By Charlotte Brudenell, ACT-Caritas
“I lived here for one year,” says Awadulla, the driver, as we pass through Boulle, a village halfway between Zalingei and Abata. “Over there, eighty five people died, thirty of them women. The Janjaweed started shooting from here, on the edge of the village.” The large tobacco factory, school, shops, and homes have all been destroyed and abandoned. Apart from a group of grazing camels and their four young herders, there is not a soul to be seen. The Sudanese government stands accused of using militias, hailing from Arab tribes in the region and known as Janjaweed, as a proxy force to brutally put down what it labelled a rebellion in Darfur by tribes of black African origin, who complained of decades of neglect from the central government in Khartoum. Since last year’s May 5 Darfur Peace Agreement, however, killings and violence in Darfur have escalated even further, and violence has become even more random and incomprehensible. “Janjaweed” can be a bandit of any origin, as so-called Arabs attack Arabs and so-called Africans attack Africans. Already questionable ethnic labels definitely no longer hold (….)DanChurchAid is a member of ACT International – a global alliance of churches and related agencies working to save lives and support communities in emergencies.