An Opinion Editorial from my 30+ years’ experience with Sudan and foreign policy ‘elites’ to help you knowledgeably pray and wage spiritual warfare.
Since mid-April there has been horrific fighting and violence in Sudan, centered in the capital city of Khartoum. This warfare has resulted in the deaths what has commonly been referred to as “hundreds” (maybe thousands by now), but which those on the ground who actually know what is happening call “streets littered with bodies.” Brad Philips of the Persecution Project, who has been doing ministry in Sudan for 30 years says there is the potential for this to become “another Rwanda.”
The fighting has been caused by the two self-appointed (but their leadership has been foolishly reinforced by the world community, including the UN, the US Admin, etc.) generals, vying for ultimate power. Both are evil, both are war criminals who have committed in genocide in Sudan — in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile State, what was once southern Sudan (now the country of South Sudan), and elsewhere. And both sides are supported by outside forces that want to take what they can from the country.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (I will refer to as Burhan) is the head of the Sudan Armed Forces, the official army of Sudan. He is part of the old guard, the National Congress Party (NCP) that ruled Sudan and committed genocide against the black, African Sudanese in once-southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains. The NCP, formerly known as the National Islamic Front (NIF) has been a part of the Muslim Brotherhood for decades and has had the goal of creating an Islamic Arab Caliphate in Sudan.
On the other side of the fight is General Mohamed Dagalo, known as “Hemeti.” Hemeti leads the Rapid Support Forces, an Islamist jihadist paramilitary group that was created by the Government of Sudan to assist the regular army in fighting in Darfur. They were also called the Janjawid meaning “devils on horseback.” The ultimate goal of the Janjawid under Hemeti and another Islamist leader called Musa Hilal – and why they have worked to purge Darfur of its black African indigenous people and replace them with outsiders from North Africa and the Middle East — is the Arab colonization of Africa. Hemeti appropriated Sudan’s gold to purchase additional Rapid Support Forces, Islamist mercenaries from Mali, Chad, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, and Nigeria.
In 2018, after months of protest by brave Sudanese civilians who hit the streets, went on strike, and became targets of the Khartoum regime, the long and bloody reign of President Omar al-Bashir ended when the Sudan Army appeared to take the side of the people. They ousted Bashir and placed him under arrest in a military coup.
The truth is that Burhan is no different from President Omar al-Bashir that he “ousted”. The people of Sudan wanted a different government, with religious freedom and democracy. What they got in the military “coup” against Bashir was a different FACE for the same government and with the same ideology.
The world community agreed to allow this military takeover, assuring the people of Sudan that it was “temporary,” and that it would soon be a government shared by the military and civilian leaders, and that before long it would be a completely civilian government, with free and fair elections and the whole dreamed-for freedom. That has never happened.
The world community of foreign policy elites and governments squandered the opportunity that existed for true freedom to come to Sudan because of their:
So Burhan was permitted to be Sudan’s military leader and Abdalla Hamdok, a good man with a lot of previous diplomatic experience, was designated as the civilian leader — the Prime Minister. Hemeti was placed under Burhan. The plan was for the Rapid Support Forces to be integrated fully into the regular Sudan Armed Forces. But as both men are narcissistic and egomaniacal, that was not going to happen.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hamdok really wanted to bring change to Sudan. He had plans for the eradication of Sharia, the equalization of Arabs and Africans that had not been seen in Sudan before, the desire to see GOOD military leaders like the head of the Nuba Mountains and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army North (SPLA-N), Commander Abdelaziz Adam Alhilu, be an integral part of the government in Sudan, and to end the corruption in the government.
But the Islamists couldn’t let that happen! And the Islamists were backed by the foreign policy elites who continued to insist that democracy could come to Sudan through a completely inclusive, equitable, and diverse group. Peace brokers from both Sudan and the global community insisted on including jihadists, Muslim Brotherhood, Umma Party, Communists (yup, they’re in Sudan too) — the same groups that created the genocide, racism, and religious persecution that has identified Sudan — in any government going forward. So Prime Minister Hamdok remained pretty much a PM in title only, with no power to make these important changes.
Another coup took place in 2021 to stop Hamdok from releasing evidence of the corruption in the government and how the elites were stealing and financially benefitting from the resources of Sudan. The Burhan regime was forced by outside peace brokers to accept Hamdok back into power, but he resigned in early 2022, probably fearing for his life!
