Paanluel Wël, Washington DC, USA.
This is the height of naivety from The Obama Administration
So the Obama administration reason that fighting for a regime change in Khartoum by The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) to bring about a pluralistic, non-Arab, non-Islamic democratic Sudan is an assault on the ruling Arab of the Sudan? And this statement is coming from a US official?
The United States has told an alliance of rebel groups fighting the Sudanese government on multiple fronts that they could risk provoking Arab and Muslim sentiments in the country…the US special envoy to Sudan, said that he advised the rebels to abandon the goal of forcing regime change…”We told the alliance [of rebel groups] that we would not support overthrowing the government by force…the US official said there is a chance that Arabs and Muslims in Sudan could feel they are being targeted by the rebel alliance which is comprised of mainly non-Arab groups…The rebel alliance could “polarise the Arabs [who dominate the Sudanese government] against everyone else, so they can say, ’Arabs are under attack. Islam is under attack,’ ” he said….Instead, he said, the US government has told the alliance and particularly the Darfur rebels that they should “engage” the government in negotiations based on the Doha peace agreement signed in July last year by the government (U.S. senior diplomat for Darfur, Dane Smith).
First and foremost, both the rebels and the government in Khartoum are Muslims and the charge of “Islam” is under attack is misplaced. When the government of President Bashir commit untold atrocities against Muslims in Darfur, and is currently doing so in Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile, was/is that an attack on Islam or is Islam only attack when the victim is an Arab and a Muslim? Does Envoy Dane Smith understand what he is saying or is he just pandering to Khartoum’s propaganda machine? How could the USA’s special envoy be the mouthpiece for Khartoum regime?
Secondly, the Obama administration has successfully facilitated the rise of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Possibly soon in Syria against regimes whose records, though not praiseworthy, were not as appalling as that of President Al-Bashir and his ruling NCP Party. The claim advance by the Obama Administration for backing the rise of Political Islam is “democracy and justice” for the people in those countries who have been under continuous authoritarian regimes. If indeed Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis, and Syrians do deserve to be ruled by a government of their choice and the USA is willing to publicly and financially back these forces for change, why can’t the same logic play for the people of Sudan who have been more or less under the same kind of Authoritarian regime? Is it because they are Africans while those being supported by the Obama Administration are Arabs? If that is not racism, then what is it?
The implication of Dane Smith’s argument is that Arabs of Sudan, a minority group that has abused Islam for political goal, can do anything they want and get away with it because bringing them down to account for their atrocities is somehow an attack on Islam and Arab. That is outrageous and the fact that it is coming from the USA envoy, a nation known as the beacon of hope for the oppressed people all over the world, make it more of a tragedy than a manifestation of naivety.
One wonder if Obama was the president when South Sudan was negotiating the CPA, what would have happened given that the South is mainly Christians and Animists. Would South Sudan fighting for liberation been interpreted as an attack on “Islam and Arab”? Actually, Envoy Dane Smith would make a great mouthpiece for the Al-Qaeda group because the charges of an “attack on Islam and Arabic Countries” is a persistent theme in the messages of Al-Qaeda in their wars with the West. Why on earth would Envoy Dane Smith start parroting the Al-Qaeda tactical line of incitement?
There appear to be an earnest attempt by the Obama Administration to appease anything Islamic even when Islam is a shared factor. The Darfuris, Nubans and the Blue Nileans have their own Islamic and African sentiments to be provoked by the regime in Khartoum. Would Envoy Dane Smith elaborate why this other sentiment doesn’t matter to the USA? If the Obama Administration, beholden to Muslim Brotherhood of which the NCP is an offshoot, is not willing to support the Rebels, then the Envoy is at liberty to convey that and only that information. Why go all the way to talk nonsense about an attack on Islam? How can Muslims (the rebels) attack Islam that they are part of?
By the end of his 8 years–he is likely to win re-election for a second term in office–history will be there to give its verdict on President Obama legacy in Africa. The oppressed people of Sudan in Darfur, Nuba Mountain and in Blue Nile will have to wait another four more years before they can look up-to the USA again as a beacon of hope and democracy for all people…not just arab and muslims.
PaanLuel Wel is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wel: South Sudanese bloggers. He can be reached through his email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook page, and Twitter account