The rebels in eastern Sudan are demobilizing, as part of a peace deal
that ends twelve years of sporadic violence. Some 1,800 rebel fighters
will be involved.
19, 2006: The UN pulled 71 air workers from a refugee camp in Darfur, after
government backed militia looted the aid workers living quarters. Sudan continues
to put off UN demands that a more powerful peacekeeping for be allowed into
Darfur. Meanwhile, the government-supported Arab tribal militias are becoming
more violent in their attacks on black African tribes, including those cowering
in refugee camps.
17, 2006: The African Union (AU) said that "janjaweed" (Sudan
government-sponsored militias) attacks were increasing in the Darfur
region. This includes "harassment" attacks in the El Fasher, El Geneina, Kutum,
and Merllit areas. AU and NGOs also mentioned the failure of Sudanese
government forces to respond to the militia attacks. But why should they? The
janjaweed are doing the government's bidding. In fact, on December 14, the
European Union's chief representative to Sudan accused the Sudan government of
arming and supporting the janjaweed.
15, 2006: The government said that approximately 150 former SPLA rebel
soldiers rioted in Juba (south Sudan). The violence appeared to be a "mutiny,"
which indicates the SPLA rebels may have been in a unit that was at least
nominally "integrated" into the new joint Sudanese forces. At least two people
died in the riot. The violence continued until December 16.
13, 2006: The government told western journalists that it will earn four to five
billion dollars in oil revenue during 2006. Sudan's overall economy has grown
at least ten percent this year (and possibly higher, other sources says 12 to
15 percent). The big message is: Sudan can continue to finance its war in
Darfur. With lots of ready cash to buy arms on the open and black markets, UN
and US-sponsored sanctions are only a minor irritant.
Britain and the US floated the idea of establishing a "no fly zone" over Darfur
- a zone similar to the one the US and allied nations enforced over northern
and southern Iraq from 1991-2003. The Sudan government rejected the idea. A "no
fly zone" over Darfur has some merit. The Sudan government uses AN-12
transports rigged as bombers to attack villages. The bombs are inaccurate but
they serve a purpose - they scare the civilians and force them to flee.
However, establishing a "no fly zone" would make a significant political
statement-which is why the Sudan government opposes it. It would also be a step
toward allowing air to ground attacks. At the moment the janjaweed move rather
freely, on horseback and in trucks. Air attacks would significantly restrict
their movement. However, air alone doesn't stop militias from attacking
villages. And dead raiders can be pitched as "innocent civilians," or
"Moslems killed by Infidels."