Thursday, April 19, 2012

War Between the Sudans

This time last year well-meaning people all across the West were exhilarated by the prospect of an independent South Sudan and an end to decades of intercommunal violence and attempted genocide.

But this is Africa we’re dealing with, and peace was never really an option, especially not when oil is at stake. War has now broken out between the two Sudans over the oil-rich region on their common border. Since the Chinese have a major stake in the area, it will be interesting to see how all this plays out.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this Reuters news video:

Below are some excerpts from a New York Times article on the same topic:

As Sudanese Clashes Escalate, So Do Bellicose Exchanges

LAMU, Kenya — Less than a year after the nation of South Sudan was born out of a delicate peace agreement with Sudan, the two countries have plunged into war, a Sudanese government spokesman said Thursday.

Recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan has grown from a struggle over the contested, oil-rich region of Heglig to inflame a number of areas along the border and beyond.

This week, Sudanese planes struck “deep into South Sudan,” hitting an important town, according to Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations. A United Nations compound inside South Sudan was also hit by bombs.

For its part, South Sudan has claimed to have shot down Sudanese jets and killed hundreds of Sudanese soldiers in battles over Heglig, which it said it captured from Sudan last week.

The African Union has condemned South Sudan’s seizure of Heglig as illegal, and the United Nations Security Council has demanded an immediate end to the fighting, a withdrawal of the South’s troops from Heglig, an end to Sudanese aerial bombardments and a halt to repeated cross-border violence.

But Rabie A. Atti, a Sudanese government spokesman, said Thursday that his nation was “fed up” with South Sudan’s leaders and would “make them learn a lesson” for seizing Heglig.

The two sides fought one of Africa’s longest civil wars before signing a landmark peace agreement in 2005 that ultimately led to the South’s independence. But Mr. Atti said the two nations were now back at war.

“We are not initiating this war,” Mr. Atti said. “The only way for us to teach them is to drive them and chase them out of Heglig and tell the people of the South to get rid of those people.”

The comments echo recent statements by Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who said that Sudan would “liberate” South Sudan from its governing party, and that the “boundaries of the old Sudan can no longer fit us together,” according to news reports.


The fighting that is now spreading along the north-south border is by far the most serious confrontation in years.

Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman, the American special envoy who has been talking with both sides in recent days, said the South’s seizure of Heglig was “a dangerous act that had to be reversed.”

“This was an extremely dangerous step by South Sudan, and it threatened a much wider conflict,” he said in a call with journalists.

Despite the “very emotional, very powerful rhetoric coming out here from Khartoum, raising the stakes in many ways,” he said it was still possible to head off outright war.


Qualis Rex said...

God bless South Sudan. As someone who has spent time there, I can say the people are true witnesses to Christ in their suffering and endurance. This one will be interesting indeed, since Obama himself has pledged support for the nation of South Sudan.

FYI, North Sudan is evil on more levels than anyone here probably imagines. Few people realize they actually bankroled the LRA (remember the Koney video that was popular for about a minute?) for over a decade. Why? So they would use South Sudan as a launching point for activity in Uganda and further destabilize the South (in gratitude, Koney "Mohamedized" his movement by forbidding the eating of pork, Praying towards Mecca and changing Saturday to Friday). Few people know (if they know of the LRA at all) that it is as Mohammedan as it is "Christian", but still people like to point to it as a Christian fundamentalist sect.

Salome said...

Thank you, Qualis Rex. I didn't know that. Now I do. And, indeed, may God bless and protect South Sudan.

Anonymous said...

While the African Union has condemned the seizure of Heglig, they have been silent on other matters such as the killing of Christians in the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sudan and elsewhere. Genocide is acceptable, but a border dispute needs to be condemned. The American special envoy, Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman, echoes the same refrain when he says the South’s seizure of Heglig was “a dangerous act that had to be reversed." Calling it, “ extremely dangerous step by South Sudan, and it threatened a much wider conflict”.
This statement, while true, ignores the fact that Sudan has been engaged in a "much wider war" against non-Muslims for almost 50 years, and has recently called for the expulsion (or extermination?) of all Christians from Sudan. In essence he is dancing around the issue of genocide, and blames the South Sudanese when they do not accept their subordinate status. It also ignores Sudan's expropriation of much of the south as a result of the 'peace treaty', and the expropriation of much of their oil proceeds due to high transit fees by Sudan.

When people look at the region, they should also remember the past. For over 1,370 years Arab Muslims have been engaged in a war of aggression in Northern Africa. The gradual conquest of the Nile basin by Muslims has destroyed Christian African states and has reduced many of the survivors to the abject role of slaves. What is happening now in the South Sudan is merely an extension of that process exacerbated by a battle for resources and wealth.

Perhaps our politicians should start to speak to the truth. That this 'aggression' is rather a response to aggression by Sudanese Muslims and is only the latest stage in a much longer conflict.

Perhaps, rather than condemn the South Sudanese, we should look at their actions as a necessary first step in an effort to contain Muslim aggression. But in this, unfortunately, we have leaders who by their actions appear to support the expansion of Islam and the continued subordination of non-Muslims.

K. from Germany said...

Unfortunately this was utterly foreseeable. I agree that the islamic Sudan is a den of evil, but if it is true that South Sudan went on a land grab beyond their negotiated border, then they brought this entirely upon themselves.

Qualis Rex said...

Kay - you are wrong. Heglig IS part of South Sudan, ethnically and culturally. When South Sudan seceeded it was part of their map. The border-lines are not firm at present becuase they are still in dispute. It's a much larger issue than a "land grab". As you are in Germany, I'm sure you are very familiar with the concept of "land grabs", but this is not the case here.

Anonymous said...

What we are seeing here is exactly the same thing we have seen in Israel. To paraphrase Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, if the Sudanese lay down their arms, peace will reign tomorrow, if South Sudan lays down their arms, they will cease to exist.

South Sudan is guilty of the worse sin possible, pissing off the muslims of the north. No matter how correct or legal South Sudan’s actions are, there will be many that condemn them as we see already. They will be accused of breaking international law, using disproportion force and a whole host of other ridiculous charges. All because they are taking something the muslims want regardless of whether the muslims are entitled or not.

Also South Sudan has committed other grievous sins such as declaring that their embassy will be built in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv. Since we know that Israel is always at the root of all ills in the world, Sudan has accused Israel of helping South Sudan become independent. This time, the Israelis are guilty. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged assistance in areas of infrastructure, communications and agriculture.

The first lesson that South Sudan will learn is that every time they try and assert their rights, they will be condemned by the United States government (not the people), the African Union, the United Nations, most human right’s groups, the European Union and all the other asshats that support evil. Despite this I expect South Sudan to flourish and prosper.

I look forward to reading more about this fledgling country. With the help of Israel, Uganda and Kenya, among others, South Sudan has a real chance to make themselves a thriving country.

Long Live South Sudan.


Qualis Rex said...

Sarah, you are so right on the money in all of that. My hat's off to you for all the insight you shed here.

P.S. I had no idea about the embassy in Jerusalem. But it makes sense, since Israel has actually allowed quite a few Southern Sudanese (and ironically many Mohammedan Sudanese from Darfur...go figure) to live in Israel.