious. The Nuba of Kordofan are indigenous multi-religious Africans who are mostly supporters of the SPLM and perceived by Islamic regime of Bashir as infidels whose rich and fertile lands must be evacuated and given to the Arabs. Thanks to the intervention of the international community and SPLM for not allowing the Islamic Jihadists project to materialise. A period of relative peace and stability ensued until the recent events on the 5th of June 2011.

When the Darfur problem broke out in 2003, Kordofanese with farsighted vision rushed and joined (JEM) and have overtime grown to a sizable group within the movement. What concerned them was its manifesto that categorised the Darfur crisis as part of an all Sudanese problems and has always included Kordofan in every aspect of its negotiations with the Government of Sudan (GoS). The international community was in no mood to mandate the inclusion of Kordofan parallel with the solution to the Darfur crisis. At every level JEM has been considered an intransigent element and a spoiler of the peace processes due to its nationalist aspirations and on its stance regarding Kordofan. In 2006 in Abuja and for the last two years in Doha, Kordofan has been utterly excluded on the same grounds even though Thabo Mbeki's report unambiguously stated the problem a Sudanese one that requires holistic approach.

We now consider excerpts from Crisis in Sudan: Allegations of Ethnic Cleansing in the Nuba Mountains, June 24, 2011, by Rebecca Hamilton. The first part of the article, at the end of which I begin the excerpt, is an italicized introduction to a letter that Hamilton got from a Western journalist and "long-time Sudan analyst" who had been in Southern Kordofan and just got out. His identity has been protected to prevent retaliation against people back in Sudan.

Commenting on what media coverage of the crisis he has read since he left the area, he had one message to convey: "This is not a north/south war. This is not an Arab/black war. This is not a Muslim/Christian war. This is a war against one of the minority groups in northern Sudan."

Here is his letter:

Dear friends,

Sorry to have been so out of touch. Just got out of Nuba a couple of days ago by which time it was already a full-on war zone. Twenty-five days there seemed like a lifetime. While I was there, it was obvious the election process had become so seriously flawed that despite great efforts to inform voters and put forward candidates, the government simply wants no even democratic opposition. Making Haroun, an indicted war criminal wanted for genocide, the governor was a clear message to the people of South Kordofan.

Then in the first week of June, Bashir's forces started an operation to "remove" any local people who had sided with the opposition during the recent elections. There was an enormous build-up of troops, artillery, tanks, and machine gun carriers. And now they've started ground attacks with strong air support. All access is cut off, official statements that any United Nations planes will be shot down, no commodities, going in or out, no humanitarian access, roads mined, large numbers of militias armed.

With the invasion of troops in Kadugli, people began to run. Before Nuba became completely cut off we started working with local people and the remaining local staff of NGOs to respond to the enormous needs of the displaced. We were bombed by Antonovs and strafed by MiGs. Heavy shelling was never far away but we never ran into trouble except from the air. It seems that there is an overt operation to completely "neutralise" (either by killing or by terrifying) any likelihood of opposition. There are very brutal and aggressive attacks with new weapons. We heard stories (we are not sure) of what sounded like phosphorous bombs that cause fires that never go out and horrible burning. People are terrified. There are many civilian casualties already and I fear it is going to get much worse.

What can only be called ethnic cleansing, when an ethnic group is targeted for extermination, started in Kadugli and Dilling while we were there. Door to door executions of completely innocent and defenseless civilians, often by throat cutting, by special internal security forces. We don't know how many yet; hundreds seems for sure, but could be much worse. Terrible accounts of civilians – friends – attempting to find safety in the UNMIS (United Nations Missions of Sudan) compound being pulled out of vehicles and executed immediately. And now we hear that all the displaced who had been seeking some form of security alongside the perimeter fence of UNMIS are being forced to move by the government authorities. What will happen to them? So we just had to stay focused and get things moving on the ground. Incredibly brave and impressive locals both experienced aid workers and villagers leading the response; freed up by the immediate exit of all expats before thingswent wrong. Probably over 100,000 already displaced and more coming.

The ethnic cleansing is not just a war against one of the ethnic groups; it is very much an effort on behalf of Bashir make Sudan an Arab Islamic state where sharia is the law.

The method of conducting this jihad is the same that the Bashir/Harun team developed for Darfur: aerial attacks with Sudan's obsolete aircraft (against which unarmed civilians are unable to defend), attacks by government-sponsored militias (janjaweed in Darfur), and support by regular Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) units.

