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Islamic racism in Sudan, against black Africans

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Submitted by Non Muslim, Not Innocent (United States), Apr 19, 2006 at 08:09

Here is a story demonstrating Islamic racism in Sudan, against black Africans:


HER children's bodies were rotting in the village wells, where Arab militiamen had thrown them to poison the water supply. But Kaltuma Hasala Adan did not flee her home. Leaving her crops and livestock would condemn the rest of the family to death, she reasoned. So she stayed put for four months, despite her government's strenuous efforts to terrorise her into flight.

Her story is typical of western Sudan's black Africans. Her village was first attacked in January. An air raid caught her unawares: as the bombs fell, she ran around in confusion. When the bombers had completed their return pass, the horizon filled with dust, the ground shuddered, and a host of mounted militiamen charged through the village, killing all the young men they could find. During that first attack, Kaltuma's 18-month baby, Ali, was killed by shrapnel. Two weeks later, her oldest son, Issa, 15, was made to kneel in line with other young men before being shot in the back of the head. Her husband disappeared the same day.

For four wretched months, Kaltuma lived with both ears strained for the faint drone of bombers, poised to dash with her three surviving children to a hiding place in a dry river bed. Then the janjaweed—an Arab militia that kills for the Sudanese government—rode up to finish the job. They razed her village entirely. She fled from the embers of her hut and trekked for four days through the desert. Across the border in Chad, she found sanctuary in the town of TinĂ©. Thousands of her neighbours were already there when she arrived.

The UN's humanitarian co-ordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, described what is going on in Darfur, an arid region of western Sudan, as "the worst humanitarian crisis in the world". Human Rights Watch, a lobby group, has accused Sudan's Arab-dominated government of crimes against humanity. The government is seeking to purge Darfur of black Africans, using methods as cruel as they are effective. Perhaps a million people have fled their homes. Officials deny ethnic cleansing, of course, but the refugees say they lie.

As Kaltuma tells her story, a crowd gathers to corroborate it. Osman Nurrudin Sadr says his whole family was killed. Khadija Yacob Abdallah, a pretty 17-year-old, watched her parents die and was then gang-raped. All the refugees offer the same explanation. "They want to kill us because we are black," says one.

It is a little more complicated than that. Sudan, Africa's largest country, is the scene of two separate but related civil wars. One, between north and south, pits the Arab, Islamist government against rebels who are mostly black African and non-Muslim. This war has been raging intermittently for half a century, but has come tantalisingly close to resolution in the past year: partly because of foreign pressure, especially from America, and partly because both sides, exhausted, wish to stop fighting and share Sudan's new-found oil wealth.

The other war, between the government and two rebel groups in Darfur, pits Muslim against Muslim. The divide in Darfur is ethnic, between Arabs and black Africans. This war flared up only last year. It was seen at first as a mere sideshow, but is now too vast and vile to be ignored.

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