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Sudan's Pro-Islamist President Omer Al-Bashir is
orchestrating acts of violence as a means to intimidate the South Sudanese
government. Given that Southern Sudanese are primarily Christian and animist,
it is unsurprising that Al-Bashir is pushing Sudan's Muslims into a "holy" war
against the infidels.
On Sunday, a Catholic church in Khartoum was set afire by a
Muslim mob. The southerners who attend the church were heckled by the mob
before the building was torched. Such heckling is not surprising when Sudan's
president dehumanizes Southern Sudanese by referring to them as "poisonous
To appease the Al-Bashir regime, the South Sudanese
government recently decided to withdraw its military from a disputed border
area. This appeasement has apparently been viewed as a sign of weakness.
Sudan's armed forces are launching raids into South Sudanese
territory. Escalating the level of violence, Sudanese warplanes bombed a South
Sudan oil field and market on Monday. Early Tuesday morning, warplanes dropped
eight bombs on Southern Sudanese territory.
Destruction of oil fields and pipelines are a de facto
economic suicide pact because both countries depend upon oil revenues for their
Although religious differences are being used by Al-Bashir
to encourage his country's Muslims to commit acts of violence against
Christians and animists, racial and ethnic differences are also being exploited
to push the countries into war.
In addition to being Islamic, Sudan is primarily Arabic. By
contrast, Southern Sudanese are primarily black. The Arab League has unhelpfully
joined the fray by condemning South Sudan while turning a blind eye toward the
misconduct of the Al-Bashir regime.
Regardless of the motives, the Sudanese government's acts of
aggression against its southern neighbor should be universally condemned by the
world community. Diplomatic and economic sanctions should be applied to
pressure Al-Bashir to back down, respect South Sudan's sovereignty, and the
religious rights of non-Muslims.
The United States plans to introduce a Chapter 7 resolution
to the U.N. Security Council with the support of the African Union. If passed,
the legally binding resolution would require military from both Sudan and South
Sudan to withdraw from disputed territories and force the parties back to the
If diplomacy should fail to protect human rights and
preserve the rule of law, the international community should provide South
Sudan with the military and economic aid it needs to defend itself as a nation
state if Sudan continues its acts of war.
holds "racist" Bashir responsible for Church attack in Sudan's capital,
Sudan Tribune (Apr. 23, 2012)
mob burns Catholic church in Sudan capital, Houston Chronicle (Apr. 22,
Mob Torches Sudanese Church in Khartoum, CBN News (Apr. 23, 2012)
Muslims Torch Catholic Church in Khartoum, Arutz Sheva 7 (Apr. 23, 2012)
Bombs South Sudan, Official Says, Huffington Post (Apr. 23, 2012)
Sudan planes drop 8 bombs on South Sudan, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(Apr. 24, 2012)
remain high between Sudan and South Sudan, Global Post (Apr. 24, 2012)
mob torches Catholic church in Sudanese capital amid reports of fresh clashes,
Washington Post (Apr. 22, 2012)
drafts U.N. council resolution on Sudan, South Sudan conflict, Reuters
(Apr. 26, 2012)
League condemns South Sudan 'aggression', AP via U.S. News & World
Report (Apr. 26, 2012)