Photo courtesy of Christian Solidarity International (CSI)
Rebecca lost 5 of her 6 children. Her husband Galuak Juoy was captured by GOS soldiers and is presumed dead. She and her only surviving girl for walked for 2 weeks (they had to cross a large swampy area) to reach Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal (Twic county). She lives under a tree among the Dinka tribe in Twic, additional difficulty is that she doesn't speak the Dinka language. When she was still in Mankien she and her family were dependent on the World Food Program. Now she is completely destitute. She saw 4 of the government helicopters and witnessed aerial bombardment from Antonovs. She is only one of probably more than 100'000 Nuer displaced in similar circumstances.
CSI Press Release
January 6, 2003
Ethnic Cleansing Resumed in Sudan's Oil Fields
Appeal for Emergency Aid and End to U.S. Silence
Mayom County (Sudan), Zurich, Los Angeles, January 6, 2003. Sudanese government troops have resumed "ethnic cleansing operations" in the vicinity of Talisman and Lundin oil installations in western Upper Nile, according to a senior SPLM official. Taban Deng Gai, who is currently in the affected area, confirmed that the Sudanese Government launched a six-day offensive in Mayom and Leer Counties on December 31, involving approximately 1,500 ground troops, supported by helicopter gunships. Among the villages reportedly destroyed are: Rubjich, Rekyoul, Gottong, Giil (Leer County), and Riak, Wangbith, Lingera, Lowdong, Palwung, Ngopgai and Lare (Mayom County). In Lare, government troops burnt the facilities of the World Food Program and MSF-Holland, according to Gai. The most recent attacks took place at 10:30 yesterday morning when government troops attacked villages around the town of Tam.
Gai estimates that tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes and are now without food and shelter. Local officials are still trying to determine the number of killed, wounded and abducted civilians. Some of the wounded have been evacuated by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Since last June, Gai claims, thousands of women and children have been abducted by government soldiers from western Upper Nile and transferred to government controlled areas. Last October, U.S. President George W. Bush, condemned the GOS for acts of genocide, including low-intensity ethnic cleansing and slavery, in and around the Talisman and Ludin oil concession areas. (Sudan Peace Act, H.R. 5531.)
Gai appealed to the American government to facilitate the delivery of emergency aid to the displaced, and to condemn publicly this latest wave of ethnic cleansing. So far the U.S. State Department has not issued a statement on these latest violations of the current U.S. brokered cease-fire between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the SPLM/A. An American led and financed rapid deployment, civil protection monitoring team is in Sudan, but, according to Gai, it has not yet responded to requests from the SPLM/A to send investigators to witness the devastation.
The GOS has responded to reports of its western Upper Nile offensive with a claim that the SPLA killed three construction workers between Leer and Bentiu. (AP, Khartoum, Jan 2, 2003.) A Sudanese diplomat, Muhammad Ahmad Dirdeiry also complained that the SPLM/A's protests against cease-fire violations constitute a violation of an agreement that allegedly prohibits both sides from engaging in media campaigns. (IRIN, Nairobi, Jan. 3. 2003.)
The Islamist dominated Government of Sudan is fighting a declared jihad to subjugate the Black, non-Muslim population of Southern Sudan. At least two million people, mostly Black, non-Muslims, have died since fighting began twenty years ago. At the end of December, Sudan's President, Gen. Omer Bashir warned that "peace will come by the gun, if it cannot come by dialogue", and again characterized his government's war efforts as "jihad". (Reuters, Khartoum, Dec. 29, 2002.)
The Bush administration launched a Sudan peace initiative in September 2001, when the President appointed former Sen. John Danforth to the post of Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan. The U.S. initiative has invigorated an eight-year-old peace process sponsored by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development , (IGAD) representing seven East African countries. The next round of peace talks are due to begin in Machakos, Kenya on January 15.
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