Sudan: March 26, 2004


More reporters are making it into Sudan's Darfur region, or at least to refugee camps in Chad. Still, the best sources appear to be NGO reports and estimates by UN aid workers. The aid workers are telling western reporters that one of their greatest problems is bandit gangs. That's an old and terrible reality of the Sudan-Chad-Central African Republic (CAR) area. The bandits don't merely harass road traffic, they are capable of attacking supply points where aid organizations are storing food and relief materials. Horse-mounted bandits are a constant frustration to CAR farmers.  NGO aid workers said the Sudanese government is also "limiting access" to areas in Darfur. That's nothing new-- the Muslim militias who are creating the refugees work (at least indirectly) for the Sudanese government. Western officials are now calling the attacks by the militias "ethnic cleansing." Well, it is. There are also new allegations, from the Sudanese government, about the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and its ties to politicians in Sudan. The claim is JEM is tied to opposition leaders in Khartoum. That's one of those claims that requires a "wait for proof" response.


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