Friday, February 16, 2007

From Darfur to Chad

By Michael J.W. Stickings

From the BBC:

The violence in Chad could turn into a genocide similar to that in Rwanda in 1994, the UN refugee agency has warned.

The UNHCR says the killing tactics from neighbouring Darfur in Sudan have been transported to eastern Chad in full.

The U.N. and the A.U. seem confident that a joint "border peace force" will be established, but:

Concern is now growing for the 200,000 refugees who sought shelter in eastern Chad.

The conflict in Darfur has followed them across the border with attacks by Janjaweed Arab militia on camels and horseback leaving hundreds dead and 110,000 people homeless.

I don't know nearly enough about the situation in Chad, but now might be a good time to educate ourselves. Thankfully, the BBC has a good deal of background, including a country profile, a timeline, a Q&A on and results of last May's presidential election (which I also wrote about at the time -- see here), a piece on the rebel alliance, and an examination of Chad in relation to its neighbours. In addition, see this piece and this piece on last year's battles between rebels and government forces, as well as this piece on the situation in the eastern part of the country, next to Darfur.

See a map of the "conflict zones" on the border with Darfur, with an explanation of how and where the violence is spreading, here.

See also photos of the Janjaweed in Chad here and of the aftermath of battle here.

Pay attention to this story.

Genocide is spreading. Will we do anything about it now? Or will Chad, like Darfur, become yet another Rwanda?

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