Monday, November 12, 2001

Noble mention but knavish inaccuracies

Patriotism shoots past parochialism

Khartoum cannot conceal atrocities with ‘charm’

I was quite dismayed to read your Oct. 26 Embassy Row column, which included an interview with Khidir Haroun Ahmed. Mr. Khidir, formerly an accountant at the Saudi Embassy in Washington and now the head of mission at the Sudanese Embassy, apparently launched the Sudanese government’s latest “charm offensive” at a press conference with editors and reporters of The Washington Times. I can only hope those journalists will investigate further and speak to the survivors of the Sudanese genocide to discover the truth about Sudan.

Mr. Khidir, who is a spokesman for the National Islamic Front (NIF), which came to power by military coup in June 1989, says Sudan has suffered from war since 1955. It is true that even before 1955, the Islamic rulers in the north were telling the black, African Sudanese, “We want your land, but we don’t want you.” During the past 18 years, the death toll has surpassed 2 million, and more than 4 million have been forced to flee from their homes.

Gaafar Nimeri, the Islamic ruler before the NIF’s Omar Hassan Bashir, abrogated the Addis Ababa agreement that had given a decade of peace to Sudan, and jihad subsequently was declared against the Christians, animists and moderate Muslims. The “civil war” referred to by Mr. Khidir is the response of those groups to the NIF regime’s agenda of Arab-Islamic expansion first to southern Sudan and then throughout Africa and beyond. Khartoum implemented genocide against the black, African civilian populations of southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, the southern Blue Nile and other areas.

Khartoum’s methods are forced Islamization and ethnic cleansing, slavery and starvation, aerial bombardment and religious persecution. As recently as Oct. 4, Agence France Presse reported that NIF First Vice President Ali Osman Taha had addressed a brigade of Sudan’s own terrorists, known as mujahideen, heading for the war front with these words: “The jihad is our way, and we will not abandon it and will keep its banner high.” Indeed, the jihad network spreads from Sudan to Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Middle East and even the Philippines wherever militant Islamists are attempting to impose shari’a (Islamic law) on resistant populations.

The people of southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and Ingassena are fighting to create a new Sudan, where there will be freedom and self-determination. Sadly, some of the southerners have been seduced by promises of power from Khartoum; they have been armed to fight against their own brothers in the south. Khartoum has a saying in Arabic regarding this: Al abidi katulu al abidi, meaning, “Use a slave to kill a slave.” To the Arabs of Sudan, blacks are all slaves. (The same principle was applied by the terrorists who attacked America on September 11, when they used your own planes, filled with your own innocent civilians, as weapons against you.

It is significant that Mr. Khidir never mentions the existence of oil in southern Sudan. His government is stealing the oil from under our very feet, pumping it north and using the funds to continue financing its genocidal jihad against us. Areas surrounding the oil concessions have been “cleared” by the murahileen (government militias), which attack villages, killing the men and taking women and children into the slavery that Mr. Khidir denies exists.

This slave-taking and the accompanying gang-raping, beating, mutilating and killing is accomplished with the aid of automatic weapons, Iraqi helicopter gunships and other weapons furnished by the proceeds garnered from Talisman Energy Inc., China National Petroleum Co. and other oil companies whose blood money is filling Khartoum’s coffers. This slavery is not the same as tribal abductions.

Another efficient method for clearing the land for oil development used by the government of Sudan is aerial bombardment. On Sept. 12, shedding crocodile tears about the terrorist attacks on the United States, the NIF regime was launching its own terrorist attack, dropping 260 bombs on the civilian areas of Fangak and Raga The bombing raids killed 23 persons and injured dozens in the Nuba Mountain region of Malakal, located close to the Bentiu oil fields.

Information on these atrocities is readily available in “Report of an Investigation Into Oil Development, Conflict and Displacement in Western Upper Nile, Sudan,” released last month by Canadian and British nongovernmental organizations.

I can personally testify to the government of Sudan’s terrorist attacks against our people. On Dec. 29, my cathedral, the cherished historical Fraser Memorial Cathedral in Lui, was bombed. I was only about 26 feet away and had to fling myself into the nearest foxhole to save my life. The same bombing attack hit the outpatient clinic of the mission hospital run by the Rev. Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse. The hospital, the cathedral and other churches, schools and World Food Programme relief distribution sites in southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains are bombed regularly by the NIF.

In your column, Mr. Khidir concludes his remarks to The Washington Times and its readers by stating that the war is not between Muslims and Christians. This is true. The NIF regime has targeted Muslims such as the Beja people, and in its goal of complete ethnic cleansing of the Nuba Mountains it has sought to eradicate Muslims, Christians and animists alike. The war is between the radical Islamists of the NIF, supported by their allies in the Middle East, and the people of Sudan who desire to live in freedom and peace.


Bishop of Lui

Episcopal Church of Sudan

Lui, Sudan

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