A brief from the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies last week documented the spread of insecurity and human rights abuses into North Darfur, a region known for relative calm and stability compared to areas to the south and west.
According to the organization ACJPS, Chadian groups in North Darfur recently committed a series of attacks and abuses “reminiscent of the tactics employed by the janjaweed militias and government forces early in the Darfur conflict.”
These rebel groups, known proxies of the Sudanese government, were recently repositioned away from the Chad-Sudan border to North Darfur by the Khartoum regime in return for Chad’s diminished support to the Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM, the most powerful Darfuri rebel group.
ACPJS chronicles in detail widespread burning, civilian beatings, acts of rape and sexual violence against women and young girls, and looting of property throughout the month of December and into early January.
In the most recent incident, on January 3, Chadian rebels attacked the villages of Dain, Azragati, Lbadna, Sindi, and Um Hashaba. Ten women were raped, people beaten, and property looted.
This latest rapprochement between Sudan and Chad has been lauded as a high point of Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration’s diplomacy, who himself said the alliance should improve security in Darfur. Unfortunately, the warming of relations between the countries seems to have conveniently set Khartoum up to do just the opposite: spread havoc into a region that was relatively untouched by the abuses and insecurity terrorizing the rest of Darfur.
Colin Thomas-Jensen contributed to this post.