Tuesday, February 20, 2007

While You Were Tied Up in Afghanistan

Storm clouds are appearing on the horizon for Darfur. The African Union, echoing a United Nations report, warns that Janjaweed militias are massing north of the West Darfur capital.

The Janjaweed militias are drawn from local, nomadic Arab tribes and are blamed for most of the killing in Darfur. Western sources say the Sudanese government has been using the Janjaweed as auxiliaries to fight Darfur rebels and suspected civilian sympathizers.

An African Union sources was quoted as saying, "They are massing (north of el-Geneina) ... They have vehicles with machineguns on top and they're Janjaweed. We can't say what their intentions are."

The source declined to give numbers, but described the forces gathered as a "huge amount of personnel", with pick-up trucks, camels and horses.

The Sudanese military says the Janjaweed are massing merely to leave the area, not to fight.

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