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Articles on Sudan after 2004
Let it be known
Arab militias gang-rape and sell non-Arab girls into slavery
Two standards as usual: one for Islam and one for the rest of the world
A glimmer of peace in Sudan
Sudan: no man's land?

  • (September 2004) Let it be known Several aid agencies (Oxfam, Care, Save the Children) have accused three nations of failing to give enough aid for the refugees of Darfur: Japan, France and Italy. They gave only $6m, $9.6m and $10.8m respectively; which is less than they spend to maintain their embassies in Sudan. An Oxfam statement said: "These are some of the richest countries in the world and they have been some of the poorest donors". Last year the USA donated $206m and Britain donated $94m.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (July 2004) Arab militias gang-rape and sell non-Arab girls into slavery. Slavery never died in the Arab countries (that, after all, invented it much earlier than the European nations). Slavery is still practiced today in several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Sudan has been for centuries the recruitment place for Arab slave traders, and it retains the unpleasant record of being the main slave trading center in 2004. Sudan is a country of mixed ethnic nature: Arabs hold the power, but the vast majority of the population is "black", forcibly converted to Islam over the centuries. Unfortunately, the international community led by the United Nations (See What is wrong with the United Nations) recognizes the right of the Arab government of Sudan to rule over the southern half of the country, which did not even convert to Islam (they are a mixture of Christians and pagans, totally abandoned by the international community to the Arab army that killed two million of them over 20 years). Arab Sudanese slave traders have always taken advantage of this ethnic diversity to sustain their business: plunder non-Arab villages, gang-rape the women, massacre those who oppose resistance, sell everybody else into slavery.
    Reports about this practice have been available fince at least the 1980s, but nobody cared. For mysterious reasons, everybody cares that a few Palestinian Arabs are being killed in a civil war with Israel, but nobody cared that millions of non-Arabs were being killed by Arabs in Sudan: talk about the power of (Arab) oil.
    After Powell's visit to the refugee camps of the Darfur people, the world cannot deny the obvious anymore: Arab militias (the "Janjaweed"), tolerated if not backed by the Sudanese government (witnesses describe coordinated attacks on villages by militias and air force), have been scientifically exterminating the non-Arabs of Sudan, the same way that Arabs elsewhere, from Morocco to Iraq, "cleansed" their lands of all non-Arabs.
    As Amnesty International reported: "Arab militias in Sudan are gang-raping and abducting girls as young as eight... systematically killing, torturing, or using them as sex slaves". Amnesty International quotes Darfur women describing the gang-rapes by Islamic fundamentalists: "They raped women. They are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell us that we are just slaves"
    What the Amnesty International report does not say (the power of Arab oil money extends to Amnesty International too) is that this is not new, and it is not limited to the Sudan.
    Needless to say, the Arab world is largely ignoring the massacres of Darfur (see The Arab League fails again). Al Jazeera spends hours discussing the accidental killing of a Palestinian or an Iraqi, but hardly mentions that thousands of people are killed every month in the Sudan.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (April 2004) Two standards as usual: one for Islam and one for the rest of the world. For months and moths, human-rights organizations and even some Arab organizations have been reporting atrocities committed by Arabs in Sudan against non-Arab minorities. You will have a hard time finding any news about those atrocities in your local newspaper, whether you live in Europe, the USA, the Far East or, lo and behold, in an Arab country.
    On the other hand, you certainly heard that Israel killed two prominent Hamas terrorists. They were Arabs. The Arab world made a big deal of it, and the European Union, as usual, followed the Arabs. Two Palestinian lives are worth an emergency meeting at the United Nations, but thousands of lives in the Darfur are worth nothing. One million people have been forced to flee the region in one of modern history's most impressive acts of ethnic cleasing. Milosevic looks like an amateur compared with the Arab militia in Sudan. This is the same country where two million people died in a civil war caused by the Arab majority trying to exterminate the southern Christian population. All of this happened and is still happening without a single complain by any western government, Europacifist, or major news media.
    While we hear daily the headcount of Palestinians killed in the conflict with Israel, very few people are aware of the massacres carried out by the Arabs in Sudan.
    The Sahrawis have been living in refugee camps in the middle of the Algerian deserts. Their land was invaded by Morocco, and Morocco is still occupying it. Those refugees live in much worse conditions than the Palestinian refugees. If a Palestinian becomes a suicide bomber, the entire world is ready to justify him because of the terrible conditions of the refugee camps: what should the Sahrawis do, since their refugee camps are much worse than anything in Palestine?
    Saddam caused the deaths of a total of one million Kurds, Shia Iraqis and Iranians. None of the people who are so concerned about the well-being of the Palestinians showed any interest in the million of people killed by Saddam. While Israel was killing one or two Palestinians a day, Saddam was killing thousands. But Saddam is Arab, and the Israelis are not. So it was that Israel was repeatedly condemned by the United Nations, while the United Nations never condemned Saddam Hussein's massacres. So it was that Israel was repeatedly condemned by the League of Arab Nations, while the same League never condemned Saddam Hussein.
    Anyone who cares about the plight of the Palestinians is indirectly helping Arab regimes carry out ethnic cleansing, mass rapes and extermination. We should refuse to deal with the Palestinian issue (and any other Arab issue) until the Arab regimes and militais stop committing much worse atrocities against their minorities.
  • Arab militia massacre Darfur people in Sudan (Human Rights Watch)
