Note: This compendium means to supplement the extensive and important media coverage and human-rights reportage of sexual attacks against women and girls in Darfur. See, e.g., Amnesty International, "Darfur: Rape as a Weapon of War" (July 2004). Often in conflicts around the world, such violence against girls and women is accompanied by largescale gender-selective atrocities against adult males, especially those of an imputed "battle age." For more information, see the case studies on this website and the summary, What Is Gendercide?.
Last updated: 1 October 2004
Note: For an excellent overview of the Darfur crisis, including the historical background, see John Ryle, Disaster in Darfur, The New York Review of Books, 12 August 2004.
Somini Sengupta, "War in Western Sudan Overshadows Peace in the South", The New York Times, 17 January 2004.
[...] Another newcomer described an attack on refugees camped out in a dry riverbed just inside Chad. Early on a Sunday morning, he recounted, gunmen descended, herded away the cattle the refugees had brought with them and began firing. The man, Tamur Bura Idriss, 31, said he lost his uncle and grandfather. He heard the gunmen say, "You blacks, we're going to exterminate you." He fled deeper into Chad that night.
The United Nations refugee agency has begun moving the Sudanese to safer ground, at least 30 miles from the border. The agency has appealed for $16 million for the project; the World Food Program has called for $11 million for emergency relief.
The refugees described their attackers as Arab militias armed with grenades and machine guns, sometimes accompanied by soldiers in Sudanese military uniforms. They said their belongings were stolen, the men were killed or kidnapped and the women were raped. There are reports of villages being burned and bombed by Sudanese military planes. [...]
Fred Bridgland, Africa's Hidden Holocaust?", Sunday Herald, 11 April 2004.
[...] Fatma, an African villager who has moved with her infant children into Kutum, says: "Young girls can’t leave the camp to gather firewood. We are scared to send them out. They rape them. We can’t send the young men out because they will kill the men." [...]
Eric Reeves, "UN Commission on Human Rights Shamefully Fails the People of Darfur, Even as UN Human Rights Report Catalogs 'Crimes Against Humanity'", SouthSudanNation, 23 April 2004.
[...] What did the UN human rights investigation ("Report of the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights mission to Chad, April 5-15, 2004") find of particular note? [...]
[...] "A significant majority of the refugee population appeared to be comprised of women and children; at one site -- Tine -- it was estimated that some 80% of the refugee population was made up of this group." (Paragraph 13)
The report later notes that "there were frequent reports of killings. More specifically, a number of refugees alleged that men, and even boys, were particular targets" (Paragraph 19). It also notes the Khartoum and its militia allies "indiscriminately attacked those who had not fled, such as the elderly and disabled with a particular emphasis on men and boys" (Paragraph 35).
The inference that men and boys of African tribal groups are being summarily executed in very large numbers is inescapable. [...]
"Fleeing the Horsemen Who Kill for Khartoum", The Economist, 13 May 2004.
[...] Her story is typical of western Sudan's black Africans. Her village was first attacked in January. An air raid caught her unawares: as the bombs fell, she ran around in confusion. When the bombers had completed their return pass, the horizon filled with dust, the ground shuddered, and a host of mounted militiamen charged through the village, killing all the young men they could find. During that first attack, Kaltuma's 18-month baby, Ali, was killed by shrapnel. Two weeks later, her oldest son, Issa, 15, was made to kneel in line with other young men before being shot in the back of the head. Her husband disappeared the same day. [...]
Eric Reeves, "Genocide in Sudan", In These Times, 6 May 2004.
[...] A typical assault begins in the early morning with an Antonov attack, followed by a ground assault of Janjaweed forces on horse or camel, often accompanied by Khartoum's regular military. People are forced to flee, though often the disabled and elderly are unable to escape and are slaughtered. Particular efforts are made to kill boys and young men. Wells are dynamited or poisoned with corpses -- an extraordinarily destructive act in this arid region -- foodstuffs are burned, cattle looted (thus destroying the "food insurance" of these people), and people tortured, raped and abducted. [...]
"Refugee Voices: A Sudanese Refugee in Korfou, Chad", Refugees International, 26 May 2004.
