Category Archives: SPLM

Blue Nile Residents are Under Attack

Human Rights Watch reported this week that citizens of Blue Nile state are under attack from Sudanese forces in a similar fashion as the residents of neighboring South Kordofan:

Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Blue Nile, which the government has largely shut off from the outside world, described indiscriminate bombings in civilian areas, killings, and other serious abuses by Sudanese armed forces since armed conflict broke out there in September 2011. The testimony indicates potential war crimes may have occurred.

The video below is posted by Human Rights Watch on Youtube. It contains descriptions of war crimes that are difficult to hear.

A History of Hypocrisy on Sudan

Eric Reeves’ most recent posting about the history of the international community’s hypocrisy in addressing the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan gives an excellent summary. I encourage you to read the whole thing. His conclusion, however, indicates why we must address this issue now more than ever:

Certainly the leadership in Juba has taken stock of what has transpired over the past ten days, and is even now re-calibrating what it can and cannot count on from the international community… The international community will no longer have the influence it had even a month ago.

Khartoum of course is also recalibrating its military policies, and the largest conclusion the regime has drawn is that it may continue its longstanding military policy of aerial attacks on civilian and humanitarian targets in the sovereign territory of South Sudan without meaningful consequences, and that it can continue is campaigns of annihilation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.  The regime has been persuaded, on the basis of ample evidence, that even South Sudan’s putative friends regard “sovereignty” as one thing for Khartoum and quite another for Juba.

It is hard to see a greater encouragement to war.

Tobin and Cohen commentaries on the Jewish community and Sudan

Two very good commentaries to note today:

Jonathan Tobin wrote an article for Commentary Magazine in which he argued that President Obama and US policy should not abandon South Sudan. Tobin noted that US support and influence helped bring independence to South Sudan. He also pointed out that in the President’s speech given at the United States Holocaust Memorial yesterday, the President stressed “Never again!” Tobin noted that this sentiment now needs to be backed up. Will the United States stand idly by?

Ben Cohen wrote an article for the Jointmedia News Service in which he argued, as I do, that “South Sudan is a Jewish cause.” Cohen noted that:

Jewish communities around the world, and especially here in North America, need to flex their muscles in support of South Sudan. The ethical imperative is clear, as anyone following the brutal campaign waged by the Sudanese regime in the Nuba mountains in recent weeks would be aware.

I believe that not only is South Sudan a Jewish cause, but so is Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Abyei… We need to speak out. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army-North is not a “rebel group,” but is instead similar to those fighting for survival in the ghettos in Europe. With an enemy killing them on site and using starvation as a tool, it is not rebels who rise up. All human beings rise up. We should stand in angry opposition to those who say, “Let them first lay down their arms!” May it not come to this:

The force that has overcome Europe and destroyed entire states within days could cope with us, a handful of youngsters. It was an act of desperation . . . We aspired to only one thing: to sell our lives for the highest possible price. 

– Mordechai Tenenbaum, resistance fighter in Vilna, Warsaw, and Bialystok

Sudan Pledges to Fight “Food Smuggling”

The level of incompetence being exhibited by the United Nations in response to events in Sudan is so high as to render absurd any consideration of the organization as effective at saving lives or useful at promoting peace. A few days after ordering South Sudan to retreat from Heglig and demanding that South Sudan not aid the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army-North, which it already said it was not doing, the UN is observing the consequences. Sudan has pledged to continue to prevent food from reaching the tens of thousands of starving people who are fighting against a government that is trying to commit genocide and ethnic cleansing against them. Actually, Sudan is arguing that it is attempting to prevent food smuggling from Sudan into the regions of South Sudan where there are also significant food shortages.

While there may well be clandestine trade between the two nations occurring, the real reason for military action against cross border food trade is not to combat rebels, but instead

  • to try to heighten the famine that will be faced by the people in South Kordofan and Blue Nile,
  • to prevent humanitarian aid from non-governmental organizations from reaching them, and
  • to force the people to flee across the border into South Sudan to find food or
  • to perish in the mountains from starvation.

The United Nations’ Security Council’s refusal to act to save the people of the Nuba Mountains by ensuring that food arrives is tantamount to abetting the Khartoum regime in its war on civilians in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur as well as in its growing campaign against Unity State. That the UN’s policy concerning aiding those being deliberately starved by their government should be to ask that very government to allow the food to be delivered is an absurdity that borders on callous indifference. If sending in food against that government’s will enables the people to save their lives and to continue fighting one of the most brutal regimes of the past century, I should hardly the think the world would be worse for having done so.