Thirty-six hours after Big Peace brought you first-hand accounts of the new carnage in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains the mainstream media is starting to show some interest, though these stories remain safely buried far away from the front pages. The UN News Centre reports:
The United Nations human rights office today said it had received “extremely worrying” reports of civilian casualties and massive displacement of people, amid deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Sudanese state of Southern Kordofan, where forces of the northern and southern governments are engaged in fighting.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to immediately stop the indiscriminate shelling, refrain from attacks on civilians and provide safe corridors for the safe passage of civilians, in line with international humanitarian and human rights law,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Of course the U.N. is doing what it does best; calling on “all parties” in the conflict to stop attacking, providing a patina of moral equivalence for the Shariah-regime in Khartoum. Meanwhile the South Sudanese forces are expected to play the part of Israel and passively absorb the northern aggression, and so far they are indeed showing the “restraint” expected of democratic governments under attack from Jihadists. How long until we hear the dreaded phrase “cycle of violence?” The New York Times reports:
The southern Sudanese military on Friday said that the bombing had occurred 12 miles into southern Sudanese territory, but that the army would not retaliate.
“Definitely it is an attack on southern Sudan, and we are expecting more attacks,” said Colonel Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the southern Sudanese military, adding that he feared that northern land forces were advancing toward southern territory.
“The borders have not been demarcated,” Col. Aguer said, “and they are occupying what they think the border should be.”
And somehow the Muslim aggressors have not gotten the memo that houses of worship are no-no zones for firing weapons; or does that only apply to mosques?
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that between 30,000 and 40,000 people, out of an estimated 60,000 inhabitants of Kadugli, are believed to have fled the town…
Roadblocks have been erected preventing medical and humanitarian access, and a number of civilians have been killed while trying to retrieve food from their homes. The Kadugli Catholic Church, where a number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) have sought refuge, has also come under attack.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice
But don’t worry; this provocation has kicked Obama administration diplomacy into medium-tepid gear! The New York Times observes:
Northern Sudan has agreed to honor the independence of the south in part because the United States, which helped brokered a 2005 peace agreement between the two sides, indicated that it was willing to lift sanctions on the north and normalize diplomatic relations, if the government in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, met certain conditions.
But Susan E. Rice, the American diplomat to the United Nations, said the recent northern aggression, especially in Abyei, was not helping Khartoum’s case.
“They have put into grave jeopardy the implementation of the roadmap,” she said. “Because they have not only not fulfilled their obligations; they are doing the opposite.”
“But if they were to pull out and withdraw their forces, and allow for a neutral peacekeeping presence” in Abyei, Ms. Rice said, “it’s not necessarily too late. But they have to hurry. The world is watching and waiting.”
These are just the sort of mild threats that are sure to work as effectively as they have against Assad in Syria (i.e. not at all).
And the incongruities with the situation in Libya are disturbing. In moral terms Libya couldn’t be murkier; the nebulous rebel alliance we are supporting are possibly infiltrated by al-Qaeda and undoubtedly marinated in Muslim Brotherhood ideology, yet the administration launched headlong into airstrikes to support them.
In Sudan the opposing sides signed a binding agreement in 2005 called the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The CPA provided for the January 2011 referendum in which the South Sudanese overwhelmingly chose independence. The CPA provides for the peaceful transition of sovereignty from Khartoum to the South Sudanese government based in Juba on July 9, 2011. The northern government is flagrantly violating the provisions of the deal it signed in 2005.
Am I calling for the commitment of U.S. military forces to yet another battle front? No. I’m calling on the Obama administration to show the minimum of backbone and moral fortitude required in this situation:
- They must unequivocally denounce the illegal invasion and depopulation of the Nuba Mountains.
- They must recognize this act for what it is: a declaration of all-out war, not just a border skirmish.
- They must strongly condemn the attacks on Christian places of worship.
- They must remove the chance of Sudan ever being removed from the state sponsors of terrorism list until they recognize the sovereignty of the South with their actions, not just their words.
Remember that the northern government rules by Shariah Islamic law, sheltered Osama bin Laden in the 1990’s, is led by Omar al-Bashir who is under an arrest warrant for genocide and crimes against humanity, and continues to commit genocide in Darfur and South Sudan. The brave people fighting this monstrous regime merit the unwavering moral support of the United States government. That is the least we can do.