Sudan Government Seeking to Intensify Jihad

Another means of dealing with children of the Nuba says Taha is to “revive religious institutions (Islamic teachings, Islamic moralization, Islamic charities ... etc.)” and to enlist “a large number of the descendants of the Modern Southerners in the above-mentioned projects ... until it is possible to control their intellects.” The creation and expansion of madrassas, along with the military recruitment noted above, would turn young people against their own families and culture. This is also resurrecting what was done to the Nuba during the war. Children were separated from their parents and educated forcibly in Islamic schools. Apart from the immorality of this, the West should consider the impact of thousands of madrassa-indoctrinated young people on Africa and beyond.

Finally, says Taha, the Islamists must “occupy them with internal and external quarrels.” This may include political infighting, graft, and other forms of corruption, but more likely has a further nefarious meaning. Throughout the war and since the signing of the CPA, the NCP has been using proxy militias to destabilize the region by attacking communities in South Sudan and the disputed regions of Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and Abyei. There is no reason to believe that Khartoum will not continue this pattern after the referendum.

The people of the Nuba Mountains, with 52 ethnic groups featuring multiple languages and dialects, modeled the polar opposite of Khartoum’s ideal Islamic nation. People of African and Arab ethnicities, Christians, Muslims, and followers of traditional religion lived together in peace, proud of their shared heritage. Although initially the Nuba tried to remain neutral in Sudan’s civil war, the SPLA New Cush Brigade, comprised of Nuba, was created by a former schoolteacher, Yusif Kuwa Mekki, in January 1989. Kuwa’s eyes were opened to the rampant racism and discrimination shown to them by Khartoum as a young student, when a schoolteacher complained, “What is the use of teaching Nuba, who are going to work as servants in houses?” The SPLA Nuba leaders -- Commanders Kuwa and Abdel Aziz Adam el-Hilu -- were hated by Khartoum, but heroes to lovers of freedom. Although Kuwa died in 2001, el-Hilu is the deputy governor of Southern Kordofan and is extremely popular with Sudanese all over the country.

As the days count down to the referendum, Khartoum is counting on the West’s Sudan attention-deficit disorder to pursue its agenda throughout the country. While the United States focused on Darfur, all the while taking pains to avoid terms like “jihad,” “forced Islamization,” or “Arabist supremacism,” it was free to violate and ignore protocols of the CPA. Now the NCP is stepping up the genocide in western Sudan and plotting to bring the rest of the country in line with Islamization and Arabization while all eyes are focused on South Sudan.

U.S. policymakers and jihad-watchers should take Vice President Taha’s memo very seriously. Like the Southern Sudanese, the people of Nuba Mountains resisted Islamization and Arabization. They, along with all of Sudan’s marginalized and oppressed people, want freedom and democracy. Hopefully, the new Congress will renew its efforts against Islamic terrorism, concentrate more on jihad in Africa, and counter Khartoum’s war against its people throughout the country. Alongside the people of the new, free nation of South Sudan, the Nuba and others who have been marginalized could lead to the transformation of the entire country and stop Khartoum and its Islamist allies’ plans for the rest of Africa.