The Fight against Genocide and Slavery; Sudan's Government Breaks Faith with President Bush

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 23, 2003 | Go to article overview

The Fight against Genocide and Slavery; Sudan's Government Breaks Faith with President Bush


Byline: Nat Hentoff, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Blacks and whites in this country who have been working for years to end genocide and slavery in Sudan rejoiced last year when the president signed the Sudan Peace Act. The act required that if Khartoum were to violate it, foreign oil companies operating in Sudan would be prohibited from trading their stock on American exchanges. And the secretary of state had to report any further crimes against humanity there.

On May 22, Secretary of State Colin Powell, meeting with Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail, discussed ways by which Sudan could be removed from the United States list of state sponsors of terrorism. The Associated Press and Reuters, reporting on the meeting, wrote that the Bush administration was "pleased with steps Sudan has taken in the war on terrorism and in efforts to end (the war) with the rebels in the South of Sudan."

But on the very same day of that meeting, as reported by Servant's Heart a Christian group with four medical centers and schools in southern Sudan "government of Sudan-led military forces attacked the village of Longochok (in Southern Sudan), and nine nearby villages in a night assault. ... Many of (the 59 villagers) killed were burned alive in their homes as they hid from government-led forces.

Among those killed was Pastor Jacob Manyal of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan. He burned to death as soldiers waited outside his family's home, threatening to shoot anyone who tried to escape the burning structure. After the 59 unarmed villagers were massacred, 10 children and six women were abducted, including the pastor's 4- and 6-year-old sons. The two boys were later killed in captivity. The pastor's wife is reportedly still being held captive.

Also reporting the Sudanese government's murderous defiance of President Bush's act is the Boston-based American Anti-Slavery Group, which has been actively liberating black and Christian animist slaves in Sudan for years. The group's president, Charles Jacobs, emphasizes that the village "was clearly not a military target. There were no Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army soldiers in surrounding areas. The Western world has responded with moral condemnation and military action when Islamic holy warriors attacked it. Why would the West sit in silence or retreat to appeasement when the victims of jihad are Black Africans?"

Regarding appeasement: At a June 1 press conference in Khartoum, Mr. Ismail said that Sudanese and American foreign ministries would, once a peace agreement regarding Sudan's civil war is signed, hold continuous meetings about military cooperation between the two countries, according to SUNA, a Sudanese news service. …

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