Ramping Up to Another Jihad Genocide in The Sudan?
There is a refreshingly honest -- and alarming -- piece by Alan Boswell writing for Time on the accumulating evidence that yet another jihad genocide may be under way in The Sudan -- Arab Muslim mass murderers preying upon indigenous non-Arab, primarily Christian black, this time in the Nuba Mountains.
Sudan's history is strewn with cases of mass atrocities against non-Arabs in the south and north, with Darfur being only the latest; reports in recent weeks from Sudan's South Kordofan state suggest history could be repeating itself yet again. There, members of a minority, opposition-aligned African ethnic group are being slaughtered "like animals,"in the words of one alarming church statement. The diverse tribes live in a rugged land of mud-hut villages called the Nuba Mountains. So far, besides an aerial-bombardment campaign against the Nuba areas, the targeted killings against them have been mostly confined to the major towns, as tens of thousands flee into the hills where, for now, they are mostly safe.
However, Boswell reports that internal U.N. documents obtained by TIME,
...show that refuge might soon come under attack too. Hundreds of military vehicles have streamed into South Kordofan's capital Kadugli, the epicenter of the bloodbath, according to U.N. reports. Preparations for a major ground offensive were becoming increasingly clear, the U.N. Kadugli base warned in a June 15 confidential dispatch, which urgently called for political intervention to ward off the crisis.
Ever since the one-sided carnage began two weeks ago, the Arab Muslim-dominated Sudanese government in Khartoum under jihadist and war criminal Omar al-Bashir,
...has done its best to isolate the already remote region to keep information from flowing out and humanitarian assistance from flowing in. But aid workers working in the affected area who recently escaped to Juba, capital of South Sudan - set to declare formal independence in July under a cloud of conflict - tell TIME of a land under a spell of impending doom. "You can see it in all their eyes. They are scared. They see this as a fight for survival," said one in an interview in Juba. The children and women pouring in from Kadugli and other towns wear signs of deep trauma and hunger, say aid workers, and tell stories of Arab militias killing anyone who is black. "The government thinks that all black people are opposition supporters, and are therefore targets even if they are children or old grannies," explained one aid worker who had just left the area. One visibly disturbed Nuba aid worker who had fled with his family from Kadugli said the pro-government forces were acting as if under an order to clear out the whole Nuba population. ...The aid workers interviewed predicted that if the ground offensive commences, "absolute carnage," in the words of one, could ensue. None of the aid workers wished for their names or organizations to be mentioned for security reasons.
These accounts are consistent with official statements from church and domestic and international advocacy groups, based on reports they are gathering from the ground. Conservative death toll estimates as of now suggest that the number is at least in the "hundreds," with a minimum of 60,000 displaced.
The feckless UN peacekeeping presence confined to its Kadugli base, includes Egyptian peacekeepers, viewed as very sympathetic toward the Arab Khartoum government, and accused by many Nuba of being complicit in targeted assassinations within the U.N. camp sheltering displaced refugees.
President Obama's call "to end the fighting" -- regardless of its immoral equivalence -- has had no discernible impact on the ground. Although U.S. special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, told Time that the U.S. was attempting to facilitate a cease-fire, it remained unclear whether the government in Khartoum was even willing to negotiate.
Jihad depredations against the Nuba are a recurring phenomenon in Sudan's history. Winston Churchill's accounts from The River War as a young British soldier fighting in the Sudan at the end of the 19th century, described the chronic situation, in its larger context, as follows:
Thus the situation in the Sudan for several centuries may be summed up as follows: The dominant race of Arab invaders was increasingly spreading its blood, religion, customs, and language among the black aboriginal population, and at the same time it harried and enslaved them. The warlike Arab tribes fought and brawled among themselves in ceaseless feud and strife. The negroes trembled in apprehension of capture, or rose locally against their oppressors.
Churchill also includes a specific description of a jihad campaign against the Nuba under Emir Abu Anga's "Jehadia,"
...as his soldiers were called because they had joined the Jehad or Holy War, armed with Remington rifles
Known for their weaponry, cruelty, and predatory nature, the Jehadia
...were dispatched under their general to Kordofan, where they increased their reputation by a series of bloody fights with the Nubas, an aboriginal mountain people who cared for nothing but their independence.
During the 1990s, some 500,000 Nuba were killed when the Arab Muslim Khartoum government declared jihad against them.
Alan Boswell concludes his report by noting that he visited the Nuba Mountains in April,
I found a people terrified that war would return but resigned to their frightful and uncertain future. Given their history and the history of their government, they seem to have good reasons to fear.
The Nuba's chronic plight raises yet again this overarching moral and existential question for our era of resurgent global jihad posed in 1999 by the late southern Sudanese leader John Garang:
Is the call for jihad against a particular people a religious right of those calling for it, or is it a human rights violation against the people upon whom jihad is declared and waged?