Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Darfur News: WORDS don't stop Janjaweed. WOW!

This is impossible! How can the Janjaweed be massing in Darfur? Look at all the Darfur emails, Darfur blogs, Darfur: letters, fasts-from-luxuries, divestments of US Funds (China is Sudan's banker), articles, cookie drives we've unleashed! Janjaweed massing?!?!? How DISRESPECTFUL! :-)

Janjaweed militias massing in West Darfur: source 40 minutes ago

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Janjaweed militias have been concentrating forces to the north of el-Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state in western Sudan, an African Union military source said on Tuesday, corroborating a U.N. report.

Janjaweed is the local name for militia forces drawn mainly from the nomadic Arab tribes of the area and blamed for much of the killing in Darfur over the past four years.

"They are massing ... they have vehicles with machineguns on top and they're janjaweed. We can't say what their intentions are," said the source, who asked not to be named.

The source declined to give numbers, but described the forces gathered as a "huge amount of personnel," with pickup trucks, camels and horses. A U.N. mission spokeswoman said the militia numbered in the hundreds.

An African Union helicopter was keeping the forces under aerial surveillance and the government was being notified, the AU sources said. The Sudanese military could not be reached for comment.

Rights group and Western governments say the Sudanese government has used the janjaweed as auxiliaries against Darfur rebels and civilians suspected of rebel sympathies. The government denies this and says the janjaweed are outlaws.

On Monday, a report by the U.N. Mission in Sudan said that "armed militia have been mobilizing in large numbers over the last five days in the general area of Abou Souroug and Sliea (approximately 50 km -- 31 miles -- north of el-Geneina). The reason behind the massive militia mobilization is so far not known."

Tribal clashes in South Darfur killed up to 100 people last week, according to the United Nations.

Darfur, an arid area the size of France, has been ravaged by violence since 2003, when rebels took up arms, accusing the government in Khartoum of ignoring the region.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has resisted pressure to authorize a deployment of 3,000 U.N. peacekeepers to support the 7,000-strong African Union mission in Darfur, saying the AU force was strong enough and the United Nations could give money and logistical help to a hybrid force.

Experts estimate 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes in four years of conflict in Darfur. Washington calls the violence genocide, a term which European governments are reluctant to use and which Khartoum rejects.

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