Sudan: URGENT PRAYER NEEDED

by Elizabeth Kendal
(Elizabeth Kendal is the author of Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today, (Deror Books, Dec 2012).
http://www.turnbackthebattle.com/thebook.html

Background: RLPB 286 (11 Nov 2014). The Islamic Government of Sudan (GoS) has expressed its intention to bring the conflict in the Nuba Mountains to an end, not through negotiations but through genocide. Defence documents leaked in August 2014 revealed that the regime plans to starve the non-Arab and mostly Christian Nuba just as it did in the early 1990s. Once the people are starving, the GoS will attempt to recruit them with offers of food to fight against their own people. Those who resist will perish. An estimated 100,000 Nuba died in the genocide of 1992-93.

GoS troops surged into Nuba territory this week and are now just 20km east of the strategic town of Kauda, which serves as the de-facto capital of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). The SPLM-N’s armed wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N), is fighting to protect the Nuba from Islamisation and genocidal jihad. However, with artillery of the Sudan Armed Forces now in range, civilians have evacuated areas around Mendi, Angartu and Kara Jumous in the Nuba Mountains.
[For a full report, see http://nubareports.org/ ]

The SPLA-N recently managed to fight off GoS forces that had attacked the state capital of Kadugli, which was the site of massacres and ethnic cleansing in June 2011 [see RLPB 113 (21 June 2011) & RLM ‘Nuba Genocide Resumes’, (24 June 2011)]. It was the second major attack this year. The gravely imperilled Nuba are fleeing deeper into SPLA-N held territory without any assurances they will find refuge from a regime that is determined to eliminate them.

Please pray – especially this Sunday as gathered communities – that the Lord our God will defend the Nuba, preserve his people, provide all their needs and deliver them from evil.

Pray Psalm 10 for the Nuba and for Sudan.

http://rlprayerbulletin.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/rlpb-286-sudan-exposed-starve-them.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/14/-sp-fighting-in-sudan-nuba-mountains-intensifies
This message was sent out 17 January 2015.

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Prayer for Sudan

We stand on behalf of our brethren in various parts of Sudan, especially in the Nubian Mountain area. We cry out for your mercy and your supernatural covering for them as they experience the most cruel and wicked attempts to wipe them from the face of the earth. Together with their Christian relatives in Australia, we join in asking that you would bring relief from all attempts on their lives, whether through the present meetings between the African Union and Nuba Mountains people or by a God-ordained change of government. May your mighty hand of victory be clearly seen in this situation.

We also pray that aid organisations would be given safe passage, especially in the dangerous North of the country but also in the now lawless area of Darfur, so that they can reach stranded refugees and refugee camps with food, water, sanitation, temporary shelters and medical services.

In World Vision’s words; “we pray for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the compliance with International Humanitarian Law to ensure the safety of civilians, particularly children.

We also ask for an effective working toward peace and reconciliation through dialogue that promotes sustainable inclusive governance”.

Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers and for a major breakthrough in this desperate situation, in order to avert “the worst famine ever” (warning by President Kiir of South Sudan). Amen.

Sudan

“Residents from the Nuba Mountain Region of Sudan now living in Australia are very concerned about family members back in South Kordofan, Sudan. Numerous attempts to eradicate these people by other groups is presenting a huge humanitarian issue for the people of this region. They are extremely concerned about the genocide and deprivation being imposed upon their families and friends on the Nuba Mountains. Consisting of many mountains and hills, the Nuba Mountains support people using 99 different dialects however, difficulty in communication is overcome because since 1978 Arabic has been adopted as a national language in Sudan.

In the 1980s Muslim fundamentalists began attempting to scourge Christians from the area. The Nuba Mountain region is mainly Christian culture due to Missionaries from Australia living with them over a considerable period.

Dr Peter Hammond from South Africa (www.frontline.org.za – Italics and link mine) says; “There has been systematic aerial bombardment of Christian villages throughout the Nuba Mountains as part of a genocidal Jihad against Christian Nubians. Al Jazeera television has broadcast footage of the governor of South Kordofan, the indicted war criminal, Ahmed Harun, addressing Muslim soldiers in the Nuba Mountains: ‘You must hand over the place clean. Don’t bring them back alive! We have no space for them!’”

