In the video in this blog post, the Rt. Reverend Andudu Adam Elnail, Bishop of Kadugli and Nuba Mountains, Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan (ECSSS) urges the four co-chairs of the House Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan to sponsor a letter from members of Congress to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Bishop Andudu’s video is the second of four video messages to the co-chairs of the Caucus: U.S. Representatives Michael Capuano (D-MA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Michael McCaul (R-TX). The videos are a plea that the caucus would urge the Department of Justice to ensure that the people of Sudan and South Sudan who have been brutalized and persecuted by the Government of Sudan would receive appropriate compensation for what they have suffered. This compensation would come from the settlement funds provided by a financial institution, BNP Paribas, that processed billions of dollars of transactions for the Government of Sudan through United States financial institutions in violation of sanctions.
The collaboration with the National Islamic Front regime of Sudan not only put BNP Paribas in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA), but made them complicit in the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Sudan and South Sudan’s marginalized people. The bishops who made these messages and their American friends and advocates, including Act for Sudan, and the team that created the Sudan Community Compensation Program, expect the U.S. government to do the right and just thing, to use the fine paid by BNP Paribas for ongoing relief aid to the people who still suffer because of the Khartoum regime.
Bishop Andudu has two important distinctions as a bishop in the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan. The first is that when he was consecrated bishop he was younger than anyone who had ever been made a bishop in the entire Anglican Communion. The second is that he is the bishop of a region that has experienced genocidal jihad TWICE within two decades.
Two genocidal jihads within two decades in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains
The current genocidal jihad in the Nuba Mountains, declared by ICC-indicted war criminal president of Sudan, Omar al Bashir, began on June 5, 2011 and continues on with no end in sight. The Government of Sudan drops bombs on innocent civilians as well as sending militias that kill people, burn houses and crops, and have particularly targeted the Christians, including Bishop Andudu.
But what started in 2011 had already been experienced by the people of the Nuba Mountains during the North/South Sudan war in the ’90’s through the early 2000’s. Khartoum at that time attacked the Nuba with a vengeance because the Nuba fought with South Sudan against them. At that time, as now, the Bashir regime declared the Muslims of the Nuba Mountains “apostate” so they could be killed along with the Christians.
Today tens of thousands of Nuba are in Yida Refugee Camp in South Sudan, as well as in Kakuma Refugee Camp and other camps in Kenya. Bishop Andudu has a long way to go to visit his entire diocese. He also returns when he can to the Nuba Mountains where some of his flock are now in the protected area of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/North that is fighting against the Islamist regime. The bishop also spends time in the United States as an advocate for his people. He has testified before Congress and appeared on television to explain the Sudan government’s war against its own people.
Like all of the people of Sudan and South Sudan victimized by Khartoum, the people of the Nuba Mountains need relief aid just to stay alive. Although they are some of the most resilient, courageous, and self-sufficient African people, the Nuba have had every resource for sustaining life stripped away. The funds from the BNP Paribas fine would be a god-send for them.
BNP Paribas processed billions of dollars of transactions for the Government of Sudan through United States financial institutions in violation of sanctions.