I have been talking with a friend at work who is from Cameroon (2 countries away from Sudan on the west coast of Africa). She has filled me in an the way people see things in Africa. Now this is from her standpoint and she will have her own biases, but still much more informative than CNN or even the BBC I think.
In my previous post I stated that 70% of the population consider themselves Sunni Muslim. I also made the comment that I don’t really trust those numbers because they (they is the CIA world Factbook) also say 80% of the US population consider themselves Christian. My friend from work puts it this way: the Blacks live in the southern part of Sudan and are Christian, the Arabs live in the north and are Muslim. The Muslim Arabs are in the minority but are in control of the government / militia because the French put the Arabs in power in 1956 when Sudan become independent. The Christian blacks do not have any power. Hence the turmoil.
The problems I had thought to be largely racial both because of how the news has reported and also from trying to figure some of it out on my own. Apparently it is more than that. It really is a religious issue, which is directly related to race as the blacks are largely Christian. My friend did make the point that if there were black Muslim there, they would not be killed.
Even though the blacks have no power there, they are still the majority of the population and are needed because the southern part of Sudan is more rich in resources. The majority of the conflict is taking place in the western region of Darfur where there is the “ethnic cleansing” of the Christian blacks.
I will have to keep looking into this, but I have to get back to work.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is from a previous blog so the original comments no longer exist.