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12147, continued................................
Posted by abduhu, Mon Jul-23-01 03:24 AM
The very humanitarian access spoken of repeatedly in the 'Sudan Peace Act' has been disrupted by the SPLA. History would appear to be repeating itself. Former President Carter has in the past stated that the millions of dollars of assistance to the rebels previously provided by the Clinton Administration had a negative effect on the SPLA's interest in negotiating a political settlement. (21)

The Bush Administration's financial support for the SPLA has also clearly encouraged the SPLA to once again ignore calls for a negotiated settlement of the conflict and to continue with what can only be described as a no-win war. Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail accuses the United States of pursuing a policy that prolongs the Sudanese war: "Your policy will not lead to peace. It will lead to the continuation of war, the suffering of the people, the loss of lives in the south ... This war, this problem, will not be settled by fighting. It has to be settled by political means. The government of Sudan is ready for that". (22)

America's provocative acts take place at a time when the there have been significant positive political changes within Sudan itself. The former Prime Minister, Sadiq al-Mahdi, himself ousted in 1989 by the present government, and a pivotal rebel leader, was quoted by an April 2001 American fact-finding mission as saying that: "the United States has been an obstacle to peace in Sudan and also to unity among the opposition. The United States' policy has been a problem. He said that Sudan is like a pregnant woman that is about to deliver and needs a midwife to help the delivery. They all believe that the United States could act as a midwife. They all accept this. But, the United States, instead of helping deliver the baby, killed it..." The former prime minister has also declared that: "There are now circumstances and developments which could favour an agreement on a comprehensive political solution." (23)

Congressional Support for Sudanese "War Criminals" What then is the nature of the organisation so enthusiastically embraced by the United States Congress? Simply put, the 'Sudan Peace Act' links the United States to a group with an appalling human rights record. A previous attempt by the American government in late 1999 to provide assistance to the SPLA had resulted in considerable concern domestically. In November 1999, for example, eight reputable US-based humanitarian organisations working in Sudan, groups such as CARE, World Vision, Church World Service and Save the Children, no friends of the Sudanese government, publicly stated that the SPLA has: "engaged for years in the most serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, beatings, arbitrary detention, slavery, etc." (24)

In December 1999, Human Rights Watch stated that: "The SPLA has a history of gross abuses of human rights and has not made any effort to establish accountability. Its abuses today remain serious". (25) '

The New York Times', another outspoken critic of the Khartoum government, was also unambiguously critical of any assistance to the SPLA: "hanneling assistance to southern rebels would ally Washington with a brutal and predatory guerrilla army. One of the tragedies of Sudan's war is that John Garang's S.P.L.A. has squandered a sympathetic cause. Though its members claim to be "Christians resisting Islamization, they have behaved like an occupying army, killing, raping and pillaging." (26)

It is ironic that the 'Sudan Peace Act' also contains a section dealing with "the investigation of war criminals" given that the same Act provides the SPLA, an group accused of involvement in war crimes, with millions of dollars worth of American tax-payers money. The 'New York Times', for example, has stated that SPLA leader John Garang is one of Sudan's "pre-eminent war criminals". (27).

The U.S. Congress cannot have been unaware of this appalling human rights record. The Clinton Administration's Sudan expert, John Prendergast, who served with both the National Security Council and State Department, and who has briefed many of these legislators, has, for example, stated on record that the SPLA "was responsible for egregious human rights violations in the erritory it controlled". (28)

Prendergast also personally placed on record that: "The SPLA has faced a tidal wave of accusations and condemnation from international human rights organizations and local churches over its human rights record." (29)

Prendergast personally recorded SPLA involvement in wide-scale killings, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, widespread raping of Equatorian women, systematic abuse of humanitarian aid, corruption and an absolute disregard for human rights. Prendergast confirmed the existence of ethnic tensions between the largely Dinka SPLA, and the Nuer tribe, as well as communities in Equatoria in southern Sudan, ever since the SPLA came into being in 1983, with the SPLA showing an "absolute disregard for their human rights". (30)

He was also able to confirm that, in an echo of the war crimes carried out in Bosnia, SPLA behaviour included the systematic raping of women from different ethnic groups. (31)

Very significantly, given the Act's desire to make SPLA access to relief even easier, Prendergast further documented the SPLA's deliberate abuse of aid and society in those areas it controls: "The human rights abuses of the SPLA are by now well-documented...What is less understood is the abuse and manipulation of humanitarian assistance, the undermining of commerce, and the authoritarian political structures which have stifled any efforts at local organizing or capacity building in the south. These are the elements which have characterized the first decade of the SPLA's existence." (32)