[...] "We came here, in this place call Korfou in January. We are from Farawiya in Darfur, Sudan. This is a first time in our lives to experience such horrors as what happened to us. We didn’t expect to see ourselves chased out of our land, our villages burnt, our cattle raided, our young daughters raped, our husbands and young men killed. I’ve lost everything I had with me." [...]
"'Even the Stones Were Destroyed'", The Scotsman, 15 June 2004.
[...] Ms Oussmane had been inside her house when the men on horses arrived. "I heard horses," she says, "and the sound of people screaming. When we went outside we saw people on horses and people from the village were running. The men on the horses were trying to catch the people who were running and they were shooting at them as they ran.
"I saw seven men killed in one place and eight men in another place, and one woman. I saw the woman killed by the men on horses. The seven men were in their house and the other men were killed with their animals. When they found men there, they killed them immediately. We took our children and hid on the mountain.
"We went back to get the woman later because we knew she had been killed in the road. She was running when they killed her. Two of the men were my brothers and another was an older man from my family." [...]
Nicholas D. Kristof, "This is Genocide. And It Is Happening Now", Melbourne Age (from The New York Times), 18 June 2004.
[...] On March 12, about 4am, Khattar was performing her predawn Muslim prayers when a Sudanese Government Antonov aircraft started dropping bombs on Ab-Layha, which is made up of Zaghawa tribespeople. Moments later, more than 1000 Janjaweed rode into the village on horses and camels, backed by Sudanese Government troops in trucks.
"The Janjaweed shouted: 'We will not allow blacks here. We will not let Zaghawa here. This land is only for Arabs'," Khattar recalled. Khattar grabbed her children and, as shots and flames raged around her, raced for a nearby forest. But her father and mother tried to protect their animals -- they were yelling "Don't take our livestock". They were both shot dead.
The attack was part of a strategy to ensure that the village would be forever uninhabitable, that the Zaghawa could never live there again. The Janjaweed poisoned wells by stuffing them with the corpses of people and donkeys. They also blew up a dam that supplied water to the farms, destroyed seven hand pumps in the village and burned all the homes and even the village school, clinic and mosque.
In separate interviews, I talked to more than a dozen other survivors from Ab-Layha, and they all confirmed Khattar's story. By most accounts, about 100 people were massacred that day in Ab-Layha, with a particular effort to exterminate all men and boys, even the very young. Women and girls were sometimes allowed to flee, but the prettiest were kidnapped.
Most of those raped don't want to talk about it. But Zahra Abdel Karim, a 30-year-old woman, told me how in the same attack on Ab-Layha, the Janjaweed shot to death her husband, Adam, and seven-year-old son, Rahshid, as well as three of her brothers. Then they grabbed her four-year-old son, Rasheed, from her arms and cut his throat. [...]
"France Opposes U.N. Sudan Sanctions", BBC Online, 8 July 2004.
[...] Mr. Muselier [French junior Foreign Minister Renaud Muselier] also dismissed claims of "ethnic cleansing" or genocide in Darfur.
"I firmly believe it is a civil war and as they are little villages of 30, 40, 50, there is nothing easier than for a few armed horsemen to burn things down, to kill the men and drive out the women," he said.
Human rights activists say the Janjaweed are conducting a genocide against Darfur's black African population.
Those who have fled their homes say the Janjaweed ride on horses and camels into villages which have just been bombed by government aircraft, killing the men and raping the women. [...]
Charles W. Corey, "Stories of Refugees from Sudan's Darfur Echo Horrors of Holocaust", Washington File, n.d. (June 2004?).
"Stories of peoples' villages being destroyed, of their villages being burned, of their relatives being killed -- especially men and boys -- of them being blocked from water sources. It was clear to me...that these people fled their homes in terror."
- Quoting Jerry Fowler, staff director of the Committee on Conscience at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington
[...] Flint suggested that one of the reasons for the high incidence of boys and men being targeted as Fowler had reported was that they were the only ones left in the villages when the bombings and raids occur.
