Darfur ... and now more genocide in Sudan?
Evidence is piling up that genocide is taking place in the southern border region of Sudan, affecting tens of thousands of Nuba people. But the world is dillydallying, just as it did with Darfur, Rwanda, and Srebrenica.
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The Associated Press has reported on an even earlier leaked UN “situation report” indicating that some 11,000 people, virtually all Nuba, sought protective custody with the UN Mission in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan; 7,000 of these people, including women and children, were forced on June 20 to leave the UN protective perimeter and move to an unspecified location. Those moving them were reportedly members of Khartoum’s security services, disguised as Red Crescent workers. Today, the UN has no idea where these refugees are.Skip to next paragraph
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Bombing in the Nuba Mountains of central South Kordofan is relentless, threatening the lives and livelihoods of the African people who make up the Nuba. Fields have been abandoned at the height of planting season, when the need for crop-tending is greatest. Many tens of thousands of people have fled to the hillsides and caves, desperate to escape continuing aerial attacks. Next fall’s harvest will be a disaster, and Khartoum has blocked virtually all humanitarian aid to the Nuba Mountains, including the UN’s World Food Program.
Why, with so much evidence of ethnically targeted human destruction, and so many acute risks to human life and welfare, has there been no rapid or forceful international action?
The universally agreed upon UN “responsibility to protect” civilians from ethnic cleansing and genocide – not to mention attack by their own government – should be in force in South Kordofan if anywhere. Yet there is nothing of consequence coming from anyone in the UN, the European Union, the African Union, or the Obama administration – except Susan Rice, American ambassador to the UN, declaring there will be no US military commitment to the Nuba people.
This virtual policy silence on South Kordofan seems to be based on a peculiar, indeed incomprehensible skepticism about the evidence available, including the satellite photography as well as eyewitness accounts provided by the UN report and other sources.
The Obama administration spokesperson for this skepticism is Princeton Lyman, special envoy for Sudan, as The Washington Post recently reported. But his account does not square with the facts; for example, he asserts that the piles of irregular white bags near the mass gravesites, all of human anatomical dimension, have always been at the sites focused on by the satellite project; but sequential, dated satellite photographs unambiguously demonstrate otherwise.