An event happened last summer that was hardly noticed by the global media. Following a lengthy civil war and free elections, the new nation of South Sudan was born. This fledgling nation has some tough challenges ahead of it. Marauding Islamist guerillas (the Janjaweed) from the north have had an ongoing campaign of burning villages, wholesale murder, and rape. The raiders even still take some slaves. The Janjaweed has been supported by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. After terrorizing Darfur and creating millions of refugees, according to intelligence analysts they are expected to next turn their attention to South Sudan. The latest twist in regional politics is that the new government in Libya is islamist–replacing Gaddafi’s largely secular government. This will likely put further pressure on Chad, the Darfur region of Sudan, and South Sudan. The people of South Sudan need both your prayers and your tangible support.
I highly recommend watching the documentary The Devil Came on Horseback, about the Sudanese genocide in Darfur. It is now available as a “Watch Instantly” streaming video on Netflix. You won’t appreciate the true gravity of the situation in Darfur and South Sudan until you have watched this film.
Looking at this situation strategically, what South Sudan needs is to establish well-trained and equipped village militias, to stop the marauders. The Janjaweed has been successful in their campaign of terror simply because in most villages, there was nobody shooting back at them. Once the villagers do start shooting back–accurately–then the Islamist raiders will stop. It is just that simple. But this will takes arms and training. This is where the American missionaries can help.
What is Needed:
- Prayer. Lots of it.
- Rallies and speeches aren’t enough. South Sudan needs boots on the ground. If our government doesn’t have the conviction to provide this, then our citizenry will.
- Organization and support infrastructure. The American volunteers need to have a support team–mostly in the U.S. These can all be volunteer retirees. Of immediate need are: a trustworthy banker, a travel coordinator, a logistics coordinator (preferably with some warehouse space near a major airport), a publicity coordinator, a South Sudan embassy liaison (someone that lives inside the D.C. beltway), and a congressional lobbyist (also someone that lives inside the D.C. beltway.)
- Logistics and fundraising volunteers in other friendly countries (particularly South Africa, Israel, Australia, Canada and England.)
- Copious funds need to be raised to arm the villagers. (Weapons, ammunition, web gear, cleaning equipment, HESCO bastions, et cetera.) Some of this could come from government grants. Some of the equipment could come from the south Sudan government, by way of the US government’s FMS program.
- Funds need to be raised for volunteer American Mobile Training Teams (MTT)s and a small support team in the nation’s capitol, Juba. This will include travel expenses, vehicles, weapons, field gear, fuel, meal stipends, and training expenses.)
- The MTTs need to be equipped and first get some brief “train the trainer” experience in the U.S. to master “The Way of the AK.” (AK armorer skills, marksmanship, and effective employment.)
Issues and Challenges
- Unity of purpose. The volunteers will undoubtedly have a variety of faiths. The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, is a Catholic. The nation itself is a conglomeration of animists, Christians of various denominations and a few muslims. There are a variety of tribal factions and more than 60 indigenous languages spoken in the country. Please pray that everyone involved finds unity in the common purpose of defending South Sudan.
- Full cooperation of the new South Sudan government is needed, to provide visas, carnets, end use certificates, et cetera.
- Help is needed from American companies, and companies abroad. Donated gear, or gear that is made available “at cost” would be greatly appreciated.
- War on a shoestring budget. This volunteer program will have to accomplish a lot with minimal support. Please pray for a lot of “loaves and fishes” miracle moments.
- There is presently great difficulty in identifying friend-from-foe, in the region. I recommend that all weapons and magazines used by the villagers and the MTTs be painted in flat Multicam colors. The MTTs should all wear Multicam uniforms. (Note: The South Sudanese are mostly blacks, while the Janjaweed raiders are mostly lighter-skinned arabs. The villagers, the JEM, the SLM, and the Janjaweed all wear a civilian tribal clothing and a mish-mash of camouflage uniforms. They are armed with an odd assortment of weapons, mostly AK-47s and and AKM variants. The Janjaweed, as proxies of the Sudanese government have also been given some M14s and G3s. The south Sudanese also have a mix of small arms including AKs and G3s. There is a similar motley assortment of vehicles. The risk of having volunteers shot by mistake must be avoided.)
- The Janjaweed’s modus operandi is to shut down cell phone transmissions just before raiding a village. So reliable HF radios need to be provided as a backup to the existing cellular networks.
- The new government is poorly funded and not yet fully organized. They are focused on securing foreign aid and quelling internal disputes among various ethnic and tribal groups.
- The Janjaweed is mainly mounted on horseback, giving them superior mobility. (Essentially it is a war between mounted arab nomads and peasant farmers and herdsmen. It is sort of a modern-day Magnificent Seven situation. But in this case the trainers will receive no pay.)
- Share the gospel of Christ.
- Make every penny count. Create an all-volunteer organization with virtually no office overhead. (I recommend that it be modeled on The Gideons, where the volunteers actually pay annual dues.)
- Every man in a village with reasonable acumen will be trained as a minuteman style soldier. They will be trained to the best of their ability, preferably to the level of expert marksman.
- Develop resilient, redundant communications.
- Foster respect for the sovereignty of the South Sudan government.
- Security, peace and prosperity for the villagers.
My Hopes For Your Personal Mission:
- Volunteer your time.
- Encourage your Christian relatives with Iraq or Afghanistan combat experience to volunteer to go to South Sudan as missionaries. They will be “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” type missionaries. Particularly needed are: marksmanship trainers, armorers (with AK-47, G3, and M14 experience), infantry small unit tacticians, commo specialists, and medics.
- If you can’t spare the service of your sons and daughters, then send some money, AK-47 magazines, and .30 caliber rifle cleaning kits. Details on where and how to to do this will follow.
- Even if you can’t spare a dime, please pray for South Sudan and Darfur. Please make it part of your daily prayers.