Activism, Arabization, diplomacy, Faith J. H. McDonnell, genocide, Institute on Religion and Democracy, IRD Blog, Islamization, South Sudan, SPLM-N, starvation, Sudan, Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North, U.S. State Department
On Friday, September 21, 2012, the U.S. Department of State released a “Joint Statement by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague,” directed towards the Presidents of Sudan, South Sudan, and the leaders of the opposition forces in Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N). One out of those three addressees has violated every agreement it ever signed. Can you guess which one? One of these three addressees is the perpetrator of genocide. Can you guess which one?
The Joint Statement encourages Sudan and South Sudan, which are scheduled to meet together on September 23 in Addis Ababa, “urgently to reach final agreement on all outstanding issues.” These issues include resolving border conflicts and finalizing all issues “related to the resumption of oil production” in South Sudan. The statement also urges both the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-North to “begin direct political talks…implement a cessation of hostilities, and implement previous agreements to allow unimpeded humanitarian access to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.” Note the “previous agreements.” This is a polite, diplomatic way of referring to the agreements that the Khartoum regime has violated over and over – in order to starve deliberately tens of thousands of people in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and in Blue Nile State. This is not new. The Sudanese government did this in the 1980′s and 1990′s, as well.
While we are aware that diplomats have to be, well, diplomatic, human rights and advocacy groups, as well as individual activists who care about Sudan, must continue to speak more forthrightly and to urge strong action by the United States and the international community to provide humanitarian aid and save lives. Unless Khartoum should suddenly and miraculously have a change of heart — as well as a change in it’s long planned agenda for the total Arabization and Islamization of Sudan — issuing statements and even persuading it to enter into dialogue will only serve its own purposes by pressuring the freedom-loving SPLM-North or the Republic of South Sudan to make all of the compromises and concessions. And, as has always been the case with Khartoum before, talk will delay any constructive action to stop starvation and save lives until it is too late.