Islamist Militias Slaughter South Kordofan Christians

by | Jun 20, 2011 | Charisma Archive

sudan_mapMilitary intelligence agents
killed one Christian, and Islamic militants sympathetic to the
government slaughtered another last week after attacking churches in
Sudan’s embattled South Kordofan state.

Christian sources
said a Sudan Armed Forces Intelligence unit detained Nimeri Philip
Kalo, a student at St. Paul Major Seminary, on June 8 near the gate of
the United Nations Mission in Sudan in Kadugli’s al Shaeer area
and shot him in front of bystanders. Kalo and other Christians were
fleeing the town after Muslim militias loyal to the SAF attacked and
looted at least three church buildings in Kadugli, they said.

UNMIS’s
mandate is to support the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of Sudan and the country’s Christian and animist south,
scheduled to secede on July 9, by helping in the disarmament process,
among other means. Armed conflict between southern
and northern militaries
broke out in Kadugli on June 6 after northern forces seized Abyei
last month.

SAF military intelligence agents accused Kalo
of being a Christian and suspected he was therefore opposed to the
Islamic government, the sources said.

“They shot him in
front of our eyes and forced us not to cry, or else we would face the
same fate,” a Christian source told Compass on condition of anonymity.
Likewise, another Christian survivor said while breaking into tears,
“They killed him in front of my eyes.”

On the same day,
Islamic militants loyal to the SAF slaughtered a young Christian man by
sword in Kadugli Market, the sources said. Adeeb Gismalla Aksam, 33, a
bus driver whose father is an elder with the Evangelical Church in
Kadugli, was murdered by Muslim extremists shouting, “Allahu-akbar [God is greater]!”

The Islamic militias were heard shouting “Allahu-akbar!”
as they began shooting at a Roman Catholic church building at 3:30 p.m.
on June 8, during a mass in which the congregants were asking God to
protect them.

“As we were praying, they started to pour
bullets at us to the point that we were terribly scared,” a Christian
who escaped the attack told Compass.

No one was hit by the
bullets shot at the building from the outside, but SAF agents on June 8
arrested the Rev. Abraham James Lual in front of his congregation, a
priest of a Kadugli parish told Compass. Accusing Lual of preaching that
people should oppose the Islamic government, authorities took him to an
unknown location and tortured him for two days, releasing him the following
morning, the priest said.

The Rev. Paul Okeny, another
Catholic priest, told Compass that Islamic militias loyal to the SAF
looted other churches in Kadugli as well, besides attacking Lual’s
church and depriving him of his belongings.

“Authorities confiscated all his belongings and denied him his cell phone,” Okeny told Compass.

Christians were in shock as they have become targets for Islamic militants working with the Government of Sudan, sources said.

Another
Christian who requested anonymity said he was arrested at gunpoint by
SAF military Intelligence agents at 8:30 a.m. on June 8. Accusing him of
being anti-Islam and therefore opposed to the Islamic government, the
security officers took him to a military jail, where he was severely
beaten and “kicked like a ball,” he said.

According to the
Christian, one high-ranking official told another, “Why shouldn’t you
shoot him in his house so that his body gets rotten in his own house?”
After taking him to his house, they started to torture him with sticks,
guns and knives, saying, “We will kill you,” he said.

“I
was praying to God to be with me and forgive them,” he told Compass. “I
thought that was my end, but thank God I was released, but warned to
quit the town. As I was running they opened fire on me, but the
motorbike was running very fast, so no bullet hit me.”

They called after him, “Make sure we will not see your face again,” he added.

The
SAF and Islamic militias on June 8 also set fire to buildings of the
Episcopal Church of Sudan and the Sudanese Church of Christ in Kadugli,
sources said.

“I saw a building of the Episcopal Church of Sudan in flames,” said one eyewitness.

The Rt. Rev. Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail of the Episcopal Diocese of Kadugli confirmed the incident.

“The
churches and pastors were directly targeted,” he said. “The guesthouse
in Kadugli, where my staff lives, was looted. The militias and SAF broke
into the church building, taking all property, including the sound
system, projector, beds, chairs and two motorbikes, including one of the
bishop’s.”

On June 12, North Kordofan Gov.
Mutasim Mirghani Zaki El-deen declared jihad (holy war) on the Nuba
people, most of whom are Christians.

Christians in the
area said they are still traumatized as result of the atrocities
committed against them by Sudan security forces and militias loyal to
the government military. Sources in Sudan said Christians are calling
their brothers and sisters worldwide to pray for the crisis in South
Kordofan.

“The situation is critical – we need other Christians to fast and pray for us,” said one source.

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