While Prendergast was advising on Sudan, the SPLA engaged in ethnic cleansing every bit as murderous as that carried out in Bosnia or Kosovo. SPLA ethnic cleansing continues to this day. The BBC and other reliable sources have reported on SPLA violence towards non-Dinka ethnic groups, groups which "accused the SPLA of becoming an army of occupation" (33),

exactly the phrase used by Prendergast himself in 1997. (34)

It would appear that the United States would believe that the human rights of black and brown Africans are not the same value as those of Bosnians or other white Europeans. Humanitarian Assistance to Sudan: Operation Lifeline Sudan The 'Sudan Peace Act' states and restates concern about the facilitation of relief efforts within southern Sudan. The Act is also hostile to the United Nations-administered Operation Lifeline Sudan. It further repeatedly refers to the manipulation of food aid by the government of Sudan. Whatever the veracity of the claims about the Sudanese authorities, what the Act conveniently ignores is that the SPLA, the organisation it seeks to logistically assist, and to whom it wishes to make access to relief aid easier, has been the biggest abuser of relief aid in this conflict. The human rights group, African Rights, for example, has clearly stated that: "On the whole, SPLA commanders and officials of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA, its humanitarian wing), have seen relief flows as simple flows of material resources. The leadership has also used aid for diplomatic and propaganda purposes." (35)

Despite stated concerns about the manipulation of relief aid, this did not feature in the legislation. While professing deep concern about urgent humanitarian relief deliveries within southern Sudan, the U.S. Congress also ignored that fact that in June 2000 the group they support deliberately broke a humanitarian ceasefire in Bahr al-Ghazal. This humanitarian ceasefire had been brokered by the European Union in July 1998 in order to stabilise aid access to southern Sudan's most famine affected areas. (36)

The European Union registered "its grave concerns regarding the offensive launched by the SPLM/A in the region of Bahr al-Ghazal". (37)

The recent offensive was launched by the SPLA, still clearly without any discernible political agenda, despite UNICEF warnings that the drought situation in drought-affected areas of Sudan was "fast approaching critical" (38)

And that the food supply outlook was "highly precarious" and likely to worsen". (39)

The World Food Programme has repeatedly warned of the impending crisis in statements headlined 'Acute Hunger Set to Hit Sudan as War Continues and Drought Unfolds', 'Major Food Crisis Looms in Sudan' and, in June 2001, 'Sudan Food Crisis - On the Brink'. (40)

It should be noted that the horrendous 1998 famine in southern Sudan was precipitated by similar SPLA offensives As much was reported on by CNN in early April 1998 under headlines such as "aid agencies blame Sudanese rebel who switched sides": "Observers say much of the recent chaos has resulted from the actions of one man, Kerubino Kwanying Bol, a founding member of the rebel movement...He aided rebel forces in sieges of three government-held towns, which sent people fleeing into the countryside." (41)

to be continued again.......................

>The Glorious Qur'an - Surah 6,
>75. So also did We show
>Abraham the power and the
>laws of the heavens and
>the earth, that he might
>(with understanding) have certitude.
>76. When the night covered him
>over, He saw a star:
>He said: "This is my
>Lord." But when it set,
>He said: "I love not
>those that set."
>77. When he saw the moon
>rising in splendour, he said:
>"This is my Lord." But
>when the moon set, He
>said: "unless my Lord guide
>me, I shall surely be
>among those who go astray."
>78. When he saw the sun
>rising in splendour, he said:
>"This is my Lord; this
>is the greatest (of all)."
>But when the sun set,
>he said: "O my people!
>I am indeed free from
>your (guilt) of giving partners
>to Allah.
>79. "For me, I have set
>my face, firmly and truly,
>towards Him Who created the
>heavens and the earth, and
>never shall I give partners
>to Allah."
>the biography of Prophet Muhammad (saws):
>subhaanakallahumma (Glory be to you, Oh
>Allah), wabihamdika (and I praise
>You). ashhadu anla ilaha illa
>anta (I bear witness that
>none has the right to
>be worshipped except You). astaghfiruka
>(I seek Your forgiveness), wa
>attuubu ilaika (and I turn
>to You in Repentance).

The Glorious Qur'an - Surah 6, Al-An'am:

75. So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, that he might (with understanding) have certitude.
76. When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set."
77. When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."
78. When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah.
79. "For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."

the biography of Prophet Muhammad (saws):

subhaanakallahumma (Glory be to you, Oh Allah), wabihamdika (and I praise You). ashhadu anla ilaha illa anta (I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You). astaghfiruka (I seek Your forgiveness), wa attuubu ilaika (and I turn to You in Repentance).