"The jingaweit are no longer Arab nomads roaming the bush," she noted. "They have barracks... When they set out, the African people in those towns know they are going somewhere and send out runners. So very often villages are forewarned that government forces or some combination are coming and the women and children are sent away," leaving only the men and boys.
So quite often, at the time of attack, she said, only the men and boys are found in the villages, and thus killed disproportionately. The attackers, she said are "quite indiscriminate. They don't care who they kill." [...]
Ewen Macaskill, 'They Came at Dawn and Killed the Men', The Guardian, 8 June 2004.
[...] About 30,000 are estimated to have been killed in the last year, victims of a government-armed militia that has terrorised and destroyed villages throughout Darfur, where 1.2 million have been displaced, with a further 100,000 taking refuge in neighbouring Chad.
A UN official who has travelled extensively throughout the region said yesterday: "If you go 1,000km from here to Chad you will not see a single village intact."
During a three-hour flight over Darfur, hundreds of blackened and scorched villages were starkly visible against the red desert. Mrs Mousa walked for three days to reach Kalma after the Janjaweed militia attacked her village, Shatee, west of the Mara mountains, two months ago.
"They came at dawn, at 4am. They came on horses, donkeys, camels and Land Cruisers. They burnt the houses and killed the men and many of the male children. I don't know if my husband is alive or dead." [...]
"Horror in Darfur", Editorial, The Boston Globe, 11 July 2004.
[...] "Government planes bomb the non-Arab villages of Darfur, and then the regime's collaborators, Arab militias known as the Janjaweed, ride in to murder men and boys and rape women and girls." [...]
Medecins Sans Frontieres, "The People of Darfur Have the Right to Ask Why", 12 July 2004.
[...] "Typically villages, homes and crops were looted and then burned. Grain stores and wells were destroyed. The women faced widespread rape. Men and boys were killed." [...]
John Prendergrast, "Bodies Lined Up in the Desert of Darfur", International Herald Tribune, 16 July 2004.
[...] I was not prepared for the far more sinister scene I encountered in a ravine deep in the Darfur desert. Bodies of young men were lined up in ditches, eerily preserved by the 130-degree desert heat.
The story the rebels told us seemed plausible: The dead were civilians who had been marched up a hill and executed by the Arab-led government before its troops abandoned the area the previous month. The rebels assert that there were many other such scenes. [...]
"Sudan: A Future without War?", IRINNews.org, 23 July 2004.
[...] "The refugees in Chad told similar stories of atrocities against civilians by the Janjawid. In some cases, they said, Sudanese military aircraft would bomb villages, after which the militias would attack. The militias, they said, killed men and boys over the age of 15, raped women and girls and abducted children. Similar abuses were reported by human rights groups." [...]
Hilary Andersson, "Land in the Grip of Death", The Independent, 25 July 2004.
[...] Ali and his mother have lived through experiences unimaginable in their horror. It began last December when Sudan's Arab militias, the Janjaweed, came to their village and took all their clothes, blankets and mattresses. The militias left but returned to the village a second time and took all the food. Then they came back a third time to finish the job.
"They killed five people from my family," Kaltuma says, "including my husband, my father and my grandfather." She saw them shot as they tried to run away. Kaltuma grabbed Ali, who was two weeks old, and her other children and fled, but the Janjaweed caught them.
"One man wanted to kill us all, but another man said 'No, let them go'. So they let us go," says Kaltuma. "That same night we went back to the village, dug a hole and put our men in it. Other holes had 15 or 20 people in them."
Driving around Darfur, the villages are eerily empty. There are no bodies to be seen. But villagers in the camps tell of fields of unburied bodies lying in the open in areas too dangerous to visit. [...]
Daniel Wolf, "Death and Deception in Darfur", The Washington Post, 31 July 2004.
SOUTH DARFUR, Sudan -- On the morning of July 12, hell descended on the village of Donki Dereisa. Shortly before sunrise, Fatima Ibrahim, 28, awoke to the deafening sound of exploding ordnance falling from the sky. As she emerged from her mud hut with her 10-year-old daughter, she saw fires blazing all around and scores of heavily armed men on horseback attacking from every direction. With bullets whistling past, Ibrahim and her daughter ran for their lives, ducking into a nearby ravine, where they hid without food or water for the next two days.
