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Obama’s Dilemma: Sudan and Syria

By MOLEFI KETE ASANTE | 7/11/2013, 12:27 p.m. | Updated on 7/11/2013, 12:27 p.m.

“Sudan is no different than the white minority regime of the former South Africa. In South Africa, 10 percent of the population controlled the majority of the people on the basis of race and culture. In Sudan, 15 percent of the population controls the majority of the people using the categories of race and culture, though masking their assaults on the masses as attempts to suppress rebellion.”

Now back to the point of the Obama administration’s policies. Clearly, President Omar Bashir of Sudan is the manager of a vast network of Arabist politicians who seek to disrupt the establishment of a democratic Sudan. The Arab minority government dominates the resources of the country, higher education, the controlling political parties and the wealth of the nation. This cabal has promoted the genocide of Sudanese in several sections of the nation.

Using the great resources of the country, much like Apartheid South Africa did, the Sudanese government has manipulated Arab solidarity as a front to cleanse as many Africans as possible from various lands. Thus, the Nubians—a riverine people of great antiquity—are removed to the desert; the Beja and the South Kordofan people are attacked by bombs to keep them from developing their region; the Blue Nile people are killed or displaced for seeking to live peacefully in their villages and towns.

In addition, the constant threats to subvert the South Sudan government and to “punish” the legitimate democracy in that country are nothing more than the last gasps of a dying system. Blacks in Sudan have vowed that they will not grant another inch of territory to the land-grabbing and death-dealing Bashir government.

I do not discount the pain and suffering going on in Syria, and I know the litany against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but there are no reports that put the deaths and destruction in Syria at near 10 percent of that in Sudan over the past five years. Yet the American government is supplying the rebels in Syria with anti-tank missiles and training them with anti-aircraft weapons. The resisters in Sudan have called for a no-fly zone because they have seen their villages wiped out by the Sudanese Air Force. The resisters have asked for help in preventing the Sudanese airplanes from exercising absolute dominance over the airspace of the country. These are reasonable requests.

Perhaps the difference in the two situations has to do with the press itself. It appears easier to get information about Syria than Sudan. I would like to believe that is the reason for the lack of atten to what has been going on in Sudan, where nearly 1 million people have been killed and many more displaced by a continuing war against Africans.

Even when the Arabs in Sudan say they are Africans, they do not mean the same thing as other Africans. They mean they were born in Africa but their lack of respect for their grandmother’s language and their disdain for the culture of their neighbors contradict their weak link to the continent’s future. The magnet for them is not Africa but Arabia, and they have tried to impose an alien philosophy and culture on the traditional and indigenous people of Sudan.

The Western media has rarely investigated the real reasons for the conflicts in Sudan, just as journalists have often not seen the continuing pattern of the crusades in the current political situations in the world. In effect, as the crusades are now, so is the attempt to build in Egypt and Sudan a new Andalusia where Arabs from Syria, Qatar and other arid lands can come to settle in agricultural lands. This is the fierce battle going on now in Sudan, and the frontier is defended by those Africans who have no fear of being who they are and who are willing to fight to keep their culture and their freedom. I am convinced that the time is now for Americans to wake up and answer the call of the majority of Sudanese for a free and democratic country.

Molefi Kete Asante is president of the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies.