Today, Omar Bashir declared a state of emergency in the southern part of Sudan. After numerous attacks by the Sudanese against South Sudanese forces over the past few weeks, this seems like an absurdity. Of course, there is a state of emergency in South Kordofan. The issue, however, is that the state of emergency has been caused by the Sudanese government, not just called that by it. Sudan is actively trying to starve the people in the region and those trying to counter the efforts to commit genocide in the region are deemed “rebels” thus “justifying” in some people’s minds the use of military force in the region, almost all of which is aimed at civilians. The region faces a famine deliberately caused by the government of Sudan which is not even willing to abide by the African Union proposal for a cessation of hostilities, a proposal which would all but ensure Sudan of the ability to continue its program of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the south. Hostilities would have to cease before Sudan would even need to consider shipping in humanitarian aid and when the rainy season arrives in force, it could simply delay such shipments for weeks or months, accomplishing its genocidal aim.
While the UN Security Council is going to be far more reasonable than the African Union at addressing the upcoming catastrophic famine and the military aims of the brutal Sudanese regime, the famine will only be prevented or even significantly lessened, if the UNSC decides to deliver humanitarian aid by any means necessary and not only through Khartoum or with the permission of Khartoum. Sudan rejects the proposal to bring the situation to the UNSC at all, preferring instead to have the ineffective African Union handle it alone. Meanwhile, South Sudan rejects the leadership of the African Union in trying to mediate the conflict, knowing full well that the African Union is biased in favor of Sudan. Beyond using its own army, Sudan is employing the Janjaweed and other brutal irregular forces to terrorize populations in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Abyei and even in South Sudan.
This article by Maury Clark puts it quite well:
Khartoum’s claim that both the Janjaweed in eastern Sudan and their equivalent in the RSS are not directly controlled by Khartoum is specious, but effective. Unless a direct tie to Khartoum can be proven, Bashir can arguably claim that he has no influence on their actions and their crimes against humanity. HORSEHOOEY!
It is time to stop discussing the impending mass-scale tragedy and start to work on stopping it. The AU will be no help and the UNSC will not be a help unless it decides to act directly to save the civilians in Darfur and South Kordofan. We cannot rely on the African Union, much less upon the Government of Sudan, to help save the lives of the people in the Nuba Mountains. Let us get the food there! Help Nuba!