Tuesday, July 20, 2004

U.S.: Janjaweed are agents of the Sudanese government

A New York-based human rights group says it has evidence that the Sudanese Government has been arming the militia accused of killing thousands of people in the Darfur region.

Human Rights Watch says it has secret documents which implicate high-ranking Government officials in a policy of supporting the militia.

Kenneth Roth, the organisation's director, says the notorious Janjaweed irregular force has been consistently backed up by Sudanese Government forces.

"What we have found, both through our testimony taken on the ground in Darfur as well as from these documents, illustrates that the Sudanese military is actively recruiting Janjaweed militia," he said.

"It is arming them and it is even arranging impunity for at least some of their atrocities."

The documents in Arabic dating from February and March 2004 call for recruitment and military support of the Janjaweed militia, including delivery of "provisions and ammunition" to be delivered to known militia leaders, camps and "loyalist tribes."

A February directive orders all security units in the area to tolerate the activities of known Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal in North Darfur, according to the group.

The document highlights the importance of "non-interference so as not to question their authority" and authorises security units in a North Darfur province to "overlook minor offences by the fighters against civilians who are suspected members of the rebellion."

Another document calls for a plan for "resettlement operations of nomads in places from which the outlaws withdrew," Human Rights Watch said.

The group said Sudanese Government forces and government-backed militias are responsible for crimes against humanity, war crimes and "ethnic cleansing" involving aerial and ground attacks on civilians of the same ethnicity as members of two rebel groups in Darfur.
So much for racial harmony in Islam.

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