Sudan: Darfur War Spreads


January 10, 2006: The SSDF (South Sudan Defense Force), one of the major rebel movements in the south, had formally disbanded and many of its members have joined the SPLA ( Sudan People's Liberation Army), the main rebel organization that has negotiated a peace deal with the government. The SPLA is now calling itself the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), a political, not military, organization.

In Darfur, the violence goes on, with government troops, tribal militias, rebels and bandits attacking each other. The troops and the Arab militias they support, continue to raid non-Arab villages and refugee camps.

January 9, 2006: This is the first anniversary of Sudan's peace settlement in the south. The peace process continues. Sudan does have something of a coalition government. However, the issue of sharing oil revenues remains unresolved.

January 7, 2006: The UN has pulled some of its staff out of Darfur, because of the growing violence.

January 8, 2006: An African Union peacekeeper died in an attack in Darfur. One Senegalese soldier died and at least ten were wounded. The "unknown gunmen" were probably bandits. However, the government said that the "gunmen" were either Chadian military forces or rebels supported by Chad. Chad denied the Sudanese allegation. Chad and Sudan are coming ever closer to full-fledged war.

December 25, 2005: The Chad government said that "a state of war" existed between Chad and Sudan. Chad accused Sudan of attempting to overthrow the Chadian government. Over the last two weeks there have been more accusations than actions. Sudan accused Chad preparing to launch an attack into Darfur, but so far no attack by Chad's military has materialized. The war, such as it is, consists of "militia forces" attacking patrols and ambushing vehicles. Militias and "bandits" provide "plausible deniability." This is what Sudan did for years in south Sudan, ie, used "Muslim militias" to attack the SPLA. Sudan has also done this in Darfur. It appears Chad can play the same game.




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