From the ditch, Ibrahim witnessed a horrific avalanche of violence that will haunt her for life. With Sudanese foot soldiers at their side, the mounted attackers shot the panicked and unarmed villagers in cold blood. Approximately 150 people, including 10 women, were killed. But the worst was to come.
Ibrahim told Refugees International about a week after the attack that among those captured during the assault were four of her brothers and six young children, including three of her cousins. As Ibrahim watched in horror, several of the attackers began grabbing the screaming children and throwing them one by one into a raging fire. One of the male villagers ran from his hiding place to plead for their lives. It was a fatal error. The raiders subdued the man and later beheaded him and dismembered his body. All six of the children were burned. Ibrahim's four brothers have not been heard from since. [...]
Kim Sengupta, "We Are Victims Too, Say Darfur's Arab Refugees", The Independent, 13 August 2004.
Note: Allegations have also been made of gendercidal atrocities committed against Sudanese Arabs by African fighters allied with the Sudan Liberation Army:
[...] Abdullah Hassan Suleiman, the omdar or chief sheikh at Mossei, vehemently denied links with the Janjaweed, and said this was the kind of false accusation which was putting them in danger. "If we were with the Janjaweed, do you think we'd be sitting here in this misery? We had to flee our village because the Zarghawa and the Daju [tribes] attacked us. They killed 18 of our men and kidnapped three women and two men.
"We have never had any problems with our African neighbours. It was outsiders who came and did this to us. The excuse always is what the Janjaweed are doing, and that seems to make it all right to do bad things to us."
The three abducted women had returned. They say they were captured returning to retrieve belongings from their village, 22 miles from Nyala, with two male relatives. Noura Abdullah Usman, 45, said: "We were almost home when they caught us. Four men started dragging us from my brother Abdullah and my uncle, Abdul Hamid, when their leader came and took charge of us women. We were put in a car and taken to Hijer, a village where the Africans used to live before they were driven away by bandits. We feared that we would be attacked.
"One of the women started to cry and pleaded with the men not to hurt us. They took us to Lobado [a town to the south] where we were tied up and accused of being the women of the Janjaweed. A man came in and beat us with a belt, and said they'll do to us what the Arabs did to their women."
Another woman, Ayasha Abdullah Abu, 20, said: "We saw our men being brought into the building. They looked scared and one of them shouted they were going to be killed. That was the last we saw of them. We were threatened with beatings, but the commander sent three men to guard us and nothing more happened." [...]
John O'Shea, Director, GOAL Agency, on BBC Hardtalk, 17 August 2004.
"... A lot of women had lost their husbands, a lot of women had lost their sons."
Somini Sengupta, The New York Times, 20 August 2004.
[...] Over the weekend, refugees in Chad reported seeing some 400 Janjaweed on horseback just across the Sudan side of the border near a town called Senete. The next night, two Sudanese men on horseback crossed into Chadian territory and killed four young men, all refugees from Sudan, perhaps, agency officials said, on the suspicion they were rebels. [...] Hawa Hassan Ahmed, 29, said she came to the Oure Cassoni camp after her mountain hideout in Northern Darfur was attacked by the Janjaweed. Her 6-year-old son was shot and killed before her eyes. Her 4-year-old son had his throat slit. She escaped alone on a donkey provided by a cousin. The Janjaweed, she said, echoing the reports of other refugees, were tracked by Sudanese military planes hovering overhead.
It was the second such attack Mrs. Ahmed had survived. The first time, last January, when her village of Amborou was stormed by Sudanese soldiers and militiamen, her father was killed. [...]
Stephen Steele, In Northeastern Chad's Heat and Rain, Refugee Graves Are Added Daily, Catholic News Service, 2 September 2004.
FARCHANA REFUGEE CAMP, Chad (CNS) -- About 100 graves of Sudanese refugees line the cemetery of the Farchana refugee camp in northeastern Chad.
New bodies are added every day, with most of the deceased being young children or the elderly who have succumbed to the harsh conditions of the African desert. The young adults buried there are women.
