The town of Abyei which lies in the heart of the Sudan was once a prosperous community of 30,000 people boasting a hospital, a marketplace and a bar, but it no longer exists due to the recurrence of violence as the civil war appears to be once again ready to tear apart the nation. The entire town has been burnt to the ground and days after fighting ceased– for the moment– smoke rises into the afternoon sun as fires still burn. The charred remains of families and homes lies strewn about and the putrid smell of burnig flesh pervades the atmosphere since no one has been able to enter the town and pick up bodies.
The razing of the town will most probably end the peace deal which was signed in 2005 between warring factions. Forces alied to Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, were responsible for the destruction of Abyei and there undoubtedly will be retalitation by rebel forces. After a peace agreement was signed most people returned to Abyei, but Bashir is still upset the town’s inhabitants wanted to belong to the southern rebels alliance. Bashir wants the oil areas and believes Abyei was in the center of one such area.
Davd Mozersky, of the International Crisis Group, believes if the civil war resumes, all hope for peace in Darfur vanishes. “There will be a much broader and more devastating civil war in Sudan with deadly consequences for the country and the region at large.”
The Muslim world is very upset at the situation in Gaza or failure to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but rather quiet about the virtual genocide that is happening in Darfur or the murderous regime of Bashir. One can only wonder at that silence.