Much of the media’s coverage of Sudan is focused on this week’s election even though Omar Bashir has ruled for 25 years and there has never been legitimate democratic representation in government during that time. Press coverage was poor during the visit of Sudan’s prime minister, Ali Karti, who was rewarded with his post after acting as the chief architect of the Darfur genocide.
Religious and political figures in the U.K. are working to refocus their government on the seriousness and scope with which the Islamist regime in Khartoum has systematically Arabised and Islamised Sudan both culturally and through genocide by urging their government to point out the illegitimacy of the election in Sudan. Among them, Baroness Cox of the House of Lords claimed that Christians are, “being targeted and killed, churches are certainly targeted … Muslims and Christians are both being killed indiscriminately. It’s genocide of Christians and genocide of black African peoples.”
Meanwhile, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) defended villages in the Nuba Mountain’s from Sudanese militias setting fire to homes. The genocide in the Nuba Mountains has been taking place for years without significant confrontation from the U.S. or U.K. governments.
With examples from massacres of Christians in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya, there is a chilling policy in the White House to deny the religious nature of systematic targeting and mass killing that has taken place on a large scale, and with consistency and increasing frequency since 2009. Islamist mass murders in Nigeria by Boko Haram and in both Mandera and Garissa, Kenya, have slowly brought the suffering of black African Christians into the periphery of U.S. attention. It appears, however, that no amount of bloodshed in Africa in the name of Islam will instigate more than the non-response social media slacktivist campaign like the one we saw against Boko Haram last year.
Nicholas Hanlon is chief Africa analyst at the Center for Security Policy.