Sudan children will want to know why they're living in Chad
The Darfur crisis is getting wide and more complicated. The mayhem has spread into Chad, where 60,000 Chadians have been forced from their homes by incursions by the Janjaweed, and by a dozen different Chadian rebel groups backed by Sudan, as well as by various bandits and mercenaries.Note, in the report, Emily Wax says no Western reporter had yet been let into government-controlled Darfur. To avoid misunderstandings President Bashir could do himself, his colleagues and fellow citizens a favour by opening up to the BBC to help the world learn about the culture and mindset of Sudanese folk and their politics (not religion which ought to be separate from government - there are thousands of different religions!)
In another, lesser-known example of the conflict's spillover, thousands of people in the Central African Republic are being displaced by violence as the various militias backed by the Sudanese government use the lawless area to transport weapons.
The Darfur rebel groups, who once fought the government, are now fighting each other and appear less willing to compromise at peace talks underway in Nigeria.
In an audiotape broadcast last week, Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to rise up in protest of any U.N. or NATO intervention.
My e-mail in-box immediately was filled with outraged messages from Darfurians who had kept in touch and lived in cities around Sudan.
"I believe -- as many of my fellow Darfurians do -- bin Laden is very mistaken by calling for Jihad in Darfur," Ahmad Shugar, a Darfur leader, wrote in an e-mail. ". . . We are all Muslims here. It is really humiliating when a fellow Muslim looks down on you and calls for jihad against you."
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UN helps collapsing states to get back on their feet
"The situation in Chad, Sudan's neighbour, is getting out of control" writes Jan Pronk, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, in his blog entry Apr 18, 2006 - excerpt:
"... like with regard to so many countries of Africa, the international community will have to apply wisdom, determination and a concerted approach in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and to help a collapsing state to get back on its feet. Thereafter the Chadians themselves, like the Sudanese, will have to decide how they together can turn a nearly failing state into a surviving nation and a sustainable society."
Photo: A collection of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles and heavy machine guns, with various other supplies are displayed in the Chad capital N'Djemena, Friday, April 14, 2006. Chad's president broke off relations with Sudan and threatened to expel 200,000 refugees from the neighboring Darfur region after parading more than 250 captured rebels through the streets of the capital following a violent attempt to overthrow him. (AP Photo/Abakar Saleh)