By Apioth Mayom Apioth, USA
March 1, 2015 (SSB) — The latest episode of the Darfur Problem is the erection of concentration camp-like “model villages,” funded by the lush stash of Qatar. The Sudanese government’s forces have set up military bases on the outskirts, where they bulldoze through these makeshift residential homes to torture men and rape women and girls with impunity.
“The sexual violence has no military objective; rather, it is a tactic of social control, ethnic domination and demographic change. Acting with impunity, government forces victimize the entire community. Racial subordination is also an underlying message, as non-Arab groups are singled out for abuse,” said George Clooney, John Prendergast and Akshaya Kumar on a recent New York Times article titled, “George Clooney on Sudan’s Rape of Darfur.”
The Sudanese Arabs have their origins in the present day Saudi Arabia – Yemen area. They first came to the Sudan as salt traders. Entrepreneurship gave them the leverage to organize, and with this powerful weapon, the power vacuum easily fell into their hands after the Anglo- Egyptian colonial rule came to an end in the Sudan. Knowing who they were, they went on rampaging campaigns to make sure that all non-Arab ethnic groups were left out of the wealth sharing and developmental agendas.
And so the struggles for the many diverse black ethnic groups began. South Sudan, which was formerly known as Southern Sudan, began its campaigning for its share of the pie in the 1940s; a long struggle that culminated in the secession of that region from Sudan in 2011. On the flip side of the coin, Darfur began it rebelling campaigns against the Sudanese government in the early 2000s, citing lack of development and governmental neglect as to why they took up arms. Ever since their first assertion of their rights as equal citizens of Sudan through armed-struggle, the Darfur rebels seemed to be gaining ground against the government forces; the major setback has been time.
The longer the time dragged on, the more the rebel group splinter into smaller less powerful ones. In addition, many Darfuri work in the very same government which is ill-intent to push them off their ancestral lands. Why can all Darfuri people pull their resources together first before thinking of living a settled life? The Darfur people lack someone who can unite all struggling forces and create a united front.
And the one person who could have put an end to all the ethnicity problem in the Sudan was the late Dr. John Garang of Southern Sudan. He was the chief architect who led the Southern Sudanese rebels principally known as the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA) for twenty two years; whose fruits garnered the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011. He knew that the Sudanese problem had little to with religion but rather much to with ethnicity.
The Sudan had always housed a large population of Muslims; and yet the ruling Sudanese Arab minority had always held back to share the wealth and political power of the country. Many parts comprising of Eastern Sudan, Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and even Southern Sudan had its own small percentage of Muslim population; the government made sure to never pass any resource allocation to the black ethnic groups of Sudan.
Dr. John Garang thought that for Sudan to be totally free from the ethnic politics of the Sudanese Arab; a total removal of their political power through armed struggle was the best alternate route. After his initial installment as the First Vice President of Sudan, he garnered a big following in tens of millions all over Sudan, and just as he was about to realize the dream of a land, totally free from ethnic bigots; he mysteriously disappeared in a helicopter crash on July 30th, 2005. His dream was never kept alive after his demise.
A little over a decade ago, the world’s attention shifted to Darfur when the Sudanese military, along with its affiliated Arab-Janjaweed militias were found to have committed acts of genocidal ethnic cleansing against the Darfur people. Now after the Sudanese government has sensed the world has its hands full with conflicts with ISIS’s terrorism and political strife in Ukraine; it has gotten back to uprooting the Darfur people as well as the rebelling Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile.
After the secession of South Sudan, the Sudanese were left with no oil reserves; two years ago there was a discovery of gold reserves in Darfur; now the Sudanese government wants the big belly’s share of that find. The Sudanese’s army forces go about razing down one village after another; once the villagers of these homes disperse, it solicits to house them in its military-controlled “model villages,” and while the military lie on the outskirts of these villages, it systemically goes about torturing men and unleashing sexual violence on women and girls.
The Sudanese government has also succeeded to thwart off journalists’ access to Darfur; and both the UN and AU peacekeeping missions’ offices have been shut down in Khartoum. By giving themselves free reign, they can easily commit the gravest atrocities with no one to hold them accountable.
The Sudanese government is systemically disrupting the social fabric of the Darfur people. By forcing them to live fragmentary and depressed lifestyles; these acts will eventually affect their ability to live meaningful lives, even leading to substantial infertility problems on both men and women. The men’s bodies are constantly in harm’s way and the women’s reproductive parts are time and time again being forcefully hammered to the worst extent possible.
