Note: This op-ed originally appeared in U.S. News and World Report and was written by the Enough Project’s John Prendergast and Ian Schwab.
The continued persecution of Christians in Darfur should be a serious red flag to the Trump administration.
Last week, at least five peaceful protesters in Darfur were killed by Sudanese security forces at the Kalma refugee camp. The killings took place before a provocative attempt by war crimes-indicted head of state President Omar al-Bashir to visit the camp and paint a picture of life in his country at odds with the reality of millions living in camps and caves; they are in reality desperately reliant on humanitarian assistance that is often obstructed by Bashir’s government and are continuously under the threat of government-sponsored atrocity crimes.
Despite Sudan’s long and well-documented history of persecuting Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities, the timing of these killings is especially surprising, as the Bashir regime is engaged in a full-court press to lift long-standing U.S. sanctions, including hiring Washington power-lobbyists Squire Patton Boggs to sell its case to the Trump administration.
We can only imagine what the Khartoum regime will do if it gets its way on the sanctions and the U.S. loses its most significant point of leverage. Even at a time of heightened scrutiny, the regime has pursued the demolition of 25 churches and church properties in Sudan, alleging “construction irregularities.” In August alone, according to reports, at least four churches were demolished. The nonprofit Open Doors ranked Sudan the fifth-worst country in the world for Christian persecution, one spot behind Syria…
Click here to read the full op-ed in U.S. News and World Report.