Tuesday, February 16, 2016

RLPB 344. Sudan: the Nuba brace for more jihad

Text Box: Attachments areaReligious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 344 | Wed 17 Feb 2016

By Elizabeth Kendal

For Christians in the southern hemisphere, summer is fading and will soon be replaced with the glorious colours of autumn/fall. For Christians in the northern hemisphere, winter is coming to a close and spring is in sight, heralded by early blossoms. For Christians in the tropics, the wet season is over, the roads are opening and people are on the move once again. What this means for Christians in northern hemisphere and tropical conflict zones, however, is that the fighting season is upon them: the Spring Offensives are about to begin. 
click on map to enlarge

Long economically and politically marginalised, discriminated against and violently persecuted, the black African peoples of Sudan's Darfur (in the west) and South Kordofan and Blue Nile (in the south) oppose the overtly racist, Arabist supremacist and Islamist totalitarian rule of the Government of Sudan (GoS) in Khartoum. However, the GoS does not abide opposition, resistance or rebellion, especially when Darfur has gold, Blue Nile has gold and water and South Kordofan has oil. The GoS wants these regions subdued -- preferably ethnically cleansed and repopulated with Arab Muslims who will support the regime in Khartoum. Located in the centre of South Kordofan, the Nuba Mountains are home to some 50 African tribes, collectively known as the Nuba. Predominantly Christian, the Nuba have already survived an attempted genocidal jihad in 1992-93, when 100,000 Nuba perished from GoS attacks alone. In June 2011, ahead of the secession of South Sudan, the GoS re-launched its genocidal jihad against the Nuba, and by September 2011 had spread its war into Blue Nile. [Darfur (west) is a separate theatre of conflict. For more background on the GoS jihad in the south, see RLPB 194 (22 Jan 2013)].

Fighting is virtually impossible during the wet season in Sudan which lasts from May to October. During the dry season, GoS strategy involves aerial bombardment followed by ground offensives aimed at devastating and decimating non-compliant peoples ahead of the next wet season when roads will again be impassable and delivery of aid virtually impossible.
Nuba Christians
photo: Samaritan's Purse
In late November 2015 DefenceMinister Awad Ibnauf told the federal parliament that the areas controlled by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) 'will be liberated through a massive military operation'.  Days later, sources in Blue Nile and South Kordofan told Radio Tamazuj (Sudan) that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) troops and equipment were arriving in Malkan, Geissan and outskirts of Kurmuk areas in Blue Nile state, and in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan State. On 9 February 2016 an eye-witness in West Kordofan told Radio Tamazuj that SAF troops had passed through El-Fula on their way to South Kordofan. The source reported seeing some 500 pick-up trucks belonging to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the GoS-sponsored Arab militia (janaweed). According to the source, the convoy appeared to be ethnically mixed, which could indicate the GoS is now employing foreign jihadists.

Similarly, eye witnesses have told Nuba Reports that the GoS is amassing troops along the borders of SPLA-N-controlled areas. 'Mass government troop movements are repositioning themselves south of South Kordofan's capital, Kadugli, to areas near the Sudan and South Sudan border. Other government forces are moving from Rashad County to Abu Jubaiha in South Kordofan in what may be a two-pronged attack on the rebel-controlled capital town, Kauda.' Eye witnesses in Blue Nile have also reported a mass build-up of troops 'moving at night through the state's capital, Damazin, south to the Kurmuk County region'. The spokesperson for the SPLA-N, Arnu Ngutulu, confirmed that the SPLA-N is preparing and re-positioning accordingly. Sources maintain this is the largest build-up of SAF troops they have seen. While an estimated 4000 troops are believed to have arrived in the south, the ultimate number of troops could be much larger as the SAF has been recruiting within the area as well. The situation across the entire 'New South' is extremely serious and some 230,000 predominantly Christian Nuba are at imminent risk of military attack.


* 'Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand, with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him' (1 Peter 3:22 ESV), the Lord of Hosts, will command his forces to fight in defence of his precious people. May the SPLA-N prevail; may the people be spared; may the plans of the wicked come to nothing.  Pray Psalm 33:8-22.

* the Lord will protect the Nuba, along with their crops and livestock, maintaining access to food and medical aid, and providing his children with everything they need.

* God will bless all those who risk their lives to bring aid and to support the imperilled believers of the Nuba Mountains. May aid groups be blessed with everything they need to fund and deliver aid to the Nuba; may local pastors have divine wisdom and insight, as well as a shield of protection, so they can care for the flock and bolster their faith.

* the Sovereign King of Kings will lift up his hand against the evil regime in Khartoum which wreaks terror across the land and kills with impunity. Pray Psalm 10:12-18.

NOTE: In February 2012 the GoS drove some 200,000 starving Nuba out of the mountains and was preparing to massacre them in the Kauda valley, until the battle was turned back in answer to prayer [see RLPB 148 (28 Feb 2012)]. Just twelve months ago, in January 2015, SAF and RSF forces surged into Nuba territory and advanced to within 20km of the rebel capital, Kauda, [RLPB 292 (16 Jan 2015)] before the battle was turned back at the gate in answer to prayer [RLPB 294 (28 Jan 2015)]. 
Exodus 17:8-16
As long as the Arab supremacist, Islamist regime of President Omar el-Bashir is in power in Khartoum, the Nuba will be imperilled existentially. The world has abandoned them but if the Church keeps its hands up in prayer, the Lord will most surely enable them to prevail. May the Nuba declare: 'The Lord is my Banner.' (Exodus 17:8-16)


Christians in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, Sudan, are bracing for yet another round of genocidal jihad. Eye-witnesses report that the overtly racist and Islamist totalitarian Government of Sudan (GoS) has deployed some 4000 troops south, both Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The RSF appears to be ethnically diverse, raising suspicions that the GoS is employing foreign jihadists. Whilst the build-up commenced in December, columns of many hundreds of military vehicles have reportedly been seen entering South Kordofan in recent days. They seem to be preparing for a two-pronged attack on the 'rebel' capital, Kauda. The GoS does this every year -- and every year we pray and God answers prayer. Please pray for the Nuba and for Sudan, asking God to intervene.

 Elizabeth Kendal is the author of 
Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks toChristians Today
(Deror Books, Dec 2012).