Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sudan/Darfur: how much influence does gov't have over Janjaweed?

Found the following buried at the end of an article. Though it isn't the final word on the issue ... it's worth considering.
A senior military intelligence official told Reuters that the government would find it difficult to take on the influential tribal leaders involved in a conflict pitting ethnic Arabs against black Africans in the western Sudanese region of Darfur on the border with Chad.

"The tribe in Darfur is the law. The problem we are facing is that the tribal leaders here are the government," he said.

"You take someone like Musa Hilal (an Arab tribal leader). He has 12,000 fighters loyal to him. How are you going to force him to do something he doesn't want to do?

"America itself couldn't do it? They [the Janjaweed] see no logic in disarming while the rebels are armed. I myself can see that they would be slaughtered," he added.1
The rebels mentioned in the story are the SLA/M and JEM. They have been fighting the government -- and the Janjaweed -- since last year.

Also ... a story that Sudan's President Bashir may not be in full control.

SLA/M = Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
JEM = Justice and Equality Movement


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1: ElBagir, Nima. (2004, July 22). Sudan extends crackdown on Darfur militias. Reuters.