Skipping down, we come to the explanation as to why the analyst says it is not Muslim/Christian, Arab/black or North/South:

So you know, this is not a war about south versus north, nor Christian against Muslim, or black against Arab. There are as many Muslim Nuba as Christian (and a healthy percentage of traditional spirituality), they see their future in the north, they are intermarried and have been living along side Arab nomadic groups and northern communities for centuries. There are nomadic Arab communities in southern Kordofan who also voted for the SPLM (Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement) and many of the Misseriya and Hawazma groups remain as marginalised as the Nuba ; and as vulnerable to the policies of the center. The Nuba SPLM are not the same as the southern SPLM/A. They are fighting to resist a regime that refuses them basic rights and a voice – access to justice and even basic social and economic rights. This is so important because the Nuba offer a vision for Sudan that builds on religious tolerance and a local understanding of democracy – relevant for so many areas of the world right now.

If you are a Muslim, and you advocate religious tolerance, then you are takfir, and no better than infidels. In fact, you are worse; infidels might still submit, but as takfir, you have fallen into apostasy: you are under sentence of death, and prior to that, the jihadists can and will do anything they want to you, with Allah's approval. (Those are the rules; I didn't make them up.)

Consequently, this is very much a Muslim/infidel thing.

We next examine the first part of Southern Kordofan: Ethnic cleansing under our watch by Parek Maduot, June 15, 2011:

(Washington, DC) - The current fighting in Southern Kordofan is playing out exactly as designed by the brutal strategists of the National Congress Party in Khartoum, and unless the discourse around it and the reaction to horrors we are hearing are reversed, they will achieve almost all their devious strategic aims at minimal cost. The international community has fecklessly resorted to the use of vague exhortations for cessation of hostilities in the Nuba Mountains without explicitly condemning what are incontrovertible acts of ethnic cleansing by the regime against innocent civilians.

The US and other leading guarantors of the CPA find themselves mediating another manufactured crisis by Khartoum according to dubious terms that ignore the fact that it wantonly violated the CPA, and is engaged in brutal killing and displacement of tens of thousands in the border regions. Taking advantage of the sensible restraint shown by the SPLM when Abyei was invaded, and sensing that the focus on reaching July 9th in one piece has become an albatross on the neck of its peace partner and the international community, the NCP calculated that pushing the envelope might win it a few more prizes in these remaining weeks.

It could try to redraw the balance of power in the longest border point with South Sudan along Southern Kordofan by crushing the SPLA elements from that region under the pretext of asserting national sovereignty over Northern territories, while confident that the usual dilly-dallying by mediators and the slow pace of UN security council action will afford it enough time to decimate the SPLA, eliminate as many of the active cadres of the SPLM, and alter the demographic character of Nuba areas by instigating and accelerating resettlement by Arab tribes. Achieving this will certainly give it an upper hand suppressing the nascent political opposition represented by the SPLM in the North; grant it an advantage negotiating post-independence issues with South Sudan, and as a bonus, find another excuse to blackmail the international community over allowing the independence of the South to proceed unhindered.

I have been saying this for some time now - since before Madout's piece was published. This is all going exactly according Khartoum's plan.

Picking up where we left off in Crisis in Sudan: Allegations of Ethnic Cleansing in the Nuba Mountains:

And the war is in a large part our fault again. The UN “peace-keeping” forces are not only totally ineffective (summary executions going in front of blue berets in Kadugli) but may even add to the problem. The diplomatic efforts are too often driven by ill-informed strategies or self-serving policies more related to economic gain for us rather than any sense of humanity or justice. This return of a horrific war needn’t have happened if only there had been much stronger international support for the planned political process. There was never enough international pressure to promote a genuine chance for a just peace.

If a Republican were in office, he would be called a racist for allowing this genocide to occur against people of color. But, since it is a Democrat President of partial African descent who is violating campaign rhetoric to allow the genocide to proceed, the media is silent.

"UN peacekeeping" - a big part of the problem, if for no other reason, because they provide a false sense of security to the locals and make the limousine liberals think something is being done.

Finishing Sudan's South Kordofan governor says life back to normal in region:

The governor, meanwhile, refuted the claims that the Sudanese army has committed ethnic cleansing in South Kordofan, saying "the incidents which took place because of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) did not have any ethnic nature."

"What happened in South Kordofan was a rebellion by a limited groups of the SPLM/SPLA. We do not mix matters when dealing with the groups involved in the incidents from the SPLM. Nobody was targeted on ethnic bases."

Thus says the man with an international warrant out for his arrest on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in what the international community called a genocide in Darfur.

Please read the rest of all the articles quoted above.

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