Missing are the young men: The bodies of those who were killed are buried or rotting throughout the Darfur region of neighboring Sudan, where government-backed Arab militias have waged a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the black Africans who inhabit the region. [...]
Horrific Death Toll in Darfur Revealed, NewScientist.com, 1 October 2004.
The horrific death toll from violence in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan has been revealed in a new epidemiological study of four areas in West Darfur.
Over 90% of the displaced families in the refugee camps said they left their homes because of a direct attack on their village, and up to 90% of deaths in the families prior to arriving at the camps were a result of violent attacks.
The scale of killing and disappearances amongst men was so high that the population of the camps now shows a deficit of males: for every 100 women in the camps studied there are only around 60 men. [...]
Excerpts from Human Rights Watch report, "Darfur in Flames: Atrocities in Western Sudan"
[...] The vast majority of the victims in village attacks—indiscriminate and targeted—have been men, many of them between twenty and forty-five years old. An unknown number, perhaps in the hundreds, of women and children have also been killed in direct, deliberate targeting by the militia forces and in crossfire during the attacks. [...]
[...] Another refugee who fled his village near El Geneina said that while men had the most difficulty entering Chad, even women risked assault if they were caught by the Arab militia. He reported, "There are Arab checkpoints at the border, I witnessed that myself. I went there and hid. I saw some women who tried to cross the border—they got beaten up with leather whips. The males would be killed, but the females are allowed to go through." The description above was repeated by civilians in other locations [...]
Excerpts from Human Rights Watch report, "Darfur Destroyed: Ethnic Cleansing by Government and Militia Forces in Western Sudan", May 2004.
Part 5: Abuses by the Government-Janaweed in West Darfur
[...] The majority of the victims in the Masalit attacks documented by Human Rights Watch have been men. This would seem to be because villages in the path of mobilized government and Janjaweed forces have been alerted by friends, relatives, and tribal kinfolk, who have sent runners to give warning. Women and children have been sent away -- by donkey to Chad or the nearest town, when time was on their side; by foot, to nearby valleys where trees and rocks might provide cover, when it was not. [...] Massacres or mass killings of civilians in Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa areas have taken three forms: extrajudicial executions of men, by army and Janjaweed; attacks in which government soldiers and Janjaweed have played an equal role, fighting side by side; and attacks in which government forces have played a supporting role to Janjaweed -- "softening up" villages with heavier weapons than those carried by the Janjaweed, providing logistical support and, in the opinion of many villagers interviewed, "giving the Janjaweed protection as they leave."
1. Mororo village, close to the Masalit-Fur border: forty dead
On August 30, 2003, soldiers and Janjaweed attacked and burned Mororo, stealing cattle and killing sixteen people. They returned the following day and killed twenty-four more people, all young men since women and children had already run away. One of the attackers’ leaders reportedly shouted: "We must get these people out of this place!" [...]
4. Urum, near Habila: 112 killed in two attacks
Urum, which became a centre for Masalit civilians displaced from nearby villages, was attacked twice. "Why did they kill so many people in Urum -- 122 in two attacks over a month? I don’t know. But many villages were burned before Urum and the civilians were in Urum. The villages burned included Gororg, Dureysa, Tirja, Maliam, Mororo, Gorra and Korkojok," said thirty-seven-year-old Ahmad, a former Urum resident.
On the first occasion, in November 2003, eyewitnesses reported that Janjaweed came without the army and burnt eighty of 300 huts. They took 3,000 head of cattle and killed forty-two men, most of them young men.
"There was a funeral that day for an eighty-year-old man, Yahya Abdul Karim, and people were in the mosque reading funeral prayers for him," said eyewitness Ahmad. "Sixteen of the forty-two were killed in the mosque." The imam and his three-year-old grandson were killed, then the attackers chased after others fleeing and shot them down as well.
The imam, Yahya Warshal, ran from the mosque to his home to get his three-year-old grandson, who was an orphan. The Janjaweed followed him and killed him and the child. The youth of the village didn’t fight. They were running to save themselves. The Janjaweed galloped after them and killed them. More than 3,000 cows were stolen and goats and sheep, horses and donkeys. The Janjaweed wore khaki -- the same as the army.