Those from the Nuba Mountains have no arms with which to defend themselves. The choices available to them are to flee into surrounding hills or be murdered. The Government of Sudan has not supported the Nubian people and is preventing information about attempts at genocide from becoming known to the world. It is also blocking humanitarian aid while escalating aerial bombardments of refugees and displaced people in the Nuba Region. Some 108 aerial bombardments were recorded in October 2013 alone. Arab militias mobilised by the Sudan Armed Forces have killed tens-of-thousands of Nubians through their ground offensives and aerial bombardment campaign which began in June 2011.

Hundreds of thousands of Christian Nubians have been displaced as their homes and farms have been bombed, plundered and burned. “By means of massive population displacement, systematic destruction of crops and denial of humanitarian aid, the regime is affecting a Final Solution… the elimination of what it terms ‘black infidels’” The government has placed spies in the region and Christians who gather together are shot or bombed. The government has sent soldiers recently to the village of Abbri. The people there have been forced to hide in the hills. They have no water, food, or clothes or any other items. The government is not permitting the supply of human needs for the region.

Some people have fled to Khartoum (the capital of Sudan) however, when it becomes known they are from the Nuba Mountain Region they are prevented from working or earning any sort of living. These people then must return to their home region without any form of support. The Nuba Mountains Sudanese in Australia have no way of communicating directly with their relatives and friends in the Nuba Mountains. They can only communicate through family members able to visit South Sudan or if people in South Sudan get messages out to them. The Sudanese Government wants the land. The Sudanese Government intends to annihilate the people to get it.

There is no opposition to the government eradicating Christians from the Nuba Mountain Region to resettle Palestinians there. Many Palestinians are already in Port Sudan. Meetings are presently being held between the Nuba Mountains people and the African Union to try to stop the violence and the stealing of their land and livelihood. The current President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir has a close alliance with Iran and Lebanon and Qatar is known to have been responsible in 2013 for sending planes to destroy Nuba Mountain villages. Please pray for these meetings and for those involved that they can arrive at solutions to this problem and pray also for God’s victory in this situation in the long term.

Source: Statement released by concerned Christians from Sudan as published by the Australian Prayer Network 2.6.2014

“South Sudan gained independence from its northern neighbour in 2011, the final outcome of a 2005 peace deal negotiated at the end of a 22-year civil war.
Fighting started in December last year, but the full scale of the violence is hard to gauge. Reports suggest thousands have been killed or injured, but even more disturbing are suggestions that civilians are being targeted. In some cases ethnic identity has been the motivation for killings, harassment and the destruction of property.

Neighbouring countries such as Uganda and Kenya have already taken more than 42,000 refugees, but roughly 395,000 South Sudanese have fled their homes, leaving about 352,000 people internally displaced. More than 60,000 have sought shelter in just 10 United Nations peace-keeping bases.

World Vision has been in the area now known as South Sudan (previously Sudan) since 1989, because despite its potential oil wealth, South Sudan is one of Africa’s least-developed countries. The majority of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day.

People affected by the crisis need food and nutrition, access to healthcare, water and sanitation projects, shelter, non-food items, and protection, which World Vision is working to provide. It has already reached 3000 people sheltering at a UN compound in Malakal with education programs.

Across the border in Uganda, the immediate needs of arriving families include food, shelter, latrines, clean water, utensils, bedding, and other assorted non-food items. World Vision is distributing a range of non-food items to some of the almost 30,000 refugees in the Adjumani district over the next three days.

The UN estimates it will cost $166 million to meet the humanitarian needs of the people caught up in this fighting until March.

Beyond money, however, World Vision also wants the parties to the conflict to:

– Immediately cease hostilities and comply with International Humanitarian Law to ensure the safety of civilians, particularly children;

– Facilitate the safe, unhindered and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians impacted by the crisis, particularly children; and

– Work toward peace and reconciliation through dialogue that promotes sustainable inclusive governance.”

