North African leaders meet in Egypt as Sudan’s war rages on

By July 13, 2023

Sudan (MNN) — North African leaders meet in Egypt today as Sudan’s war rages on.

Warring parties must agree to a ceasefire soon, the United Nations humanitarian chief said earlier this week. Aid groups cannot reach people trapped in the war zones. All previous ceasefire efforts brokered by international and regional leaders have failed.

In the past three months, 3.1 million people have fled Sudan’s capital and Darfur to safer locations. More than 700,000 crossed into neighboring countries.

War in Sudan is nothing new. This is simply the latest episode. A society devoid of Jesus only leads to two outcomes – death and destruction. “I know what a joy [it is] to follow Christ and to be freed by Christ,” Voice of the Martyrs Canada partner Yassir Eric says in a recent podcast.

“When we don’t have Jesus in our hearts, it is very difficult to have peace.”

As military and paramilitary forces vie to control Sudan, a second battlefront opens in West Darfur. RSF and Arab militias target non-Arab tribes, shooting people as they flee and torturing those left behind.

“Our challenge in Sudan is not only Islam; we have another challenge – the tribalism with different groups,” Eric says.

In 2011, ethnic conflict in Sudan gave birth to a new nation – South Sudan. The world’s newest nation quickly inherited its predecessor’s sins; South Sudan’s ongoing civil war began two years later.

“When [Sudan and South Sudan] separated, I always hoped that peace would come, but we have tribalism [in both locations]; it is devastating,” Eric says.

(Screenshot image courtesy Prayercast: Sudan)

The true enemy

Even before Sudan’s latest war started, believers from a Muslim background – like Eric – faced severe persecution under Islamic rule.

There was a brief window of freedom for believers after former dictator Omar al-Bashir’s 2019 ouster. However, true reform is problematic and old habits die hard.

A transitional civilian committee tried to make gains in 2021, but a military coup derailed the progress. Tensions simmered for months between military and paramilitary forces before erupting in mid-April.

Islamist radicals meet little resistance as security entities fight amongst themselves. Yet Eric and others like him continually pray for their persecutors.

“Nothing will happen to make me hate Muslims,” Eric says.

“My message to the West: we need to distinguish between Islam and Muslims.”

Eric says it is a mistake to assume individuals and the ideologies they claim to follow are one and the same.

“Islam is a religion; we can have our opinions [about Islam], and even Muslims will not have a problem with that because they do the same thing,” he explains.

“We can speak critically about [Islam and] all of the things that interfere [with] peaceful coexistence. But we cannot start to hate people.”



The header image shows the flag of Sudan. (Image by David Peterson from Pixabay)