Tuesday, November 07, 2006



One hundred plus people are beaten, stabbed, speared, shot, slashed and smashed to death and, for today at least, the world's media barely notices.

From Reuters :
More than 100 people were killed in clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs in southeast Chad last week...(the government) accused Arab militia raiders from Sudan of stirring up ethnic violence.

President Idriss Deby's administration said the violence inside Chad once again underlined the need for U.N. peacekeepers to be sent to Sudan's western Darfur region to stop the long-running conflict there from spilling over the border.

The government said fighting between Arabs and non-Arabs had also killed many in the Dar Sila department of neighbouring Ouaddai prefecture that borders Sudan.

Bachir said Chad's mixed Arab and non-Arab communities in the east had managed to get along well enough in the past, unlike Sudan's Darfur over the border where a raging political and ethnic conflict has killed tens of thousands since 2003.

"The whole frontier is on fire..."

The following story has been sitting in our archive for a few weeks, but it is still an essential piece. The London Times supplies the inside track on life as a Janjawid militia man :

Dily, a Sudanese Arab, recounts how for three years he and his fellow Janjawid charged the farming villages of Darfur on their camels and horses, raking the huts with gunfire and shouting: “Kill the slaves. Kill the slaves.”

He reckons he attacked about 30 villages in all, and cannot count the people he shot. The villages were invariably destroyed, he says. The homes were burnt to the ground and the men, women and children killed — sometimes with the help of government airstrikes. If there were survivors “they would be left there . . . They couldn’t get help. Sometimes they made it to camps but mostly they died of thirst or starvation”.

He expresses remorse. He is willing to talk, and the story he tells flatly contradicts the Sudanese Government’s claims that it has no control over the Janjawid — the predominantly Arab “devils on horseback” who have driven two million of Darfur’s black Africans into camps and killed at least 200,000.

He says the Government deceived innocent Arab shepherds like himself into joining the Janjawid, saying they had to defend their communities against attack by Darfur’s black African rebel groups.

He says they were trained and armed by Sudanese soldiers, ordered by the Government to attack Darfur’s villages and given military support when necessary. The Janjawid was formed for ethnic cleansing, he insists. “Why (else) would you attack villages, kill people, displace them and kill them in their thousands?”

Apart from occasional visits home, Dily and his battalion — led by a former bandit — spent the next three years on the move, destroying one village after another. “The Government said attack all villages. The local commanders decided which,” he said.

The attacks usually started early and lasted most of the day. The commanders said the villages had to be destroyed, and they did not spare women or children. “Mostly they said “Kill the blacks. Kill the blacks,” Dily said. “The majority of (the victims) were civilians, most of them women.”

The London Times also supplies a concise history of the Darfur Crisis :

February 2003 The Darfur Liberation Front, later the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), claims discrimination by the mainly Arabic Government against black Africans

Spring 2004 Government is accused of using Arab militia — Janjawid — against SLA

January 2005 UN reports that Government and militias collaborated to commit atrocities, but “genocidal intent appears to be missing”

May 2006 Government and SLA sign peace deal, promise to disarm the Janjawid

August 2006 Janjawid still armed. UN resolution calls for a peacekeeping force

September 2006 African Union ignores order to leave

October 2006 Bush imposes further sanctions

Darfur Genocide Spreads Into Neighbouring Chad

Sudan Leader : No UN Troops For Darfur

Why Iraq Teaches Nothing About Intervention In Darfur