Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mostly bad news on Darfur

By Heraclitus

Yes, it's Tuesday, so it must be time for another post on how dismal the world's reaction to Darfur has been and continues to be. This time, however, there is a
little good news coming out of Darfur. Apparently, the Sudanese army has suffered some defeats in the regions. It seems to be something of a pitched battle, with Darfur rebels and the Chadian army fighting on one side, and Chadian rebels and the Sudanese army on the other.

This little bit of good news, however, is outweighed by the news that, in response to their army's failure, the Sudanese government is re-mobilizing the Janjaweed militias (in contravention of UN resolutions). In case there's anyone on the planet who really believes that the Sudanese government isn't in league with the Janjaweed:

A former Janjaweed fighter "Ali" now living in London has told the BBC that Sudanese ministers gave express orders for the activities of his unit, which included rape and killing children.

He told the Newsnight programme that Janjaweed fighters would go into Darfur villages after they had been bombed by the air force.


Envoys from the United States and the UK have visited Sudan this week, but the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Khartoum says the international community is at a loss to stop Darfur's violence.

Our reporter says efforts to persuade Sudan to accept United Nations peacekeepers have failed, with Khartoum seeming determined to pursue a military solution.

Two hundred thousand killed, two million displaced (and I expect those are conservative estimates). What would it take for the world to take this seriously? An attack by Mothra?

UPDATE: The BBC has more on the relation between Khartoum and the Janjaweed, including specific orders from the Sudanese government to rape women and kill children.

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