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'Are you Christian or Muslim?'
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 03/04/2002 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Editor’s note: Dennis Bennett, executive director of the relief group Servant’s Heart wrote the following letter to U.S. leaders and activists after his recent trip to southern Sudan, where he found more evidence of forced Islamization by the militant Muslim regime. Recipients of the letter are: Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, Sen. Tom Daschle, Sen. Trent Lott, Sen. Joseph Biden, Sen. Russell Feingold, Sen. Christopher Dodd, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, Sen. Bill Frist, Sen. Sam Brownback, Sen. Gordon Smith, Sen. Jesse Helms, Rep. Frank Wolf, Rep. Henry Hyde, Rep. Tom Lantos, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Rep. Chris Smith, Rep. Chris Cox, Rep. James Leach, Rep. Donald Payne, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, Sen. John Danforth, Michael Young, Elliot Abrams, Walter Kansteiner, Andrew Natsios, Roger Winter, Rev. Franklin Graham, Charles Colson, Richard Land, Michael Horowitz, Nina Shea, Rev. Walter Fauntroy, Joe Madison and Hugh Hewitt.
I have just returned from the Northeast Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile region of South Sudan. After witnessing once again the situation on the ground there, I must ask “How long will the United States government allow the government of Sudan (GOS) to continue its jihad against the Black African Christians of South Sudan? How long will the U.S. permit the GOS to kill these unarmed civilians – whether by aerial bombardment, or by direct ground military action as is happening daily in NE Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile? How long will these atrocities, amounting to genocide, be permitted to continue?”
This war is a declared jihad – reaffirmed by First Vice President Taha on October 4 (after September 11th). It is fueled by oil being pumped from South Sudan, revenues from which sustain the well-decorated war criminals in command of the GOS military and militia forces. The role of oil development in Western Upper Nile has been amply documented, but the terrible realities of Eastern Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile can also be directly traced to oil development, including the Chinese-dominated Adar Yel project in the region.
Here are examples of the consequences of ground attacks in this region, which you will not know about unless you personally visit the Northeast Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile region of South Sudan:
In NE Upper Nile, when women are captured by the GOS regular military or militia forces, they are asked only one question: “Are you Christian or Muslim?” If the woman answers “Muslim,” she is set free. If she answers “Christian,” the GOS soldiers gang-rape her (10-20 soldiers), then cut off her breasts to ensure that she bleeds to death. Her body is then left as an example to others. There are no survivors.
This makes less surprising the fact that approximately 25 percent of the population in the Daga Post region of NE Upper Nile are orphan boys, aged 5-10 years old. You will know about the so-called “Lost Boys of Sudan” whose parents and sisters were killed in Bor County in 1986-7; the only survivors were the 5-10-year-old goat herders/cattle herders.
In NE Upper Nile, the GOS continues to do the same thing in 2001-2002. Christian villages are burned to the ground by the GOS regular military and/or militia forces, and all within these villages are killed in the most horrific ways. Nearly the only survivors are the goat herders, who are in the bush and run away from the sounds of slaughter in the villages. But don’t cry for these boys, because soon there won’t be any left. The local lion population is eating three to five boys every week.
In NE Upper Nile and Southern Blue Nile, the Government of Sudan continues to use starvation as a tool for forced conversion from Christianity to Islam. Moreover, whenever the GOS attacks a village, its military (regular and militia) attempt to kill as many women and children as possible. However, the GOS strategy has another element which Americans usually fail to recognize – the intentional imposition of suffering and death-by-degrees upon the survivors of the destroyed villages.
The deaths visited upon the civilian villagers in NE Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile are war crimes, as the inhabitants are killed in the most horrific means imaginable. Subsequent suffering is just as appalling. The survivors lose everything necessary to daily survival in the NE Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile region. Their farms, houses and crops are burned by the GOS. Their pots and pans, water storage containers and even their clothes are burned or destroyed. All farm tools and seed are also destroyed by the GOS.
The few survivors from the destroyed villages must typically flee for 2 or more days through the wilderness (in 115-120 degree temperatures), with no food and no water during their flight. After reaching a place of relative “safety,” these “survivors” of genocide must daily watch their children become gradually weaker and weaker from hunger and thirst until they start dying one by one. (The youngest die first.)