A second, joint attack by army and Janjaweed followed in the first week of December -- variously reported as December, 6 or 7, 2003. The Janjaweed returned, this time with the army, at 6:00 a.m. Eighty people, including women and children, were killed in the second attack, which lasted four days while the army watched. [...]
8. Nouri, near Murnei: 136 killed
Nouri, a large area of several villages comprising 900-1,000 huts, or about 7,000 people, was attacked by Janjaweed and army on December 29, 2003. Villagers interviewed separately said about 170 villagers were killed in twenty-four hours. They said two helicopter gunships rocketed the area before ground forces arrived. They were flying so low that people in the largest village, Nouri Jallo, could see the pilot.
"People were very afraid because they had never seen them [helicopters] before," said a former police officer, Ali. "They said they were flying so low that if you threw something, you could hit them."
Mohammed, a thirty-year-old doctor from the area, said three Land Cruisers carrying soldiers and many Janjaweed came to the police station in Nouri Jallo before the attack and asked about the SLA. The police replied: "We don’t have any. Really we don’t." Then, Dr. Mohammed said, the attackers burned the village and killed seventy-five people including five women. "Most of the dead were men because women and children stayed [hidden] in the huts." [...]
[...] Six young men were killed in the village of Gozbeddine on October 1, 2003, following the burning of the village the previous day. Idriss, a forty-three-year-old farmer, said the six returned to the village to collect their cows but encountered the Janjaweed. The young men tried to run but were killed as they fled.
The Janjaweed brought camels into the village and they ate all the sorghum. They burned the village and stole all my things -- including fourteen cows. They were shouting: 'Kill the Nuba! Kill the Nuba!' All this is because we are black. We could defend ourselves against the Arab nomads, but not against the Janjaweed. The government has given them very good guns and attacks with them.
On February 13, 2004, Janjaweed entered the village of Abun to look for cattle. Nearby villages had already been bombed by Antonovs and burned, and Abun was empty but for men who had stayed behind to try to bury food stocks and other non-perishable items in anticipation of being able to return one day. Jamal, a native of Abun, said the Janjaweed killed one man -- twenty-four-year-old Adam Bakhit -- and captured and beat ten others, asking them: "Where are the cows and the camels?" [...]
Mass Executions of Captured Fur Men in Wadi Salih: 145 Killed
On March 5, 2004, government and Janjaweed forces executed at least 145 men belonging to the Fur tribe in Wadi Salih, one of West Darfur state’s six provinces. The men were killed on the same day in different places -- nine Fur chiefs in prisons in Mugjir and Garsila, where they had been taken a week earlier, seventy-one captured Fur men in a valley south of Deleig, and another sixty-five captured men in a valley in the Mugjir area west of Deleig.
The men executed in the valley south of Deleig were part of a larger group rounded up in a number of villages earlier in the day, after being asked their villages of origin. Witnesses said the government and Janjaweed were singling out men displaced from villages that had been previously burned -- with special emphasis on the Zamey area south of Deleig.
The mass executions in Wadi Salih, one of the gateways to the SLA’s headquarters in the Jebel Marra mountains, may have been in retaliation for an SLA attack on government troops in the Mugjir area of the province a month earlier, on February 1, in which the SLA says it killed more than one hundred government soldiers.
A survivor of one of the mass killings, a farmer who was shot in the back rather than the neck, told a neighbor that the arrested men were taken, in army trucks and cars, to a valley a few miles south of Deleig. "Then they lined us up, made us kneel down and bend our heads -- and shot us from behind," he told a neighbor. "I was left for dead ..." The executioners were army soldiers and Janjaweed, operating together.
The neighbor, who can be identified only as Abdul, said people in the heart of the Wadi Salih area woke up on March 5 to find the whole area surrounded by government soldiers and Janjaweed commanded by Ali Kwoshib. Kwoshib reportedly established a Janjaweed base in Garsila in July 2003 and, after being given 1,500 automatic rifles by the army, burned a large area of Wadi Salih. "Dozens of villages around Deleig have been burned by the government and many people had fled to Wadi Salih," he said.
