Saturday, November 20, 2010

In Darfur, the worst may be yet to come

By By Morton Abramowitz

Reports are trickling in of increasing government-supported violence against Darfuris, deteriorating humanitarian conditions and widespread attacks on war-torn Darfur's beleaguered civil society. But the world has done little to acknowledge, much less address, this rapidly declining situation. Preparations for the North-South political referendum, which has potential for huge bloodletting, are sucking up all the oxygen. Even if Sudan peacefully splits, Darfur is headed for humanitarian and political purgatory.

Among some of the more dismaying events:

l In recent weeks Sudanese armed forces and elements of the Janjaweed armed militias have renewed attacks on villages throughout Darfur. Radio reports tell of targeted attacks on civilians in areas where Darfuri rebels claim they have no forces. Thousands of displaced people from razed villages are flooding westward into camps in Darfur, deepening problems for the displaced already there.

l Khartoum is likely to close a major camp for more than 80,000 displaced persons in South Darfur soon, reportedly to ensure better security for a nearby airport. Kalma is one of the oldest camps, and among its inhabitants are some of the most radicalized Darfuri rebels; in recent years, Kalma has been the site of intense clashes between rebel and government forces. There are not sufficient places to send the displaced or humanitarian aid to help them, so their future is uncertain. Efforts to move the displaced from Kalma could provoke still greater violence. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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