May 16, 2012
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, sought by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur, has vowed to rid the Nuba Mountains of Christians and those he claims are agents of the West, Compass Direct News reports. On April 20 he ordered the Sudanese military to rid South Kordofan state's Nuba Mountains of everyone who opposes his Islamic rule, and the past several weeks he has repeatedly declared jihad against the ethnic Nuba peoples, many of which are Christians. State-owned TV and radio play songs urging Muslims to "fight the infidels" in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile state and South Sudan and "cleanse the land" of their presence -- increasing the fears of ethnic South Sudanese Christians trapped in the hostile north. Humanitarian agencies consider the Islamic government's targeting of civilians in the Nuba Mountains an "ethnic cleansing" against non-Arab peoples in the multi-ethnic state, with the added incentive of ridding the area of Christians. Additionally, as military conflict escalated between Sudan and South Sudan last month, Bashir vowed to liberate South Sudan from what he described as "insects." Muslim leaders in Sudan, said to have ties with hard-line Muslim Salafists, have asserted that there should no longer be room for churches and Christians following South Sudan's secession on July 9, 2011.