  • Arabs commit massive atrocities in Sudan's Darfur (Human Rights Watch)
  • Sudan's regime carries out ethnic cleansing against non-Muslim minorities (BBC News)
  • Sudan's government arrest Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi (BBC News)
  • Arabs carry out mass rape in Sudan (BBC News)
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (January 2002) A glimmer of peace in Sudan Many more people have been murdered in southern Sudan and the Nuba mountains than in the entire 50-year Israeli-Arab conflict. If one includes famine and disease caused by the war, no other conflict since the end of World War II has caused so many deaths. The United Nations estimates that 2 million people have died in Sudan because of the civil war.
    Does anybody care?
    Of course not: Sudan does not have oil. Worse: the victims are Christians, not Muslims, therefore no Arab country is waging a terrorist campaign in their favor.
    Sudan is Africa's largest country, with a population of 33 million. The north of Sudan is Arab and Muslim, and holds the power. The south is largely black African, with a sizeable Christian population, and speaks a number of dialects (not Arabic). The Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), whose soldiers are drawn mainly from Christians of the Dinka tribe, has been fighting the Arab occupation of the south since 1983, with occasional military aid from Britain, Ethiopia, Israel and Uganda.
    Sudan is one of the countries that harbored Al Qaeda terrorists. Osama lived in Sudan when he was expelled from Afghanistan, before being invited back by the Taliban. He was a good friend of the Sudanese government.
    Sudan is also the last place on the planet where slavery thrives. Government-backed militias from the Baggara tribe (western Sudan) are particularly notorious for kidnapping people from other tribes, including women and children, who are then used as slaves until someone buys them back. Humanitarian organizations and fundamentalist Christian groups from all over the world have been routinely buying the freedom of slaves. In december 2001 rights activists launched a campaign that bought the freedom of 14,000 slaves. The United Nations opposes this practice, as paying ransom simply encourages more kidnappings. In fact, the slave trade in Sudan has become more profitable than the drugs trade. Slave traders use ransom money to fund new raids on villages and abduct more slaves. It's the most elementary law of economics applied to human bodies.
    Sudan gained its independence in 1956 from Britain. Unfortunately, it was not partitioned the way, for example, the Indies was partitioned in India and Pakistan. In 1958 a military government was installed and in 1962 the Christians in the south started the first civil war (the "Anya Nya" movement). In 1969 another military coup installed Ja'far Numayri as president and in 1972 he granted the south some degree of self-administration. Unfortunately, in 1978 oil was discovered in southern Sudan. In a poor country like Sudan, that changed a lot of attitudes. In 1983, as Numayri proclaimed shari'ah (Islamic law) the law of the entire country (regardless of whether one was Muslim or not), the south revolted again, this time under the leadership of John Garang, whose movement came to be known as SPLA. In 1985 Numayri was the victim himself of a coup. In 1989 Hassan al-Turabi seized the power and became Sudan's Islamist philospher and dictator, intent on building a pure Islamic society (he was the one who welcomed Osama Bin Laden as a distinguished guest). In 1993 Turabi "elected" Umar al-Bashir president of Sudan. In 1999 the two fell apart, with Bashir winning the fight and eventually jailing his old friend. Finally, in february 2002 Bashir has signed a peace agreement with the SPLA. The world, too busy sympathizing with the Palestinians, never knew of the two million people killed in the most ruthless war of the last 25 years.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (October 1999) Sudan: no man's land? Sudan was bombed this year by Americans who suspect that it harbors public enemy number one Osama bin Laden. When it was revealed that the Americans had made a colossal mistake (the "chemical weapon factory" turned out to be a medical facility), there was no outcry within the international community: Sudan is so isolated and remote that noone cared.
    Rarely does Sudan surface anywhere in the news. Nonetheless, thousands of people have died in one of the longest civil wars of our century, far worse than anything in Yugoslavia. Hassan al-Turabi, Sudan's philosopher and dictator, came to power in 1989 with a coup that removed Sadiq El Mahdi from power and installed a fundamentalist Islamic government (Turabi's party had gained about 5% of the votes in the 1986 election). In the meantime war had been raging in the south. The rebels were mainly Christians, led by John Garang and supported by Ethiopia, and were initially aiming for independence. The north of Sudan is Arab, the south is black. Arabs used to sell the blacks of the south as slaves (way before Europeans did). In 1983 the Arabs tried to impose Islamic law over the entire country. The blacks revolted.
    In order to stem the rebellion, Turabi has not hesitated to starve the entire province, causing one of Africa's greatest natural catastrophe. Sudan confiscates international aid to the south or alerts local militias so that they can rob the planes the moment they land. Virtually no food reaches the women and children of the south. Starvation and diseases have caused most of the deaths, not guns.
    Garang and El Mahdi are allied against Turabi. Turabi has been a ruthless dictator, but his military might is not comparable to, say, Saddam Hussein's, and has not been able to break the traditional tribal and party loyalties. Both Lybia and Egypt have been trying to broker peace agreements between the various factions. But both oppose self-determination (independence) for the southern province. They simply favor a reconciliation between the extremist Turabi and the moderate El Mahdi so that a united Islamic Sudan can squash the Christian rebellion. Sudan has scant natural resources and little strategic value: it is likely to draw Lybia, Egypt and Ethiopia into a regional conflict, like Congo did. And it is unlikely to draw any attention from the international community.

    (2000 update: General and president Omar al-Bashir Hassam ousted Turabi and has committed to a multi-party system, but the december elections have been boycotted by all opposition parties as a farce).

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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