Background report on the Darfur conflict, October 2005


By Caspar ten Dam, chairman PCSM

The report does not elaborate on measures by the international community or on scenarios of humanitarian intervention. The August 2006 pamphlet Unseat the ‘Mounted Devils’ takes up these matters.

“humanitarian assistance can never be a substitute for effective political and military action”
– Caroline Moorehead on Darfur in the New York Review of Books of 11 August 2005

We should have intervened in the western region of Darfur in Sudan, in 2004 or even earlier. Since March 2003 Arabic-nomadic militia’s of the Janjaweed (“mounted devils”) have, with government support, killed more than 180,000 civilians – not counting the 400,000 people who have died of injuries, hunger, malnutrition and lack of shelter. The Janjaweed is a collective noun for the some 20,000 bandits and militia-members who primarily travel and attack on camels and horses, and have been recruited by the fundamentalist regime in Khartoum in order to commit the said crimes. Some sources speak of a mere 5,000 Janjaweed, yet this seems unlikely given the large-scale human rights violations and the immense area in which they take place.

See further (with a January 2006 update): ICHIDarfurreport2006.pdf