In addition, on Tuesday, June 28, a group of refugee women and children held a demonstration in front of the UNMIS refugee camp in Kauda in the Nuba Mountains. They were protesting the continued presence of Egyptian UNMIS forces because of their cooperation with the NCP in its war against the Nuba. The demonstrators delivered a statement to the mission head in Kauda declaring that the Egyptian UN peacemakers had failed to provide protection to civilians in South Kordofan. They stated that the Egyptian forces “are not neutral” and that they have been “cooperating with the security, SAF and militia forces of the NCP.”
The women and children’s statement reveals that the collaboration of the Egyptian forces with the NCP started before the war when the forces submitted inaccurate and misleading reports to the international community about the SAF’s movement in the region, and that the Egyptians had covered up the movement and the deployment of SAF troops. They also leveled serious accusations about the actions of the Egyptian forces since the war began on June 5, including:
- transporting Sudanese forces and militia in their own armored personnel carriers and allowing them to use UNMIS facilities in North Kadugli;
- allowing the Sudanese forces, security, and militia to enter the UNMIS camp to arrest and execute SPLM supporters and other civilians from Nuba;
- “conniving with the Air Forces in bombing villages, civilians, and institutions that provide humanitarian aid” leading to the death of 280 children, 213 women, and 67 men, as well as the displacement of 425,933;
- collaborating with the SAF in an attack against the SPLA and with security organs of the NCP in detaining UN Nuba staff at Kadugli airport;
- preventing the landing of UN flights delivering humanitarian aid, using the airport for military purposes, allowing government takeover of World Food Program (WFP) food stores, depriving the refugees of food, and failing to provide other basic services – food, water, healthcare, shelter – to those who took refuge at the UNMIS compound; and,
- sexually harassing and raping girls and women and allowing militia and other security agents of the NCP to rape them, too.
It may be that only Divine intervention can stop the genocide of the Nuba. Neither the United Nations nor the Obama administration has shown the moral will to protect them from extermination by the NCP government. But many advocates for the Nuba Mountains follow the advice of St. Augustine: pray as though everything depended on God and work as though everything depended on you. And so, along with prayer, there will be continued pressure on the yet-unmoved U.S. government and United Nations, along with the international media and the world community, to stop this genocide.
So far, all the U.S. government has offered the suffering Nuba are words. And frequently, not even the right words. A June 22 press statement from President Obama reads, “[B]oth parties have a responsibility to end the current violence and allow immediate humanitarian access to desperate people who have been driven from their homes and are now cut off from outside help” (emphasis added). But as Bishop Andudu said, this is not a war between armies; it is a war of terror by the government of Sudan against its own people. It is both erroneous and offensive to cast the government of Sudan and the SPLA-North as morally equivalent.
Obama’s statement also says that the “situation in Southern Kordofan is dire, with deeply disturbing reports of attacks based on ethnicity.” If ever there was an opportunity to use the “race card” legitimately, this is it. But no government has been forthright enough to name this campaign of extermination as the most overt and violent demonstration of racism of our time, with the PDF Arab African-killers having been given the chilling instructions to “sweep away the rubbish,” and if they see a Nuba, to just “clean it up.”
There has been no pressure to oust President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his Islamist regime as there was with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. There has been no military action against the regime by NATO forces as in Libya. Yet the people of the Nuba Mountains and the other marginalized areas of Sudan, who would benefit from the removal of the ICC-indicted war criminal al-Bashir and his cohorts, are far better allies in the fight against global jihad and terrorist activity than Egypt’s current leaders and Libya’s shadowy “freedom fighters.” There are members of Congress, long-time advocates for the people of Sudan, who want to stop the genocide of the Nuba. If your member is not one of them, you may be able to persuade him/her. So say a prayer for the Nuba, and then get off your knees and call your member of Congress.
Faith J. H. McDonnell directs The Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan, and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).
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