Sunday, May 23, 2010


By Dr. Eric Reeves

Ongoing human suffering and destruction in Darfur have been largely eclipsed both by recent national elections in Sudan and by growing, if belated, international attention to the imperiled southern self-determination referendum (slated for January 9, 2011). Even more completely obscured by recent events in Sudan, however, is the continuing humanitarian crisis in eastern Chad.

Refugees from Central African Republic, internally displaced Chadians, and Darfuri refugees together make up a population of approximately 500,000 civilians, almost completely dependent upon international aid. Half this population has come from the east, fleeing the killing fields of Darfur and the predations of Khartoum’s brutal Janjaweed militias, and its regular military forces. Recently the fleeing has begun again, just as Chadian President Idriss Déby is preparing to expel the U.N. force tasked with providing security in the region. Once more, the U.N. and the international community are acquiescing before the supremely callous demands of a ruthless regime.

A great many Darfuris fled the early attacks of 2003-2005, and the refugee population in eastern Chad grew rapidly; many more fled subsequently, fearing further attacks and the ongoing, ethnically-targeted destruction of livelihoods. Perversely, in Chad, they again became the victims of genocidal assault. A January 2007 report from Human Rights Watch, or HRW, titled “‘They Came Here to Kill Us’: Militia Attacks and Ethnic Targeting of Civilians in Eastern Chad” remains our best contemporaneous account of violence perpetrated against Darfuri refugees and other civilians. In October 2006, Khartoum’s military aircraft “bombed villages in eastern Chad (…) [as] part of a broader pattern of indiscriminate bombing attacks against civilians in Darfur.” During its month-long field investigation, HRW also uncovered evidence “linking some attacks against civilians in eastern Chad with known Janjaweed militia commanders or with Sudanese government paramilitary forces known to include many Janjaweed militia members.” Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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