Sudan remained in a state of what the Sudanese people call “not war and not peace.” It has been pretty beneficial for the Nuba Mountains, where last year the Rt. Reverend Andudu Adam Elnail, the Anglican bishop of Kadugli and Nuba Mountains declared that this was “the most religious freedom that the Nuba had experienced in the last 700 years!” The Church there has grown, with thousands and thousands coming to Jesus, being baptized, people set free from demonic oppression and possession, and new priests being appointed.
Even with the war in Khartoum and beyond, the Nuba Mountains remains, so far, not part of the conflict. Thanks in big part to the leadership and protection of Commander Abdelaziz and the SPLA-N, the Khartoum regime has not wanted to venture there and earlier peace treaties to stop the Sudan Armed Forces from bombing the Nuba Mountains have held pretty well. Therefore, there is, and will be, a big flux of refugees, displaced persons, fleeing from Khartoum and wherever the fighting is, to the Nuba Mountains. The Nuba are working to receive these refugees, and ministries such as The Persecution Project are increasing their support with food, medical supplies, and other needs.
Also in Eastern Sudan, Port Sudan and the surrounding area, things remain calm. Many of those fleeing are fleeing to Port Sudan and getting on board ships to Jeddah, for example. This may because Port Sudan is under the strong control of the Beja, the indigenous people of Eastern Sudan. The Beja are fierce and freedom loving. They have been known to shut down the port at Port Sudan in protest to the Khartoum regime, causing the regime millions of dollars a day loss. Again, so far, the fighting has not affected them.
Darfur, on the other hand, has continued to experience horrific bloodshed. That never seemed to stop in these years following the ouster of Omar al-Bashir. All parts of Darfur are affected, as are the Darfurian refugee camps in Chad. Many Darfuri have lived in these refugee camps or in displacement camps inside Darfur for 20 years! And now, with the fighting between Burhan and Hemeti, the Darfurians have been attacked by both sides, and the camps in Chad have also been attacked. Hundreds have been killed and displacement camps totally destroyed in El Geneina in West Darfur.
Those on the ground say that El Geneina is far worse than Khartoum. Khartoum is bad, but it is getting all of the attention, and therefore, the help. That suits both generals fine, because they would like to exterminate the Masalit ethnic group of Darfur. Reports now say that Geneina has no food or water. The Rapid Support Forces took out one of the two generators that supply power, and destroyed the crops.
Millions are fleeing. Foreigners in Khartoum and throughout Sudan have had better opportunity to leave than the Sudanese. In particular, the British, French, Indians, and even the CCP have evacuated their nationals well. The US evacuated its Embassy personnel right away but did not immediately help the 16,000 US citizens still in Sudan. They said that there had been “travel warnings” about Sudan for months and that anyone in Sudan would have to find their own way out. But travel warnings don’t help when you are already living in country.
We feared it was going to be Afghanistan all over again. But then the US began helping to evacuate other US citizens. The dual citizenship Americans (i.e. born in Sudan, naturalized American citizens) seem to be the USG’s lowest priority, which is very alarming because they are the most at risk from both of the warring factions.
There have been miracles, though, for which to praise God in the escape and rescue of some of the people fleeing from Khartoum. Such a miracle story was of a missionary couple to unreached people and their big family of children. Through a series of miracles, the Lord brought them safely out of their neighborhood, which was close to the fighting; to Port Sudan; to finally being able to acquire the needed documentation for safe travel to out of Sudan. I am sure that we will discover many more such miracle stories when the dust settles.
A final point. The people of Sudan, the civilians who worked so hard to get Bashir out, hate both of these evil leaders. They do not want either one of them to have control of Sudan. And in truth, a Sudan that continues to be led by either one would horrible for civilians in general, and for Christians in particular. Our hope and our help is in the Name of the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth, the One who has shown favor and mercy to raise up His Church in Sudan once again, the One who promised in Isaiah 18 that a day is coming when:
a tribute will brought to the Lord of Hosts:
from a people tall and smooth,
from a people feared far and near,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide,
to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts.
Here are some prayer requests for Sudan on a PDF that can be printed out and shared. Please feel free to add your prayers in the comment section! Below are some resources for further information:
The website, Pax Dei for Nuba, the ministry of Rt. Reverend Andudu Adam Elnail, the Bishop of Kadugli and Nuba Mountains.
There is a link to The Persecution Project in the article, but here are two interviews with Brad Phillips, the founder, on the Jason Jones Show podcast:
The Jason Jones Show: What in the world is happening in Sudan with Brad Phillips, Persecution Project Foundation on Apple Podcasts
The Jason Jones Show: The Mystical Body of Christ, Sea of Suffering in Sudan with Brad Phillips on Apple Podcasts