Wednesday, February 22, 2012

RLPB 147. Sudan & Syria: millions of Christians facing death

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 147 | Wed 22 Feb 2012

By Elizabeth Kendal


As reported in RLPB 145, the UN estimates that some half-million displaced predominantly Christian African (non-Arab) Nuba will face famine conditions by March. Not content to decimate the Nuba by means of famine -- something the Arab-supremacist, Islamist regime in Khartoum achieved in the early 1990s -- nor to allow their escape into South Sudan, Khartoum appears to be preparing to completely annihilate the Nuba. Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers are killing Nuba at manned checkpoints. Furthermore SAF tanks and artillery are blocking the refugees' southward escape route through the Kauda Valley while helicopter gunships and Antonovs (used as bombers) arrive at recently renovated airstrips (see Satellite Sentilel Project).

The regime has warned that any attempt to cross the southern border with aid for the Nuba would be regarded as a hostile act, i.e. an excuse for war against South Sudan. Urged on by Christian and Jewish anti-genocide groups, the US administration has intensified efforts to pursue a breakthrough in Sudan, even offering to write-off Khartoum's debts, estimated at $2.4 billion. Yet Khartoum remains intransigent, maintaining the Nuba are 'rebels' -- enemies of the state -- being assisted by foreign aid groups.

On Sunday 19 February the Government of Sudan (GoS) agreed to involve international organisations in an operation to assess humanitarian needs in South Kordofan. Khartoum also advised it was considering a proposal put forward by the Arab League. Sudan's Minister of Social Welfare and Security, Amira Al-Fadail, reiterated the GoS position that all aid must be distributed through Sudanese facilities. Of course this has happened before in the early 1990s when the GoS, after engineering famine in the Nuba Mountains, herded the displaced and starving Nuba into 'Peace [concentration] Camps'. Receiving food there was conditional on converting to Islam. Forced thus to choose between Islam and starvation, hundreds of thousands of Nuba chose starvation. To allow repetition of such a situation would be absolutely unacceptable. However, with famine closing in, Sudan analyst Eric Reeves is warning of 'a looming catastrophe that will make Syria, in terms of total casualties, look like a gang war in the park'.


The NATO-US-Saudi-Gulf Arab alliance and al Qaeda both want the same thing in Syria: regime change to install a Sunni Islamist regime more favourable to their interests. According to former Central Intelligence Agency officer Philip Giraldi, unmarked NATO planes are transporting weapons from Libya to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) base at Iskenderum, on Turkey's border with Syria. Meanwhile, Western Special Forces trainers are there on the ground training the Syrian rebel jihadists [echoes of Afghanistan?]. Furthermore, US military and intelligence drones are operating over Syria, reportedly gathering evidence to 'make a case for an international response', but doubtless also monitoring Syrian troop movements for the FSA.

On 11 February al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri publicly exhorted 'honourable' Muslims across the region to join the jihad in Syria. Subsequently, a group calling itself the Al Baraa Ibn Malik Martyrdom Brigade announced its formation in the Syrian town of Homs and vowed to start employing suicide bombers against Syrian security forces.

British author and a former UK foreign correspondent John Bradley recently cautioned that Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi forces, with funding from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, have totally hijacked the popular revolts. Bradley maintains that the conflict in Syria is now principally a US-Saudi-Gulf Arab alliance war aimed at countering ascendant Iran. He claims that what will come after Assad will be much worse: ' . . . the minority Alawites and Christians and Jews and moderate Sunnis in Syria will fight to the death because they know much better than us that the opposition, the civilian opposition is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and the insurgents [are] now infiltrated by Salafi jihadis.' As Bradley notes, for all its faults Assad's has been a secular regime that has protected minorities. Russia is brokering talks. The 2 million-plus Christians in Syria (including over 300,000 Assyrian refugees from Iraq) are in desperate need of a political breakthrough. For, as Bradley notes, the alternative is 'a civil war in Syria that will be so bloody and murderous that it will make what took place in Libya look like a high school prom'.


* send his Holy Spirit into these war zones in a powerful and palpable way, bringing awakening, repentance and spiritual revival to multitudes.

* hear the cries of his imperilled people and be quick to answer with demonstrations of power, love and justice; may escape and deliverance be enabled and may there be provision of food, shelter, security and hope.

* erect a bulwark against those who devise evil against God's Kingdom and cruelty against his precious children. (See Psalm 140.)


In Sudan, some half-million predominantly Christian Nuba, displaced by ethnic cleansing in South Kordofan, face impending famine. After destroying their lands, the Arab-supremacist, Islamist regime in Khartoum has closed off not only their escape routes, but all access to humanitarian aid. Satellite images show the government is also concentrating troops in South Kordofan preparing for a military onslaught. Unless there is a breakthrough, the genocide of the Nuba is imminent. Meanwhile in Syria, some two million Christians (including over 300,000 Assyrian refugees from Iraq) face the prospect of a brutal and deadly civil war if the Assad regime falls -- a secular regime that protected minorities. The NATO-US-Saudi-Gulf Arab alliance and al Qaeda are actively backing its destruction. Please pray for breakthroughs in Sudan and Syria.