September 29, 2005

DARFUR UPDATE: Yesterday:

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick Wednesday briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the current situation in Darfur.

“In general in Darfur, what you are seeing is [that] the large scale organized violence has substantially subsided,” said Mr. Zoellick. “But the situation remains very fragile and dangerous.”

Mr. Zoellick said that while Sudanese government forces have withdrawn, their government-backed Arab militias, known as the “janjaweed,” have not disbanded and are still contributing to the violence.

Today:

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Thursday an unprecedented attack on a displaced persons’ camp in Sudan’s embattled Darfur region reportedly has killed 29 people.

Antonio Guterres, chief of the U.N. agency, cited aid workers’ reports of the attack Wednesday at Aro Sharow camp which also left 10 seriously injured. These reports said up to 300 armed Arab men on horses and camels attacked the camp in northwest Darfur and burned about 80 makeshift shelters.

Between 4,000-5,000 Sudanese were believed to be living in the camp and most reportedly fled into surrounding countryside, UNHCR said. The nearby village of Gosmeina was also reportedly attacked and burned.

Why don’t we send guns and trainers?