Sudan: May 10, 2004


Sudanese military helicopters have been seen flying inside Chad, along the Sudanese border. Chad has threatened to send troops across the border to destroy the Sudanese militia forces that are causing most of the trouble. But there are also two local tribal militias that have been in rebellion against the government, and the Arab tribes to the east, since last year. These rebels have kept out of the way. The government has sided with the Arab tribes against the black African tribes. However, the government refuses to admit that it has given the Arab tribes AK-47s, ammunition and other weapons. The Arab tribes have also been given a free hand in Darfar (western Sudan) to attack, loot and pillage the black African tribes. Over a million of the blacks have fled the Arab raids so far. The war in the west is over land. The region is part of the Sahel, a semi-desert area south of the Sahara desert. Multi-year droughts are common, and currently there are too many people, and not enough land or water. The black Africans are largely farmers, while the Arab tribes are mostly herdsmen. The Arabs want the farmers land for their herds. With government cooperation, the Arabs are taking the land, and driving the black Africans out into even less hospitable land, to die, or be kept alive with foreign aid. But the foreign aid has a hard time getting into the area. Darfur is truly "in the middle of nowhere." Meanwhile, the enormous "ethnic cleansing", that could eventually involve millions of refugees, goes on.




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