Monday, April 17, 2006

Darfur's violence spills into Chad

Have I mentioned Darfur lately? The situation continues to worsen. Please read this. How can this happen? We have only ourselves to ask.

Darfur is described by aid workers as "bandit country" where armed gangs - many of whom are thought to have backing from the Chadian and Sudanese governments – rape and plunder local communities.

Explicitly accusing Sudan of backing the rebels, Chad on Friday broke diplomatic ties with Sudan and expelled the Sudanese Ambassador. Khartoum's foreign ministry has repeatedly denied Chad's claims that it is backing anti-Deby militia. * * * * *

Analysts have been warning for months that the worsening mob rule and violence spilling over from Darfur into eastern Chad, and an escalating proxy-war between Sudan-backed insurgents and Deby loyalists, threatens to produce a new humanitarian crisis, as well as cutting off much-needed supplies to the quarter million Chadians and Sudanese already displaced by fighting.

Currently the AU has 7,000 troops in Darfur - an arid and barren landlocked region larger in size than France - which analysts say have failed to stop the violence. The UN estimates more than 200,000 civilians have already been killed by fighting in the region. Attempts by the UN to establish a force in the area have been blocked by Sudan. In mid-March the Brussels-based conflict analysis NGO International Crisis Group warned that the international strategy for dealing with the Darfur crisis was at a "dead end", and recommended a UN-led force be sent to Darfur immediately.


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