These barbaric meticulous calculations are bound to greatly reduce the population of Darfur people in years to come. Black women have always faced the harshest wretched circumstances in history. During the slavery days in the Deep South, they were the play-vassals for the white men to flex their scourge of White Power. Flash forward to the 21st century, they are still under slavery in the West African country of Mauritania, where the Arab Berbers rape them at their whims.
Up north from South Sudan, in Darfur, the Sudanese army’s forces are once again wreaking violence on them: This time they are using the black women to replace the Negro race with their own kind. In the foreseeable future, when equality finally reaches its climax apex, what are the black women going to ask themselves? That their own brothers didn’t do enough to stop this monstrositic treatment? No matter how powerless we are against the moneyed petroleum of the Middle East: We don’t need to waste any moment at all, we should at least stand our ground until our own economic might reaches somewhere.
Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the West African country of Mauritania, where up to 140, 000 blacks are still under the chains of slavery from the Arab Berbers, are few of the remaining places on earth where black people haven’t still gotten their full practicalities of civil liberties, and be able to think through what they can do with their lives and live according to their own terms. The injustice being faced by a black person, whether he/she lives in Mauritania or Darfur is an injustice to every black person that walks the earth.
The black person whose live is being dehumanized on any part of the world is no different from a black person who owns a cement company in Nigeria, or a black person who happily conducts wedding ceremonies in Malawi; all originated from one family tree: The black race. There is no black person who in his/her right mind would feel at ease at an injustice being committed at his/her fellow member, who was molded from the same family tree.
Among all the places where blacks are still under the chains of discriminating persecution; Darfur is one place among the rest, where our very own Darfuri are still struggling tremendously to be a force of deterrence. The only hope we are wishing to come sooner rather than later is the economic development which is sweeping through sub-Saharan Africa at a promising rate, although not fast enough to bring major changes to our ills and mistreatments. If we had a greater economic might, these sorts of mistreatments would automatically free themselves.
The petrodollars of Middle East are also fueling political instabilities in places such as Darfur, Northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram reigns supreme and, of course Kenya, where Al Shabab crosses over from Somalia to create hell out of a nation with lofty ambitions. In recent decades, China and Russia have had shady trade deals with rogue states such as the Sudan; but that doesn’t compare with lush funds which the Middle East freely hand to Sudan.
The Middle East has been supporting all the successive regimes in Sudan since the days when Southern Sudanese were exerting their armed struggle. Our magical wish would be to see an end to the rapid drying up of the oil wells in the Middle East.
Countries comprising of Ethiopia and Somalia had a history of enslavement and trade in human flesh. They imprisoned black Africans to the institution of slavery based on the differences they saw at the time: We had full lips; flat noses; short Afro hair; and muscular bodies. They had the long Asian hair and lanky skinnier bodies. Contemporary Somali and Ethiopians are spread out all over sub-Saharan Africa, roughing noses with the very same people they used to push to harm’s way.
When other black Africans ask them about their origins, they scream out aloud, “We are blacks! There is nothing more to add to that.” The wind of change is underway. We are in the last days of having our people being push from one thorny enclave to another phantasmagoric inferno. Every single day that comes to past, a brand new chapter is written into the history books; after everything is done with, history will be our undeniable witness. We don’t have to pressure the Arab-led governments of Sudan and Mauritania to do what is right; there will come a time when they will come knocking at our doorsteps asking for help.
It is better for these ethnocentric governments to stop their further marginalization of the blacks right now rather than later, because failing to do so will further entrench greater belligerent animosities between the two racial groups, which could further jeopardize reconciliatory missions to repair communal relations.
The Sudanese army’s forces are an experienced seasoned bunch; they came out of a 22-year civil war with South Sudan, which ended in 2005. Any opponent of theirs, need not make a lot of mistakes, because they will hit them hard at any sluggish sloppiness. Meanwhile despite how disorganized the Darfuri rebels are, they should keep standing their ground until the world’s attention shift back to their way. The South Sudanese garnered their independence through sustained and disciplined relentless organized fighting force.
Darfur, however, is a region of less economic important. There is not much that can interest many rent-seeking investors. Even if the whole world forgets about Darfur, the blacks should be the last people to do so. The Darfuri yearns for whatever help they can get: personnel, rations, provisions of logistics; and military intelligence.
Clooney, George. Prendergast, John. Kumar, Akshaya. (2015, February 25). George Clooney on Sudan’s Rape of Darfur. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/26/opinion/george-clooney-on-sudans-rape-of-darfur.html?emc=edit_ty_20150225&nl=opinion&nlid=69268077.
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