A similar hunt for men displaced from the burned villages took place in other areas of Wadi Salih. "The government and Janjaweed came and asked men aged between twenty and sixty where they came from. If they were displaced they took them to the police station."
On or about the same day as the massacre south of Deleig, March 5, 2004, dozens of these detained men were taken from the police station to a place "south of Wadi Salih [where] there is a hill and near that hill a valley. They killed seventy-one men there that evening… It happened in Mugjur just like it happened in Deleig. They took them to the hills and killed them there," he said. [...]
Other Mass Killings of Fur civilians in Wadi Salih
In August 2003, Fur villages in Mukjar and Bindisi districts were attacked by Janjaweed and government forces who looted the villages and killed civilians, sometimes after SLA attacks in the area.
The SLA attacked Bindisi town, one of the larger towns in rural West Darfur, with an estimated population of 16,000, in early August. SLA forces looted the police station of ammunition and machine guns, killed two people including an Arab detainee in the police station and abducted a businessman.
Within a week, police came to Bindisi and a nearby village called Kudung in the early morning and told the population that the "Janjaweed were coming but that nobody should clash with them and all should remain in their houses." One witness from Bindisi said that the policemen came with a letter from the commissioner of Garsila (now the Minister of Health for West Darfur) stating that the Janjaweed were coming to "collect their share of the zakat" or Islamic tax.
Both Bindisi and Kudung were partly burned and destroyed and forty-seven people were killed in the attack. The market and shops were totally looted, and most of the loot was carried away on camel and horseback.
Kudung was revisited by the Janjaweed in the early morning several weeks later and the rest of the village was destroyed. More people were killed, including one child and an old woman who burned to death in her house.
The attacks described above are clearly only a fraction of the total number of attacks on civilians and villages in the Wadi Salih area, particularly since there have been further attacks in 2004. [...]
[...] The difference between the Janjaweed and government looting of recent years and the looting of "Arab nomads" in the past is that much of the looting today is part and parcel of a deliberate policy of forcible displacement and is usually accompanied by widespread killing. The theft of cows -- seen by many Masalit as a "reward" to the Janjaweed for "Arabization" services rendered to the government -- now goes hand in hand with the deliberate and widespread killing of those of Masalit and Fur ethnicity.
In the words of Asha, a sixty-two-year-old woman from Kudumule village: "The problem began ten years ago. It began with the stealing of cows. Two years ago they started killing our men." [...]
[...] In a case of torture reported from the Garsila area in April, a Fur man was detained and whipped until all the skin was flayed from his back. The whip handle was then used to gouge holes in his flesh. Human Rights Watch also received reports of men being buried alive around Garsila and Deleig by janjaweed members. [...]
Human Rights Watch, "Empty Promises? Continuing Abuses in Darfur, Sudan", briefing paper, 11 August 2004.
Men who remain in government-controlled towns or who are caught by members of the Janjaweed militias in the rural areas are constantly at risk of beatings or worse. [...] Displaced men in towns under government control are constantly at risk of being arbitrarily detained and seriously assaulted by Janjaweed militia members who accuse them of "being rebels." Sometimes, if family members possess sufficient resources they can "buy these men free." (pp. 17-18)
[...] Typical of the incursions in this area [the Darfur-Chad border] was an incident which occurred on June 14, 2004 [...] Four villages were attacked in succession, in a concerted operation [...] One witness said, "they were Janjaweed -- I know, I've seen them many times! ... They worked together with the army, moving from village to village in a single operation, taking in three or four settlements. They were all mixed up, but there were more Janjaweed." [...]
One witness claimed that a presumably Sudanese "three star" officer was present, who was also wearing yellow epaulettes. Four men died in the attack, at least one of whom was reportedly armed and a meber of a self-defense militia. A man who was injured in the attack said, "the Janjaweed only shot at men. There were maybe about 200 Janjaweed. The shepherds ran away from the livestock and the Janjaweed took the livestock." [...] (pp. 24-25)
Darfur: Too Many People Killed for No Reason", AI Index: AFR 54/008/2004, 3 February 2004.
