Part II: The Challenge to Pan-Afrikanism
First, they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up for me. -Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)
In the last 15 centuries, Arab invaders have grabbed 1/3 of the African continent, and systematically enslaved, exterminated or Arabised the blacks they met there. How? I have already quoted examples from the mission statements of the anti-Afrikan leaders of the Arab expansionists since 1820 in Sudan. Let us now see examples of how they’ve gone about implementing their policy on the ground since 1956 while the OAU/AU Pan-Africanists determinedly looked the other way or buried their ostrich heads in the sand. The following are instructive excerpts, about the events in al-Di’ein and Dar Fur, from Islamisation and Arabisation of Africans as a means to Political Power in the Sudan by Sudanese scholar, M. Jalaal Haashim: al-Di’ein 1987
As its civil war with the SPLM/SPLA intensified, the Jellaba-Arabist Sudan government of al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (1986-1989) used the Baggara Arabs to punish those Dinka who lived on the border of Kordufan and Dar Fur, such as the Ngog, on the assumption that all the Dinka were SPLM/SPLA.
“The Baggara tribes in Kordufan and Dar Fur are nomadic Arabs who have been greatly influenced by the Nilotic tribes, especially the Dinka, from whom they have taken the cows for livestock and the colour of blackness . . . . Until then, the hostility between the two sides was relatively kept at bay due to their historical inter-relationship. Thousands of Dinka who fled the war zone came and lived with the Baggara. This is how in a certain village called al-Di’ein in Southern Dar Fur, more than 6,000 Dinka people peacefully took refuge and lived with the Baggara.
In 1987, the government of Sadiq al-Mahdi established the infamous Popular Defence Forces (PDF) as a pretext for officially arming the Baggara Arabs to fight the Southerners. Armed in this way, the marauding Baggara squads of PDF began making incursions into the South, raiding the Dinka villages. [These] naturally sought help from the SPLM/SPLA [who] came to the rescue . . . . In all aspects, the Baggara Arabs were unequal to the SPLA. Suffering defeat after defeat, . . . the Baggara began nursing deep hatred towards the Dinka in general, [and finally directed their revenge on] the peaceful Dinka who were living with them at al- Di’ein . . .In one day in mid 1987, at least 1,000 Dinka were massacred, 4,000 were burned alive, and the survivors - around 1,000 - were enslaved. The massacre began early in the day. At first, the bewildered Dinka did not believe what was going on. When reality dawned on them, they fled into the houses of their hosts who were also their attackers. They were dragged by their feet like animals to be butchered outside the houses of their hosts. The Dinka took refuge in the Church; there they were killed along with the priest. Then they ran and took refuge inside the Police station, which was part of the railway station, but, alas, the Police turned out to be accomplices.
They were killed there also. Whether in good or bad faith . . . they were ill-advised to take refuge in the empty carriages of a standing freight train so they could be taken away from al-Di’ein. With the trustfulness usually shown by totally vulnerable and helpless people in their eagerness to cling to a straw, they hurriedly obeyed. Once crammed inside, they were locked in from outside. Caged in like animals, they saw with their own eyes barrels full of diesel being rolled toward them. They were burnt alive, all of them. Only then, with the barbecue smell of that holocaust, did the Baggara come to their senses. The survivors were fortunate that they were only enslaved. Slavery was the common sense of that doomed day . . . . In the period 1989-1999, only God knows how many massacres like that of al-Di’ein took place.”
The Janjawid campaign of genocide:
“A decade after the Dinka massacre in al-Di’ein, the scenario of ethnic manipulation by the state expanded to cover the whole of Dar Fur and most of Kordufan, . . . [and] the era of terror of the infamous Janjawid had been launched. . . .
Dar Fur has been the victim of the involvement of the neighbouring Arab states in the civil war in Chad that flared up in the 1970s. Libya, an extreme advocate of Pan-Arabism with highly volatile policies, intervened in Chad with the sole aim of helping the Arab nomad tribes with money, logistics and arms. . . . The government of Khartoum has not only backed the nomadic Arab tribes, but has also armed them and fought by land and air along with them.
All through the decade of 1982-1992, skirmishes and limited killings were commonplace in Dar Fur. The Khartoum government dubbed them ‘armed robbery’. In 1995, the massacres were launched first against the Masalit tribe of the state of West Dar Fur. The governor himself was a Masalit Muslim brother who was given orders from Khartoum to let his sedentary people host a heavily armed clan of pastoralist Baggara who were driven out of Chad to be welcomed by the Khartoum government simply out of bias for the Arabs. . . . The Masalit welcomed the Baggara. Under the official eyes of the State government which was headed by their own son, thousands of the Masalit were butchered in mid 1995. . . . ”
Through these “gruesome atrocities . . ., which are being overtly committed by State- backed Arab tribes”, the nomadic Arab tribes of Dar Fur have been committing genocide and ethnic cleansing against the African sedentary tribes. As both the culprit and the victim are Muslims, the Afro-Arab race war nature of the genocide becomes very clear. As Jalaal Haashim points out, the conflicts in Sudan are “a racist war camouflaged with religion.”
But how exactly do these Arab marauders carry out ethnic cleansing? The next excerpt, from Singing while their men rape, THE GUARDIAN, NAIROBI Wednesday, July 21, 2004, Page 6, tells of an ongoing example of organized raping and killing and enslavement carried out by the Janjawid in Dar Fur: According to an Amnesty International report published in 2004, “While African women in Darfur were being raped by the Janjaweed militiamen, Arab women stood nearby and sang for joy . . .The songs of the Hakama, or the “Janjaweed women” as the refugees call them, encouraged the atrocities which the militiamen committed. . . . During an attack on the village of Disa in June last year, Arab women accompanied the attackers and sang in praise of the government and scorning black villagers.
According to an African chief quoted in the report, the singers said: “The blood of the blacks runs like water, we take their goods and we chase them from our area and our cattle will be in their land.” “The power of (Sudanese president Omer Hassan) al-Bashir belongs to the Arabs and we will kill you until the end, you blacks, we have killed your God.” The chief said that the Arab women also racially insulted women from the village, saying: “You are gorillas, you are black and you are badly dressed.”
The Janjaweed have abducted women for use as sex slaves, in some cases breaking their limbs to prevent them escaping, as well as carrying out rapes in their home villages, the report said. The militiamen “are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish,” a 37-year-old victim, identified as A, was quoted as saying in the report, which was based on over
To be continued
*Paper presented at the Global Pan-African Reparations and Repatriation Conference (GPARRC) on 25 July, 2006, at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra.