Sudan: Obama’s Next Middle Eastern Dilemma?

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While Obama has been concerning himself with Israel’s “unjust” borders, a Muslim Middle Eastern country launched a military offensive on the weekend to forcibly settle a border dispute that was to be decided peacefully by referendum.

Dozens of black African Sudanese were killed when the Arab and Muslim government of northern Sudan broke the 2005 George Bush-brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended a 22-year civil war between North and South Sudan and launched a well-planned invasion of the disputed Abyei border region. Dozens of tanks, hundreds of troops and government warplanes were used in the attack that saw the capture of Abyei, a town bearing the region’s name, and villages bombed from the air. Thousand of Abyei residents, who, like most southern Sudanese, are predominantly Christian or animist, fled their homes in terror.

This escalation in fighting has brought Sudan once again to the brink of civil war. The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) called the North’s seizure of the town of Abyei “illegal” and said it will respond in self-defence. UN observers present in Abyei have accused troops of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of “burning and looting.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he condemned the “escalation in violence” and asked both sides “to cease military operations.”

The White House immediately issued a statement condemning the Khartoum government over its use of force and called the North’s invasion “blatant violations of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement” that “threaten to undermine the mutual commitment of the CPA parties to avoid a return to war.”

“The United States calls upon the SAF to immediately cease all offensive operations in Abyei and withdraw its forces from Abyei,” the statement read. “Failure to do so could set back the process of normalising relations between the Sudan and the United States and inhibit the international community’s ability to move forward on issues to Sudan’s future.”

Last January 9, southern Sudan voted successfully to separate from the North and will become the world’s newest state in July.  The vote was 98 percent in favour of secession. According to the CPA, the oil-producing Abyei region was to have its own referendum last January to let its majority African Ngoc Dinka population decide whether to join the North or the South.

The referendum never took place – and probably was never intended to. The Arab North knew the Dinka would vote for joining the African South, since they had been so brutally treated by Arab forces during the last civil war. Two million Sudanese perished, mostly African southerners, and four million were displaced after the northern Arab government launched a new conflict against its southern citizens in 1982, the second such civil war since the country got its independence from Great Britain in 1956. The southern Sudanese, however, heroically fought this attempt to force them to become Arab and Muslim, leading the North to declare jihad against them in 1989. The war in southern Sudan was a prelude to Darfur.

The most horrifying aspect of the war concerned the several hundred thousand black southern Sudanese who were captured in barbaric Arab slave raids. Under the CPA, 200,000 were allowed to return home. An escaped Dinka slave, Francis Bok, told his story in FrontPage Magazine of his ten years as the child slave of a cruel Arab master and of his amazing odyssey to freedom in America, where he is now a citizen.

Facing certain defeat in the Abyei referendum, the Khartoum government manufactured an excuse not to hold the vote last January. It wanted nomadic Arab Messiria tribesman, who seasonally cross the Abyei region seeking water and grazing lands, registered as voters, knowing, however, this would never be accepted.

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  • amanda ashley

    Excuse me, but Sudan is in Africa, not the Middle East.

    • MixMChess

      Correct, but it is still part of the Islamic bloc.

    • ala

      sudan is conteinet can be botth middle east and african

      still we are biggest among arabs & african

      that the vital loctaion sudan which make it one of most important country in region

  • Celestine

    History teaches us there are only two ways to reach an end to muslim aggression: defeat them or be defeated by them. Remember, "Islam" translates to "submission".

  • Mel

    Amanda. Sudan, like Egypt,and Libya is both Middle East and Africa. But more importantly, it is the base of Muslim Brotherhood operations. Ever since it sponsored the NIF coup in 1989 against a democratically elected government, the Muslim Brotherhood has been the force behind Khartoum's politics, committing genocide in the Nuba Mts, the oil fields of S. Sudan, and Darfur. This will be the REAL test for Obama. Its one thing to flip the bird at a maverick like Ghadafi (whom the MB want to get rid of, and have solicited NATO's help to do its dirty work). But it will be another thing altogether if Obama is prepared to go up against the group that controls virtually all Islamic organizations in North America.

  • Cynic

    And so are Egypt, Libya and Tunisia all embroiled in the Arab controlled region with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi extremists.

  • Raymond in DC

    If there's a case for "Responsibility to Protect", there's a better case here than in Libya. Mind you, I think "R2P" is a dangerous notion, but the last thing we want is to let years of work and suffering be for nought.

    One has to wonder though if this crisis will garner even one-tenth the attention the "poor suffering Palestinians" get from the president. Maybe he'll have Hillary give a speech praising al Bashir as a "reformer".

  • StephenD

    "“Washington must respond to the ongoing genocide and the failure to implement the CPA with consistency and strong consequences,” Obama said…."I know just the thing. Maybe if we grant a waiver to Northern Sudan to use Child Soldiers they will only use them for humanitarian purposes. Oh wait! Obama ALREADY did this. He granted a waiver to the stipulation that any country that uses children as soldiers cannot receive aid from the US. How thoughtful of him. Of course, it was impossible to know this sort of military action would take place right? Southern Christian Sudan against Northern Muslim with a oil rich spot between them. Hard to have foreseen this coming. What is in this for him??

    • aspacia

      Obama will never react against Muslims.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Obama could care less about the Christians and non-Muslims of Southern
    Sudan. Millions have been slaughtered by Islamist (religion of peace) killers
    and millions more are in their sights for free mass graves, Islamist generosity
    on the move. The only answer to Islamist terror and murder is overwhelming
    force which we have but no one in power with the vision and backbone to
    use it for good against evil. The true battle is good versus evil and we are all
    in it…………………………………………………………………………………….William

  • jacob

    What is OBAMA going to do about this situation ??

    Is he going to allow something like DARFUR's genocide to go on ??

    Did the corrupt Muslim dominated UN do anything about, good only to condemn
    Israel 24/7/365 ???

    OBAMA seems to be good only for threatening ISRAEL and ordering it what he
    wants it to do, like these "Auschwitz borders"….

    Here he has an opportunity to set matter straight with these animals once and
    for all and even the rotten UN will fully back him, but..

  • Dan

    Daniel 11:43