Julie Flint's latest commentary - The Arabs Are Victims, Too - washingtonpost.com
The incurious reporting that has reduced the war to a simple morality tale, an African "Lord of the Rings," equates Janjaweed with Arab, and especially Abbala. But only a minority of Darfur's 300,000 or so Abbala have joined the 20,000 to 30,000 Janjaweed. Most have refused to contribute soldiers, well aware that good relations with their non-Arab neighbors are more important than an alliance with an uncaring government hundreds of miles away.
Yet they have been collectively stigmatized for the crimes of the Janjaweed and their suffering has been ignored. Few journalists have written about them, or listened to them -- myself included.
We know next to nothing about the situation of the nomads despite the gravity -- and the consistency -- of their claims: that since the war began, 40 percent of their herds have been lost and 20 percent of their people have died because of rebel ambushes, massacres and sickness. Most of what we do know comes from the people fighting them.