The Sudanese army also tried to unilaterally disarm SPLA soldiers in Abyei, which set off the recent fighting there. An accord was signed last week, however, between Khartoum and the SPLA at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa that would see 3,000 Ethiopian troops replace the soldiers of both sides in the disputed area. The Nuba Mountains were not part of this accord.
Given the Khartoum government’s record of breaking promises, vicious racism and genocide against its black African population, no one can blame the Nuba for refusing to give up their weapons. And the fact the central government has appointed Ahmed Haroun, who is also under ICC indictment for genocide in Darfur, as governor of South Kordofan where the Nuba Mountains and Abyei are located, indicates Winter’s analysis concerning possible annihilation of the Nuba is a looming reality. Like in Darfur where the ethnically cleansed Muslim African tribes were replaced by Arabs, the attack on the Nuba may be the beginning of a similar, sinister colonial project.
As during the 1983-2005 civil war, American evangelical Christians are taking the lead in demanding an end to the North’s aggression against the Nuba and the African Dinka tribe in Abyei. Sarah Palin, for example, was to visit the Abyei region next month with Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, but cancelled due to scheduling problems. Before the recent Addis Ababa agreement, Khartoum had ethnically cleansed an estimated 60,000 Dinka from Abyei with tanks.
American evangelical organizations have passionately advocated against Christian persecution and slavery in Sudan and elsewhere in the world. Appeals from American evangelicals to George W. Bush were instrumental in causing the former president to broker the CPA. Under its terms, peace was established and thousands of Nuba and southern Sudanese African slaves were able to return home from Arab northern Sudan.
“George W. Bush did more to free modern-day slaves than any other president,” wrote author E. Benjamin Skinner in A Crime So Monstrous, his book about human trafficking.
In comparison, America’s political Left, which never concealed its disdain for Bush and his evangelical Christian supporters, has remained relatively silent about Sudan’s suffering black African population. This is surprising when one considers the Left is in the forefront of calling for reparations for descendants of Atlantic slave trade victims. The Left was also very loud and effective in ending the terrible apartheid system in South Africa.
But since many leftists appear to believe only whites can be oppressors, its non-action on Sudan makes sense. It is probably also for this reason leftists so vehemently protest the expulsion by Israel of a few Palestinian terrorists from the West Bank and vigorously prepare flotillas for Gaza, while remaining largely mute when tens of thousands of terrorized black Africans, fearing death and enslavement, are forcibly expelled from their homes in Abyei. Since there is no such white villain in the Sudanese situation, leftist moral outrage on Sudan, in comparison, is nearly non-existent.
Much the same can be said about the America’s African-American leaders. Their concern about the decades-long black slave trade in Sudan has been minimal. This disinterest was so shameful that Al Sharpton was moved to criticise his fellow black leaders after his 2001 visit to Sudan.
“I am outraged that more of us, particularly of the African American leadership, have not talked about the slave trade that I witnessed with my own eyes in the Sudan,” Sharpton said after his return.
But since then, it has been noted Sharpton has not said much about the plight of black African Sudanese. Jesse Jackson has also not made their desperate situation a priority, although he was Bill Clinton’s special envoy to Africa during Clinton’s second term. One critic believes that if America’s black clergy had not pressured Sharpton and Jackson to comment, nothing would ever have ever been said about the Sudanese slave trade. For his part, Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, casts doubt on whether slavery even exists in Sudan.
This leaves President Obama, America’s first African-American president and, one would think, the Afrcian Nuba people’s best hope for survival. In a statement released last week, the president called the situation in South Kordofan “dire.” Obama also recognised the bombings by the Sudanese military and “reports of attacks based on ethnicity.” Incredibly, though, the president’s statement did not mention who is carrying out these “ethnic” attacks and which ethnic group was made homeless. And instead of threatening Khartoum with a call for a Libya-like, no-fly zone over Abyei and the Nuba Mountains to protect civilians from the bombings, Obama mildly praised the recent accord on Abyei, commending both parties “for taking this step forward toward peace…”
But instead of peace, Obama’s naïve and less than insightful approach to Khartoum’s hard-line and continued aggression is sure to produce only more of the same for Sudan’s long-suffering, southern Sudanese and Nuba populations: war, enslavement and death.
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