Sudan: March 8, 2004

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In Darfur, the two main rebel groups (SLA and JEM) claim they have combined forces to kill over 400 government troops in the last few days. Few reporters are covering what is going on in remote western Sudan, it's too dangerous. But aid workers report lots of angry guys with  guns wandering around. Few people are wearing uniforms, and aid shipments to the hundreds of thousands of refugees are  pillaged or blocked. It is thought that nearly a million people are on the move to avoid the violence. The government is accused of supporting the ethnic Arab tribes to chase the non-Arab (mostly darker skinned Nilo-Saharan peoples) tribes out of the region. No one wants to call it ethnic cleansing, because that sort of thing caused NATO to invade Yugoslavia in the 1990s to stop that sort of thing. The European nations had a reason for stopping ethnic cleansing in the 1990s; over a million refugees pouring out of the Balkans. But the Sudanese refugees are going to Chad, not Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Britain. So everyone in Europe and the United States is trying to look the other way. But the number of refugees, and deaths, in western Sudan matches, or exceeds, the number in 1999 Kosovo.  And the end is not yet in sight.

 

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