As the government backed janjaweed ravaged the Darfur region of Sudan, the region’s civilians beat a retreat across the arid landscape to find safety in neighboring Chad. Despite being in another country, the former Sudanese have been consistently hounded by attackers.
At the end of last week, a rebel movement began a siege against the Chadian government, leaving the fate of thousands of refugees in question. This morning, the first sign of potentially disastrous news made its way to the AP.
Chad rebels said they overwhelmed government troops Sunday and seized an eastern town along the border with Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region in an area with more than 400,000 refugees.
While there’s been no word from the camps themselves, and even the spokesman for the rebels wasn’t able to comment on what was currently happening in the area, it’s clear that the rebel movements aren’t localized to the capital of N’Djamena. With twelve camps operated by the United Nations in the area, containing 420,000 displaced persons, it’s difficult to imagine a worse set of circumstances.
Even more alarming are the recent reports that the Chadian rebels are being armed by the Sudanese government. With their utter lack of concern for the people of Darfur, it’s hard to see how the camps will escape the grasp of the janjaweed if the rebels are able to disrupt the governing of Chad.