APRIL 9, 2008
Since seizing power in a 1989 coup, the government of Omar Al Bashir has terrorized Sudan's outlying regions and neighbors--killing or displacing millions, all in the name of maximizing its own influence. The events of recent months in Darfur and elsewhere show that this strategy has not changed.
* Events of the past few months
* Population movements of the past few months
* Violence initiated or exacerbated by the Sudanese regime since it took power in 1989
Dark Red Arrows
Chad: In the first week of February, Chadian rebels, backed by Khartoum, attacked Ndjamena in a bid to overthrow the government of Idriss Deby.
Abyei: Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times recently reported that 16,000 Khartoum-backed militia members have amassed north of Abyei, a disputed border region that figures to be a flashpoint if the North-South civil war resumes. Several hundred people have been killed in clashes between these militias and the main southern opposition group since November.
Silea, Sirba, and Abu Suruj: On February 8, the Sudanese government bombed three villages in western Darfur. A week after the attacks, only 300 of Silea's 20,000 residents remained.
Aro Sharow and Jebel Moon: The government followed up its February 8 attacks with air raids on Aro Sharow and Jebel Moon. An estimated 20,000 civilians are currently trapped in Jebel Moon without access to humanitarian aid.
Darfur/Chad: The United Nations reported that 13,000 Darfuri refugees entered Chad during February. Among them were those who fled following Khartoum's attacks on Silea, Sirba, and Abu Suruj.
Chad/Cameroon: The rebel attack on Ndjamena caused 20,000 Chadians to flee into Cameroon.
Light Red Arrows
Uganda: Throughout the 1990s, Khartoum sheltered and supplied the Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel movement notorious for its enlistment of child soldiers. In return, the LRA helped Khartoum terrorize Southern Sudan.
Southern Sudan: The Second Sudanese Civil War, fought between the North and South from 1983 to 2005, was one of the bloodiest Africa has known, killing 2 million people and displacing 4 million.
Darfur: The genocide in Darfur, which began in 2003, has killed at least 400, 000 people and displaced 2 million.
Northern Sudan: Scheduled to open later this year and funded partly with Chinese money, the Merowe Dam will displace at least 50,000 residents of northern Sudan. Khartoum has proposed building more dams in the region, angering historically marginalized Nubians and other northern Sudanese. The government has also arrested Nubian leaders and last June fired on a protest of 5,000, killing four. A rebel group called the Kush Liberation Front has announced its intention to fight Khartoum. "They want to cut us from our roots and flood all of Nubia and its history," one Nubian farmer told the Los Angeles Times last summer.
Eastern Sudan: Eastern Sudan has long been overshadowed by Darfur and the South, but it is the poorest region of the country. Up to 5,000 people were killed there in fighting between rebels and the government in the ten years before they signed a peace agreement in 2006.
Chad: For years, Khartoum has supported Chadian rebels. Chad's president (no angel himself) backs Darfuri rebels. The escalating proxy warfare between the two nations threatens to further destabilize the entire region.