Survivors who are nursing mothers typically have their breast milk dry up due to the stress of fleeing the GOS attack, as well as the lack of water and food while they are fleeing from the GOS. In NE Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile, this amounts to a death sentence for the nursing baby. There are no mother’s milk substitutes, so nursing babies die first.
Yet all the surviving Christians have to do is walk the 2 days back to the GOS lines, and tell them they have converted to Islam. If they do this, they will be well fed (with the U.N.’s Operation Lifeline Sudan food supplies) and provided with medical attention.
As you might certainly imagine, persecution is not just a one-time event for these people; it is a daily occurrence. And yet their faith sustains them. Would we be strong enough to watch our children slowly die of hunger and thirst? Or would we convert to Islam so that our children live? We are fortunate not to have to make this terrible decision. But most Christians in this region choose to remain Christian, condemned to watching their children die slowly and painfully. It is impossible to imagine a more coercive and intolerant situation, one more restrictive of religious liberty.
The government of Sudan continues to decorate and promote known war criminals; commanders who practice atrocities on specific Christian populations. Commander Taib Musba (Tie-EEB Moos-BAH) is a classic example. He is a well-decorated current commander of the regular GOS army, yet:
In 1986-88 he commanded GOS soldiers that killed more than an estimated 15,000 unarmed civilian Uduk Christian men, women and children.
In 1999, he used Sarin gas (nerve-agent) against the SPLA soldiers while defending Ulu in Southern Blue Nile.
In 1986, he entered Chali, the capital of the Uduk tribe of approximately 50,000 Christians. He told them “You are all going to convert from Christianity to Islam today, because here is what’s going to happen to you if you don’t” and personally killed five Christian church leaders in front of the gathered villagers.
When the Uduks still refused to convert to Islam, Commander Taib Musba began killing the unarmed Uduk men, women and children.
The “kindest” way Commander Musba killed Uduk civilians was to herd them at gunpoint into a hut, and then drive over the hut with a 50-ton Soviet-made tank.
Commander Musba would also personally herd a group of 12-15 Uduk men, women and children into a hut, where he would ask the first person “Do you renounce Jesus Christ?” When they refused, he would personally use a hammer to drive a 3-inch nail into the top of their head. He would then ask the next Uduk civilian if they would renounce Jesus Christ and convert to Islam. He would do this until he had personally killed every person in the hut with a hammer and 3-inch nail to the head.
There are many witnesses to these atrocities, including some who were admitted into the United States as religious refugees. The UNHCR finally granted the Uduks international refugee status in 1992, after investigating the atrocities committed against them by the GOS. Almost as many Uduks perished during the six years waiting for the UNHCR to declare them refugees as from the direct actions of GOS Commander Taib Musba and his butchers.
Presumably, then, the evidence is available to the United States government both from its own refugee interviews and from the UNHCR. Yet this war criminal, Commander Taib Musba, remains an active GOS commander and is a well-decorated GOS war hero.
How long will the U.S. fail to make clear that we will no longer tolerate these atrocities? That we condemn in the strongest possible terms a government that not only shelters but decorates and promotes commanders like Taib Musba?
I must ask in concluding whether you believe the GOS should be allowed to continue its human rights abuses and war crimes? If you do not, you must do more to support freedom and self-determination for South Sudan. If the U.S. fails to act, we may be sure that the GOS will export its jihad to other countries of Eastern Africa (i.e., Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, etc.) as well as to the United States.
But perhaps you say that these are unsubstantiated rumors and unproven allegations. That’s because the U.S. has refused to allow American investigators into areas such as NE Upper Nile/Southern Blue Nile, claiming that the region is too dangerous for US diplomats. However, we’re there, and we’re safe. This is a matter of political will and a refusal to hear/witness the truth of these atrocities. The UNHCR has evidence about Commander Taib Musba, as does the U.S. State Department. You can gather more evidence by sending in investigators to NE Upper Nile, Southern Blue Nile, and the Uduk refugee camps in Ethiopia. We are willing to assist any investigation team you send into the area.
My heart cries out for these Christians – unarmed civilian men, women and children – whom we continue to abandon to the GOS jihad and political expediency.
God and history will surely judge us harshly if we sit back and allow the GOS, hunger, and the lions to destroy these innocent Christians.
May you have the strength to see the truth, and the will to defend these defenseless victims of jihad.
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