Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Genocide in Dafur

The Sudanese government has increased the level of systematic violence against ethnic minorities, now choosing to target African Muslims where they have persecuted Christians in the past.

Human Rights Watch characterizes the violence as a clear attempt by the government to change the demographic makeup of the Dafur region:
First, the government of Sudan is responsible for recruiting, arming, and participating in joint attacks with militia forces that have become the main instrument for attacks on and the displacement of the civilian population ...

Second, the attacks on Masalit and Fur villages by Sudanese government and militia forces follow clear patterns and were carried out in what appeared to be coordinated and planned operations. Villages were not attacked at random, but were emptied across wide areas in operations that lasted for several days or were repeated several times until the population was finally driven away ...

Third, many of the attacks were carried out in a similar manner: aerial support in bombing and reconnaissance by the Sudanese air force followed by ground attacks by government forces and Janjaweed [militia]. Janjaweed have been given explicit and implicit authority over areas vacated by those they have forced out. The Janjaweed man checkpoints on main roads and regulate the movement of goods and people ...

Fourth, the government and militia attacks on the Masalit and Fur villages appear intended to discourage continued habitation by the population ...

Fifth, government-supported militia forces have been deployed in and around destroyed villages, preventing the displaced population from returning. Militias continue to attack displaced civilians after they escape into camps and settlements, beating women and children who attempt to leave these settlements in order to collect firewood, wild foods or other essential items, and sometimes killing them; women have been raped. Men residing in camps and towns controlled by the Janjaweed have been tortured and killed.

Refugees have been fleeing western Sudan for Chad, creating a humanitarian crisis in that country that Medicins sans Frontieres has been at pains to treat:
The level of malnutrition is now climbing every week. In mid-April, we were admitting three or four children per week with severe acute malnutrition ... That number has now increased to nearly 25 children each week ... The camps that have been set up are operating way beyond capacity - several camps that were designed for 6000 people are now holding twice that number. This means that food supplies that were intended to meet the needs of 6,000 people now have to stretch much further and are not nearly enough.

Escape to Chad provides little security:
The tens of thousands of refugees who have still not been moved from the border area to refugee camps further into Chad remain at risk of attacks by Sudanese militias which frequently turn violent. The militia groups cross the border from Sudan into Chad to loot refugees' possessions and steal cattle.


At 7:09 AM, Blogger Adi said...

Thank you for sharing.
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