Last week, Jerry Fowler (of the Committee on Conscience) talked with John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group as part of the Committee’s biweekly podcast. Prendergast has just recently returned from Chad, and had new information on what’s happening in the region:
We went into Eastern Chad and we crossed the border into rebel held areas of Darfur as well and both sides of the border, there is clearly an increasing tension as a result of cross border attacks by government of Sudan backed Janjaweed militias and government of Sudan backed Chadian rebels who are attacking across the border with the same kind of impunity, and in some cases the same kind of intention they did when attacking inside Darfur. We are seeing a sort of exporting some of the genocidal counterinsurgency strategies into Chad now, and that was one of the dominant themes. The other dominant theme was how uniformly the refugees and displaced people that we came across were unable to support the current peace agreement that has been signed between the government and one of the rebel factions in Darfur. There is an intense, palpable fear on the part of those who have been rendered homeless by this assault over the last three years, fear of the provision in the agreement that would leave the disarmament of the Janjaweed in the hands of the government of Sudan with no real international verification. In the absence of that, most people would have just said, “We cannot support this, and we have to keep the struggle alive until we get this fundamentally important provision into any kind of a text of an agreement.” It was quite eye opening to see, and people were not brain washed; they knew what was in the agreement and they just chose to say, “We do not want an incomplete peace because it will not bring peace,” and that was fairly uniform up and down the border, all over.
You can listen to the podcast in its entirety or find a complete transcript of the interview at Voices of Genocide Prevention.