Everyone is hopeful. Hoping against hope? For so long the marginalized people of Sudan have suffered under the National Islamic Front regime of Omar al Bashir. For so long those of the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile region, Darfur, and everywhere where the people groups are black, African Sudanese have been considered by the elitists in Khartoum– not second-class citizens—as slaves. For so long brave men from Sudan that fought alongside the brave men of southern Sudan until it became South Sudan have fought and died for their Sudan to achieve freedom and justice and democracy, too.
These are the people with whom I pray that we are going to see a New Sudan. Not the skipping town of one genocidal Islamist dictator, but the end of a genocidal Islamist regime. With my friends from Darfur, and the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile State, and Beja Land, and Nubia, I pray that we are going to see a New Sudan. As my friend Hawa and I chanted as we marched up Constitution Avenue a couple of months ago, “Old Sudan must go! New Sudan must come!”
Old Sudan will not be gone, if the Khartoum regime makes this one of their usual “change the face” moves. If the West and the UN and the State Department and whoever else get “fooled again” by this regime that has practiced “survival of the smartest” for over 30 years. Old Sudan will not be gone, if the new boss is the same as the old boss. Old Sudan will not be gone, if the Arabists and policy wonks insist that the Islamists and Communists (yes, you heard that right, there is a red/green alliance in Sudan, too! Who’d have thought!? Most people didn’t even know there were Communists in Sudan!) have “full inclusion” in a new government. Seriously? Full inclusion in a government that other people fought and died for?
UPDATE: Right now it looks as if that is exactly what has happened. Ibn Auf, the Defense Minister under Bashir, his right hand man, has taken control. The Islamists have hijacked the revolution. BUT the real opposition, the marginalized people, say that they will keep going and that Auf Must Go!
Old Sudan will also not be gone if apologists like Squire Patton Boggs and the Atlantic Council seize the moment and say, “See! Bashir is gone now! We can all work and trade ($) together! We can normalize relations with Sudan completely now!” But if the true opposition to Islamism and Arab supremacy, the people who want Sudan to not turn out like the past Arab Spring fiascos, but to be a free and just nation for all, are able to gain control, there will be a new Sudan.
Can that happen? They are strong and brave. They beat the Sudanese military in every ground battle they fought. They probably could have taken the country by now, if others – including the United States – had not held them back and insisted that they make “cease-fire” agreements with the Islamic regime even though the Islamic regime had no intention of keeping them. Can we let them now finish what they started, now that it seems as if almost the entire population of Sudan is with them – Arab Sudanese as well as African?
Below is a handy chart to track the top ten ways in which we will know if real change has come to Sudan, or if this is just a Kabuki Theater show for the benefit of the world. But one more thing. Even if Bashir is gone, even if Sudan does become a New Sudan, South Sudan is still South Sudan. South Sudan is the Republic of South Sudan. It can be closer to Sudan than before – especially if, please God, the new leadership of Sudan should be some of the heroes who fought in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) alongside the men of the South. But it is still a nation. Don’t forget it.
So keep praying. Nothing is too hard for God. Not even toppling a 30+ year regime and transforming what my Sudanese friends call “the head of the snake” when it comes to radical Islamist global jihad and Caliphate building into a nation with peace, justice, and religious freedom – even for Christians! Not even converting a nation that deceives the US government into believing that it is cooperating on global jihad into a nation that is our ally fighting against global jihad, and pretty darn good at it, because they have had plenty of practice in their own country.