|Southern Sudanese women lined up to vote in the Independence referendum (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/1-9-11)|
According to the latest ballot figures, nearly 99 percent of southern Sudanese voters have chosen separation from the mostly Arab north after decades of brutal civil war. The north is under American economic sanctions and Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and war crimes in the Darfur region.From the Imperial Valley Press:
Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, facing pressure from Washington and Europe not to return to war, has said he would accept the results of the referendumThe unified Sudan that al-Bashir had in mind was a Sudan ruled by Shariah law. But South Sudan has large populations of Christians and animists. Said one young woman:
During the war, the Arabs held the nation. They slaughtered our men and women like goats. Many in my family died. My father was beaten until he stopped breathing.Father Kasimiro Mogga Joseph, a priest at the All Saints Roman Catholic Church, had this to say:
This ends our slavery at the hands of the Arabs. The Arabs considered us animals. They wanted this land but not its people. Being a priest, you feel the difficulties of your parishioners. They came to us crying and suffering during the war. We took them to hospitals and gave them hope.Via Zilla of the Resistance, comes this history from Atlas Shrugs, who has been covering the struggle of the people of southern Sudan since late 2004. In 2005, Pamela Geller wrote:
In its 54-year history, Sudan has suffered from civil war between the north and south for 39 years. Some 200,000 south Sudanese were kidnapped into slavery. Two million Sudanese have died in the wars. Four million have become refugees. But the fact is that with the West openly supporting southern Sudanese independence, a new war's consequences will not be limited to Sudan itself. Therefore it is worth considering why such a war is all but certain and what southern Sudanese independence means for the region and the world.
There were two main reasons that Bashir agreed to sign the peace treaty with the south Sudanese in 2005. First, his forces had lost the civil war. The south was already effectively independent.
The second reason Bashir agreed to a deal that would give eventual independence to the oil-rich south is because he feared the US.
In 2004, led by then president George W. Bush, the US cast a giant shadow throughout the world. The US military's lightning overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime frightened US foes and encouraged US allies. The democratic wave revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon were all fuelled by the world's belief in US's willingness to use its power to defeat its foes.
Now comes a report to Pamela Geller from Simon Deng, a Sudanese human rights activist who, as a nine-year-old child, became one of the 200,000 South Sudanese kidnapped into slavery:Bashir's regime is closely linked to al-Qaida, which he hosted from 1989 until 1995.When the US demanded that he accept the south's victory, he probably didn't believe he could refuse.
Everyone is drunk with happiness. People in Southern Sudan are in unity. We are one. Everyone is saying, "Hallelujah! Free at last!"
If you don't believe in miracles, look to Southern Sudan. Everyone in Southern Sudan is smiling. Everyone. The country is smiling. They will never be as happy as they are today. We are free from the victimization and islamization of the North."Read more at Zilla of the Resistance.