World Vision, 15.1.2014

“The present food crisis is a product of the insecurity that has been hampering humanitarian operations in many parts of the country,” said Cosmas Chanda, UNHCR Representative in South Sudan, adding that up to 2,000 people had gone back across the border from camps affected by food shortages in Maban because of difficulty for UNHCR and its partners in moving aid in amid the current insecurity.

Chanda said he was concerned that the right of asylum would have little meaning if refugees had no food. “We are hopeful that the peace deal signed [on May 9] by President [Salva Kiir] and the leader of the opposition [Riek Machar] will make it possible to rapidly deliver adequate volumes of food by road to refugees and other vulnerable populations in Maban,” he added.

In an interview this week with the BBC, President Kiir warned that South Sudan faced one of the “worst famines ever” unless the conflict, which has displaced hundreds of thousands, is ended. The 125,000 refugees in Maban County had fled to South Sudan to escape fighting in Sudan.”

By Pumla Rulashe in Doro Refugee Camp, South Sudan, UNHCR, 20.5.2014

“Since January 2014, a new wave of insecurity and violence across Darfur has generated enormous additional humanitarian needs. Fighting, tensions and insecurity involved Government forces supported by the Rapid Support Forces, a Government-affiliated militia, as well as armed movements and armed tribal militia. Hostilities and violence have spread across much of North and South Darfur, with spillover effects to West, Central and East Darfur. Since the beginning of 2014, the cumulative number of people who have been displaced stands at 321,929…

The needs of the displaced people are not comprehensively met (see segment on the treatment of ICRC below. Significantly limited space for protection activities, constrained operating conditions, lack of funding and implementation capacity remain key concerns of the aid community.

Again, these shortcomings, this absence of “comprehensive” humanitarian responses, will cost thousands of innocent civilian lives; this is Khartoum’s intent. And all indicators point to growing morbidity and mortality in Darfur, even as we are only at the beginning of the rainy season/hunger gap. Most, but not all, of the following dispatches are again from Radio Dabanga unless otherwise indicated. It is of note that in a recent survey conducted by the Information and Media Committee of the Parliament in Khartoum found that “the majority of the people in the Darfur and Kordofan states prefer Radio Dabanga to any national broadcasting station.” It is quite extraordinary that such information should be released publicly, given Khartoum’s aggressive efforts to sabotage and block Radio Dabanga.

What these dispatches reveal is a land without security, in which brutal murder of civilians (including children) is commonplace, in which rape (and gang rape) is daily committed against African women and girls with complete impunity, in which food and water are often in desperately short supply, in which aerial bombardment of civilians targets continues in breach of international law and UN Security Council Resolution 1591 (2005), and in which the international presence (UNAMID) is failing completely in its primary task of civilian protection. Hundreds of thousands have died over the past decade; hundreds of thousands more may die in the next decade.

Darfur is becoming a wasteland, a land of terrible privation, violence, and death. And yet the world continues to look away.

Brief segments of the above article include the following:

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed regret for Sudan’s suspension …asking them to suspend their activities until they comply with certain conditions. He said that among these stipulations is placing the ICRC budget and funds at the disposal of the Sudanese Red Crescent and not to undertake any activity on the ground before informing Sudanese authorities about its nature and timing. Qureshi (Dafalla al-Qureshi, a spokesman for the ICRC office in Khartoum) said that these conditions are unfair and that the ICRC cannot accept them pointing out that all ICRC offices throughout the world work independently of the authorities of the countries in which they operate.

The ICRC began working in Sudan in 1978 according to its website. The organisation says it is helping people affected by the conflict in Darfur, providing seed, tools, food and water and re-establishing contact between people separated by the fighting. The ICRC also promotes international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians affected by the conflict. Of Western news agencies and newspapers, only Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported briefly on this extraordinary treatment of the ICRC—the very embodiment of neutrality and good faith in conflict situations.

Darfur: New Humanitarian Needs and Aid Delivery, [OCHA] Fact Sheet, 25 May 2014 (This segment is included in a comprehensive report by Eric Reeves from the Sudan Tribune, published 31 May 2014 – italics mine)