Sudan: Arab Raiders Gone Wild


December11, 2006: Having run out of things to steal in Darfur, the pro-government Arab tribesmen are increasingly raiding across the border into Chad and the Central African Republic. Inside Darfur, the Arab marauders have become increasingly bold and ruthless. UN aid officials, and the relief goods they control, are increasingly subject to attack, and theft. The UN, the rest of Africa and the West, continue to talk of military intervention, but they are stopped by the Arab world, which considers the pro-Arab Sudan government innocent of any crimes, and merely trying to defend itself from foreign intervention.

December 10, 2006: The situation in El Fasher (North Darfur) continues to deteriorate. Government-backed janjaweed Arab militia have taken control of the city. The Red Cross evacuated workers and staff from Kutum, in North Darfur State. This was caused by a December 8 incident, when unidentified gunmen attacked the Red Cross staff residence area in Kutum.

Great Britain warned Sudan that "alternatives" (ie, policy alternatives) must be considered if the Sudan government and Darfur rebels do not achieve a sustainable peace settlement.

December 9, 2006: Two more people were killed in the town of El Fasher (North Darfur), by janjaweed militia, after an anti-violence demonstration in the town. At least ten people have been killed in El Fasher since December 5.

The UN has pulled 135 workers (most of them aid workers) out of El Fasher and the surrounding area. At least 200 UN aid workers remain in the area.

The Nuer tribe of south Sudan and other groups in Equatoria state (south Sudan) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that intends to (quote) " to achieve freedom, justice, liberty, democracy and chart the course to sustainable peace, stability and development…" The groups are concerned about government corruption and tribal favoritism in south Sudan. The memorandum stated that "tribal chauvinism" is hindering development in the south Sudan. The memo said that corruption in the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) hinders development and increases insecurity. The memo can be read as a slap at the Dinka tribe, since the Dinka make up the largest tribe in the SPLM (and its military wing, the SPLA). The agreement comes after several months of increasing tribal conflict in the southern Sudan. The deal was signed the week after the shootout in Malakal between the SPLA and members of a pro-government militia left 150 people dead.

December 8, 2006: The Sudan government accused the "international community" of ignoring attacks by the National Redemption Front (NRF), the Darfur rebel "umbrella organization" that did not agree to the May 5 peace deal. Basically, the Sudan government contends that the NRF and other Darfur rebel groups are supported by the UN, European nations, and the US.

December 6, 2006: The UN reported that a janjaweed militia attacked and looted the north Darfur town of El Fasher on December 4. El Fasher is a city of approximately 200,000 people and is a center for UN and NGO aid operations. It is the capital of North Darfur State. An African Union report warned that rebels in the NRF could launch a counter-attack on El Fasher.




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