Not content to bomb men, women, and children in their own home regions, Sudanese Russian-built Antonovs recently crossed international borders and dropped bombs in the new nation of South Sudan where many people from the north had fled. On Thursday, November 10, Sudanese bombers attacked South Sudan’s Unity State’s Yida refugee camp, run by the Christian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse. And the day before, the Sudanese had bombed Upper Nile State, also in South Sudan.
At least 20,000 people had sought refuge at Yida, just over the border from Sudan. The refugee camp was hit by four bombs, three of which detonated, causing extensive property damage. Thankfully, no persons were injured. The one bomb that did not detonate could have been the source of greatest tragedy. It landed wedged into the side of one of the huts used as a school building, filled with some 200 children. But the commissioner of Pariang County, Unity State, reported 12 people killed and 20 wounded in the area. The aerial attack on Upper Nile State was reported to have killed 7 people in the area of Guffa. Church sources there said that the bombing was “serious and deliberate.”
With the kind of nerve for which it has long been infamous, the Sudanese regime denied the entire episode. “This information is completely false. We didn’t bomb any camps or any areas inside the borders of South Sudan,” Sudan Armed Forces spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told the AFP news agency. “What is going on in South Sudan belongs to the southerners. We don’t have any links to this,” he declared. The Sudanese Ambassador to the UN, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, similarly denied the charges, saying that the reports were “fabrications” and “there was no aerial bombardment.”
Meanwhile, the response of the Obama administration has been more of the same moral equivalency that has enabled Khartoum to continue on toward its final solution, an ethnically-cleansed Arab Islamist state, for years. On November 9, after the aerial attack on Upper Nile State, the State Department issued a statement condemning “in the strongest possible terms the aerial bombardment by the Sudan Armed Forces that occurred near the international border between Sudan and South Sudan.”
After saying that “indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian targets always is unacceptable and unjustified” the State Department states the obvious: “This attack only further emphasizes the need for an immediate halt to indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas by the Sudan Armed Forces…” The statement warns that this also further emphasizes the need for “resolution to the conflict through a resumption of political talks between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-Northern Sector.” It concludes by urging “both sides to fully commit” to African Union talks “facilitated by Thabo Mbeki.”
Apart from the doubt that many Sudanese have expressed concerning the former president of South Africa’s neutrality (since he himself owns a business in Khartoum), the idea proposed by the State Department that there can be a political solution to the conflict is absurd when the conflict is jihad. The oft-stated goal of Khartoum’s jihad is a pure Arab Islamist state. The majority of the Sudanese people do not want this Islamic utopia. They want freedom, democracy, and separation of church/mosque and state, and they have fought harder and sacrificed more for more years for it than any denizen of “Arab Spring.”
“We know very well the plans of the Khartoum regime, which is working on a strategy of demographic change and replacement of indigenous people with foreigners from Somalia and Niger,” said SPLM/N spokesman Arno Ngutulu in a November 11 press release. “We are more determined than ever to continue the struggle until the toppling of the regime and eliminate it from the roots completely,” the statement concluded. In this recurring nightmare in which those who want freedom and democracy in Sudan have to struggle against not only the Islamist regime in Khartoum, but must fight an uphill battle with the United Nations and even with the U.S. government, that “toppling” will not come easy.
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