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Sudan (Darfur)/Chad Border Region -
Confirmed Damaged and Destroyed Villages
Sudan has been embroiled in civil war since its independence in 1956. Stemming from economic strife, ethnic clashes and government-sponsored policies, the current conflict in Darfur has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 and displaced nearly 1.2 million. For more than two years, an economy of government-supported Arab "Janjaweed" insurgent groups has perpetrated mass killings and violence. The Sudan Liberation Army (SLA/M) and the Justive and Equality Movement (JEM) accuse the government of ignoring the needs of Darfur and its black African inhabitants. The Janjaweed militias hold deep animosity for the black African groups of the region, even though they are also Muslims. While the Sudanese government denies arming and training the Janjaweed, the militants act with impunity as Khartoum turns a blind eye. Victims claim their villages are often first bombed by the Sudanese air force and then pillaged by the Janjaweed. The raiders employ the tactics of genocide, a word the United Nations and other world governing bodies have thus far avoided. Systematic rape, killing and looting, and the forced removal of thousands from their homes into the squalor of tent cities are all in evidence. The United Nations is obliged to act if it considers genocide to be underway. Projections suggest that by the end of this year up to 200,000 people could die from disease, starvation and exposure. In addition to the humanitarian crisis, the western region of Darfur presents a threat to African security. The country of Chad shares a 1200-mile border with Darfur, and many victims have already sought refuge there. A spillover of the conflict would spell further devastation to the region. Aid workers are in short supply, largely due to funding difficulties and the slow process of obtaining visas from Sudan's government. The harsh climate makes matters only worse. The oncoming seasonal rains have begun to wash out roads, making travel on foot and food delivery extremely arduous. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked member states to help assuage the crisis and the U.S. Congress is pushing for sanctions. Looking back to 1994, the strife in Darfur is reminiscent of the genocide in Rwanda.

From CIAO's database:

Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur, Written Testimony of Roger Winter, Assistant Administrator, DCHA

Darfur Rising: Sudan's New Crisis (PDF)

Sudan - Complex Emergency: Situation Report #4

The Red Herring in the Sands of Sudan (PDF)

A Call for Urgent Action on the Displacement Crisis in the Darfur Region of the Sudan

Projected Mortality Rates in Darfur, Sudan If There Is No Humanitarian Access (PDF)

Outside Links*:

BBC — Analysis: Defining Genocide

Medecins Sans Frontiers - Fleeing the Hidden War

Latest News from Sudan

Sudan Civil War

Defend Democracy - Background: The Crisis in Darfur

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine [].