A cry from the bishop of El Obeid to save the Nuba ethnicity from extermination


Roma, sabato 6 agosto 2011
Mons. Macram Max Gassis, vescovo della diocesi di El Obeid, in Sudan, è disperato. “Nella regione dei Monti Nuba sono in atto operazioni di pulizia etnica. Ho iniziato la mia campagna di difesa. Ho già visitato la Spagna, Austria, Germania, e Slovacchia. Ho anche avuto tre interviste televisive negli Stati Uniti d’America. Non vedo l’ora della loro risposta” scrive mons. Macram, dando notizie della sua diocesi. Pubblichiamo qui di seguito, in inglese, le sue dichiarazioni. Non osiamo pubblicare le foto ricevute, che in modo raccapricciante esprimono la violenza ed il terrore subiti dalle genti nelle terre del Sud Kordofan, in Sudan.

A cry from the bishop of El Obeid to save the Nuba ethnicity from extermination

I am appealing to you to join me and save an entire ethnic group from being either wiped out from the map or be assimilated by the Islamic Government of Khartoum which in both cases is an ethnic cleansing.

The Nuba population has an identity which distinguishes them completely from North Sudan. Their very features indicate that they are unmistakably African with rich customs, traditions and languages. They are closer to the South than to the North in their social structure and behavior. This is demonstrated in the ecumenical way of living whether in the family structure or in social life. They genuinely respect unity in diversity both religiously and tribally. They have a deep conviction of their identity and uniqueness and identify themselves as: PEOPLE FROM THE MOUNTAINS or simply NUBA.

The above-mentioned realities make them convinced that they are not Arabs and that the Nuba who are Muslim will never be treated as genuine Muslims by the Muslim North as equals due to traditions and customs which render them automatically as second class Muslim.

The Nuba are deeply aware that their future and that of their children is to join the Liberation Movement. The name SPLA North is a misleading name. During the entire years of struggle to determine their God-given right through self determination there was no distinction between North, South or East Liberation Movement. All were termed as Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in Nairobi in the year 2005 brought a certain period of cessation to violence, aerial bombardment, assassination of leaders and educated Nuba, the abduction of boys and girls and their enslavement, the rape of young women and girls, the use of food to force the process of Islamization and Arabization and the persecution of the Christians and those of traditional belief. People were hopeful that the Nuba Mountains will have their regional autonomy and not to assign a Governor for the Nuba who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for evils and crimes he committed against humanity when he was in Darfur. The Nuba have the right to govern themselves.

It is a crime to use the media and proclaim that the Government of Khartoum intends to win if not through the ballot box it would be through the bullet box? This was a blatant violation of the rights of the Nuba. This is an intimidation and indirectly a declaration of war.

It was decided to have popular consultation. To disarm the SPLA Joint Integrated Units (JIU) was supposed to take place in 9 April 2012 as the Security Protocol. They did not honor this agreement. They did not abide by this agreement.

During the last year of the six years of the CPA, the central Government of Khartoum repositioned its troops in the areas which had evacuated. It transported heavy armaments and assigned armed militias in certain strategic areas.

The elections were tempered with and Khartoum won through vague and unethical tactics. This was contested by the leadership of the SPLA.

Before the independence of the South, Khartoum pretended that the SPLA should hand over their weapons and their troops should be absorbed by Khartoum’s army. This was totally rejected by the SPLA. This rejection justified Khartoum to initiate the present inhumane oppression. High altitude aerial bombardment became the order of the day. Russian made Antonov bombers re-appeared and jet fighters drop huge bombs indiscriminately on civilians. The victims as is evident are women, elderly and children. It breaks ones heart at seeing the innocent killed and/or maimed.

The forces of Khartoum are using the militia forces to conduct assassination of people and extra-judicial killing is widely conducted. Moreover, Khartoum sealed all routes of communication to supply life-saving medicines and food. Khartoum resorts to their old ways of starving the people to hinder desperately needed assistance given by NGOs and faith-based charitable organizations.

Recently I was told that the SPLA succeeded to capture three chemical bombs. The news of chemical bombs that are piled up to be used against the Nuba has been circulating since the month of June. There is no smoke without fire and there is a great possibility of the veracity of this information.

It is not the geographical location that is at stake. It is the presence of an ethnicity that is at stake. Forcing people to belong to an area which is totally alien to their ethnic group will not last for long. The Nuba people have the non-negotiable right to self-determination. I call upon all peoples of Good Will to join me and condemn the use of violence and the mutilation and killing of the innocent.

I warn the international community that the war against the Nuba has arrived to the dimension of ethnic cleansing.

I call on the international mass media to bring to the forefront the massacre of the Nuba and their annihilation.

I call for the implementation of a no-fly zone over the Nuba region.

I call for the immediate opening of the borders to allow the delivery of all emergency supplies and food items.

I call upon the warring parties to discuss just and peaceful solutions in a civil way. The barrel of the gun will never bring peace; on the contrary, it will create more hatred and violence.

I ask Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker to ask the members of the Bundestag and Chancellor Angela Merkel to take action against these brutal killings of civilians and the elimination of an entire ethnic population in the Nuba Mountains region.

Thank you for your assistance, concern and support. God bless you and all.

El Obeid, July 18, 2011

+ Bishop Macram Max Gassis
Of El Obeid Diocese (Kordofan, Darfur & Abyei)

 Sudan - Sud Kordofan