Sudan is a kind of diabolical Groundhog Day. In the film by that name, Phil Connors (Bill Murray) re-lives the same day over and over again until he learns the lessons needed to change his life and save the lives of others. In Sudan today, people of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State are re-living the horrific nightmare from which they thought they had finally awakened after the signing of Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. But in this case, it is the United States government that has failed to learn the lessons needed to change conditions and save the lives of others.
Along with the citizens of what is now the new nation of the Republic of South Sudan, the people of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State were for decades mercilessly persecuted and slaughtered by their own government. Starvation and enslavement were used as weapons of war along with ground combat and aerial bombardment. The hallmark of Khartoum’s multiple declarations of jihad against its own people is the deliberate targeting of civilians and particularly of Christians. In the case of Blue Nile State, one Sudanese military commander, Taib Musba, was responsible for the killing of 15,000 Uduk Christians in the mid 1980’s. Some he killed personally by driving three-inch-long nails into the tops of their heads. Others were crushed by a 50 ton Soviet-made tank.
Deliberate targeting of civilians is also the hallmark of Khartoum’s current offensive against the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State. Since June 5, 2011, the Islamist regime’s forces, aided by militias, have been conducting an ethnically-based extermination campaign in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan State while attempting to crush the resistance movement of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM/N). And in September they began attacking Blue Nile State, as well.
In June Islamist militias first conducted a door to door search looking for Nuba with orders from ICC-indicted war criminal President Omer al-Bashir to “sweep out the trash,” and whenever they find a Nuba to “clean it up.” The horrific “cleaning” has been verified by the Satellite Sentinel Project. This invaluable effort, started by actor George Clooney, has provided evidence of mass graves believed to be of some 7000 people that were rounded up at the UN compound in the capital city of Kadugli by Sudanese government collaborators and massacred. Since June, regular aerial bombardment has killed many and sent hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in caves and beyond in South Sudan.
To add to the nightmare, Khartoum began attacking Blue Nile State in September. Unknown numbers of men, women, and children have been killed and tens of thousands have been displaced, even as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA/N), the resistance movement’s forces, fight to protect the people and maintain territory. The people of Blue Nile and the Nuba now face starvation in government-orchestrated famine. Khartoum has banned all humanitarian assistance from the regions. Now Sudan’s rainy season has ended and Khartoum is resuming land attacks, moving mechanized infantry columns into place, in addition to aerial bombardment.
On November 3, Khartoum announced the capture of Kurmuk, the capital of Southern Blue Nile State, by Government of Sudan (GOS) forces. These forces include both the regular Sudanese army and Mujahedeen and Janjaweed transferred from slaughtering civilians in Darfur civilians to slaughtering civilians in Blue Nile State. According to Blue Nile Association North America, “before entering Kurmuk the GOS forces used aerial bombardment, heavy artillery and helicopter gunships targeting the city of Kurmuk and the surrounding areas, destroying water storage tanks, churches, schools and civilians’ homes.” Tens of thousands of indigenous people were displaced, injured, and killed. Khartoum may also have employed chemical weapons. Many of the injured SPLA/N soldiers “had strange bleeding from their ears and noses.”
Reports on the ground confirmed that all of the villages and towns in the 100 or so miles between Damazin city and Kurmuk as far as the Ethiopian border were completely looted, burned and destroyed by the invading forces. The Blue Nile Association stated that ICC-indicted war criminal president Omer al-Bashir had declared following the secession of South Sudan that there was “no room for any talk about diversity.” He announced that Sudan was now a “pure Arab Islamic State.” “It seems that after this campaign and the campaign in South Kordofan President Basher [sic] is following his words to eradicate and cleanse the indigenous people in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains of South Kurdufan,” the Blue Nile Association declared.
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