Those who focused on Sudan’s atrocities in Darfur, myself included, may have inadvertently removed the spotlight from South Sudan. Without easing the outrage over Darfur — where the bloodshed has been particularly appalling lately — we must broaden the focus to include the threat to the south.
For over a decade, the American Anti-Slavery Group fought to bring to light the religiously inspired genocidal attack on Black Africans, most of whom are Christian or tribalists, by the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Khartoum. According to the US State Department, over 2 million have been killed, and tens of thousands enslaved, since 1989, when a “holy war” was declared on the South. We, along with other organizations, pressed two American Administrations to work for a peace treaty. This finally was achieved in 2005 when President Bush sent Senator Danforth to Sudan to press for an end to hostilities. The result was a peace treaty and slave raids and slaughter were halted.
But as Nicholas Kristof now writes, that peace is being threatened and if war breaks the people of Southern Sudan, the world may see a crisis that dwarfs the horrors in Darfur.