Wednesday, November 16, 2011

134. SUDAN: refugees bombed; 'oil war' looming

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 134 | Wed 16 Nov 2011

SUDAN: REFUGEES BOMBED; 'OIL WAR' LOOMING

By Elizabeth Kendal

Religious Liberty Monitoring noted in its 14 May 2010 posting, 'SPLM-NCP alliance: a "covenant with death" (Isaiah 28:15)': 'There will be a massive war for control of the oil fields presently situated on the southern side of the North-South border.' It appears that the predicted 'oil-war' is looming.

When South Sudan seceded from the north in July, the Republic of Sudan lost about 25 percent of its land mass, 80 percent of its forests and 75 percent of its oil. Consequently, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was never popular in Khartoum, especially amongst Islamists and the regime's military elite. Compounding the situation, Sudan's remaining oil fields were located in the region of Abyei and the state of South Kordofan, whilst the bulk of its hydroelectric power emanated from Blue Nile. Long politically marginalised and violently persecuted on racial and religious grounds, the mostly Christian and non-Arab peoples of this 'new south' have long supported the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). So that it might cement its control over the resource-rich 'new south', Khartoum has been ethnically cleansing the region. In May, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) surged into Abyei. On 5 June the regime unleashed genocidal jihad on South Kordofan and extended this to Blue Nile on 1 September. Untold thousands of mostly Christian non-Arabs have been slaughtered and many hundreds of thousands displaced. To hasten the genocide, Khartoum has sealed the region off to humanitarian aid, condemning the displaced to death by mass starvation. For some shameful reason, Western media do not seem to regard this as newsworthy.

President Omar el-Bashir was in Blue Nile recently to celebrate the 'liberation' (conquest and ethnic cleansing) of Kurmuk, a highly strategic Blue Nile town on the border with Ethiopia and formerly the main bastion of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N). Addressing a rally in the Blue Nile capital Al-Damazin on Sunday 6 November, el-Bashir declared that Khartoum was ready to return to war with the South where it would repeat 'the lessons of Abyei, Kadugli [South Kordofan] and Al-Damazin [Blue Nile]'. Doubtless the regime intends to use the military to seize as much as possible of South Sudan's oil-rich territory, re-drawing the North-South border to 'recover' at least some of what was 'lost' through the CPA.

On 8 & 9 November Antonov bombers from the SAF airbase in El Obeid, North Kordofan, attacked two locations inside South Sudan. The remote region of Guffa in Upper Nile state, where Oxfam is caring for some 50,000 refugees from Blue Nile, came under aerial attack on 8 November. Oxfam workers reported that the four-hour-long bombing and heavy artillery fire destroyed several structures while killing seven people and wounding many more. The next day Yida refugee camp in Unity State was bombed. Run by the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse, Yida is home to more than 23,000 mostly Nuba registered refugees from South Kordofan. The attack left 12 dead and some 20 wounded, but it could have been much worse. A bomb that landed outside a school building where over 200 students were in classes failed to detonate. Praise God and persevere in prayer!

Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has been upgrading airbases recently captured from the SPLA-N in Blue Nile's border regions. The airstrip in Al-Damazin has been lengthened. Helipads are being developed at Kurmuk for helicopter gunships and the runway re-laid for Russian-built Antonov bombers. With an operating radius of some 1100km, Antonovs from Kurmuk would be able to reach Juba, the capital of South Sudan. On Friday 11 November, 18 died and 73 were wounded when a Khartoum-backed militia launched a daring cross-border raid into Kuek, Upper Nile State, South Sudan, attacking the SPLA military base. SPLA colonel, Philip Aguer, reports that the militias are massing along the border in preparation for an attack on the oil-producing regions of Upper Nile. 'This is an oil war now,' he said.

For full background on Sudan see Religious Liberty Monitoring, label: Sudan
Map of Sudan & Southern Oil Concessions (sudanreeves.org: best source on Sudan)


PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT --

* God will be a 'refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble' for all Sudanese Christians -- in the North and in the South -- who will faithfully trust HIM through these tumultuous times (Psalm 46:1-3); may they find peace and comfort in the assurance that their sovereign LORD is with them (vv4-7) and that HE will be exalted in the earth (vv8-11).

* the LORD's fearsome anger might be roused (Psalm 76:7), that he might rise to 'establish judgement' and save the humble (vv8,9). May Sudan's 'men of war' and its leadership be hamstrung, reduced and made subject to HIM (vv5,6,10-12).

SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
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SUDAN: REFUGEES BOMBED; 'OIL WAR' LOOMING

The Republic of Sudan Arab-Islamist regime has been waging genocidal jihad against the mostly Christian non-Arabs of the 'new south': Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The regime has now escalated its attacks inside South Sudan. On 8 & 9 November it bombed refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile as they sheltered in South Sudan's Unity and Upper Nile States. On 11 November a Khartoum-backed militia attacked a Southern military base in Kuek, Upper Nile, South Sudan. Many have been killed and wounded. Satellite images reveal that Khartoum is establishing and supplying forward bases and massing militias along the border ready for a full-scale 'oil war'. Please pray for Sudan's Christians, in the North and in the South. May God be their fortress, deliverer and peace.

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