WEB POSTED 11-14-2000
world-grph.gif (10397 bytes)Africa and the World
by A. Akbar Muhammad

America's failed policy in the Sudan

The United States of America has to take the full responsibility for the ongoing conflict in the Sudan. The main group fighting against the government of Khartoum is supported and supplied by America. The propaganda machine of the western press has made this appear as a religious war, which is the furthest thing from the truth. Better informed people know much better.

The American people have not been clearly informed about the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, after the tragic destruction of the two American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The bombing was portrayed as hitting a plant that Ossama Bin Ladin used to make chemicals for chemical warfare. Later, it has been found to be just a pharmaceutical plant as the people of Sudan stated previously. Consequently, the owner of the plant is now suing the American government for damages. This is just one tragic example of the failed policies of the American government in the Sudan.

Another failed policy is that because of the United States the war in the Sudan is still ongoing. John Gurang, the leader of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), held out from the peace process only because America has been supplying him with weapons, money and support. The press made it appear that the government of Khartoum is stopping relief supplies from going to the despondent women, children and elderly of Southern Sudan in an attempt to make the people in that area suffer. This is not true.

America knows that it has been using Kenya and Uganda in the relief efforts to supply arms and other needed equipment for John Gurang and the SPLA to continue their war against Khartoum. Also, they bring out his wounded soldiers and the movement of his troops under the cover of supplying humanitarian aid to Southern Sudan.

The media propaganda war about slavery is just about over. The real issue now is the oil in the Sudan. Now it has become an economic war and why the people are still fighting is not clear. The best peace plan thus far is the Libyan-Egypt one. I would hope that the USA is not so blind by its dislike of Libya that it is opposing this plan.

The National Democratic Alliance, which was a group of those struggling against the government in Khartoum, has written various news releases that John Gurang is out of control. The need to sit at the table and resolve this issue is long overdue.

Saddiq El-Mahdi, leader of the Ummy Party and former head of state, has gone back to Khartoum.

The tragedy of the Eritrean-Ethiopian war that has caused the loss of lives of nearly 70 thousand fighters on both sides was a tragedy rooted in America arming both sides. Their reason for supplying them with arms was that America needs to help you protect yourself against the Sudan.

Now that Eritrea has suffered in this war, it is no longer a base for the Sudanese opposition. It is time to end this long tragic war for the people of Sudan. America could end this war tomorrow by forcing John Gurang to a peace table or cut his supplies. They can do the same to bring him to the peace table as they did in Angola and Mozambique.

The American policy should be aimed at stopping the death and suffering of a whole nation of people, and not Balkanizing Africa. A United States of Africa will solve 75 percent of Africa’s problems.

(Akbar Muhammad is the International Representative of the Nation of Islam and is based in Accra, Ghana.)