[...] Tina was the scene of severe fighting between government forces and armed opposition groups several times in 2003. Zenaib Ahmed, aged 30 described an attack on Tina in July: "It was on a Friday, in July. There was a fight between the rebels and the Janjawid supported by government forces. I was going out for the prayer when I received shrapnel on my left shoulder and on the bottom. My brother was there to carry me to the hospital in town. I know certain people like Zeidan Omer and Adam Mohamed who were executed. When I was at the hospital the Arabs came in but they were looking for the men, not the women." [...]
[...] On 16 August, Garadai, another village in the area was attacked by the Janjawid, during the day. One of the villagers told Amnesty International delegates: "It is the Janjawid who burnt our houses and stole our cattle and belongings. Cattle stealing has been happening for a long time but the burning of houses is recent. They came with camels, horses and a lot of weapons. They are composed of Arabs from the area and other Arabs. They attacked women, men and children even though they did not have weapons. I would say that at least 240 people were killed during the attack. This is more than half of the population of Garadai, which counts 400 inhabitants. They killed mainly the young men, although some old disabled persons were killed because they were not able to get out of their houses in time." [...]
[...] Sometimes those attacked know their attackers. On 10 August, Suani, a village around Al-Jeneina, and its market, were attacked in the afternoon by the Janjawid mixed with soldiers. "We know the Janjawid", one villager told AI delegates, "they were our neighbours before, the Rizeiqat and the Mahariya." They killed nine men who were running away, beat up the women and looted all the cooking pots. They did not burn the place. [...]
[...] While many of the killings appear to have specifically targeted men, sometimes women and even children have also been deliberately killed. [...]
2.1.2 Acts of violence and torture, including rape, against civilians
[...] Ground attacks and the killing of civilians by government and government-aligned militia were often accompanied by brutal acts of violence, including shootings and beatings, and sometimes rape of women and girls. Many villagers reported that the primary targets for killings appeared to be men. While women were shot dead in certain occasions, it seems that the majority of women were beaten rather than killed during attacks. [...]
"Darfur: Rape as a Weapon of War: Sexual Violence and Its Consequences", AI Index: AFR 54/076/2004, 19 July 2004.
[...] "In these attacks, men are killed, women are raped and villagers are forcibly displaced from their homes which are burnt; their crops and cattle, their main means of subsistence, are burnt or looted." [...]
[...] In some attacks on villages, people have been treated differently according to their gender: men were taken away and then executed by the Janjawid, while women were shot when trying to escape from the village. In May 2004, Amnesty International collected further testimonies about extra-judicial executions and mass killings in several locations, including Murli, Mukjar, Deleij and Kereinek. These testimonies confirmed information already received and published by the organization. Amnesty International has a list of names of more than 400 people who appeared to have been extra-judicially executed in Darfur, including in the context of reported mass executions during an attack on Mukjar in August 2003. [...]
[...] There is a high rate of migration from rural to urban centers in Darfur, partly because of desertification and lack of development in the region. Many Sudanese women interviewed by Amnesty International in Chad said that their husbands, brothers or other male relatives were working in towns in Darfur, in the Sudanese capital Khartoum or in neighboring countries and that the men were not present during the attacks. This is important to note; as a result of the higher percentage of women than men in the refugee camps in Chad, there is speculation as to what happened to the men. A partial explanation stems from the pre-war gender ratio in the rural villages. Of course, there are other explanations: the fact that many men appear to have been extra-judicially executed or summarily killed during attacks, or arrested and detained incommunicado, and the suspicion that some have joined the rebellion. [...]
Sudan: Act Now to End the Human Rights Crisis in Darfur, Bulletin, undated.
[...] The testimonies collected by Amnesty International all bear witness to what appears to be a systematic campaign of abuse. Men have been killed inside mosques, women raped in front of their husbands and old women killed when their homes have been set alight -- all acts designed to humiliate and destroy the fabric of community life, over and beyond the individual atrocity. [...]
Sudan Crisis, Bulletin, undated.
"So many men have been killed. I and another woman buried seven men. We put the bodies we could not bury that evening in a shelter, but the Janjawid returned in the night and burnt the shelter and the bodies."
- Comments of a witness describing "how her village near Nuri was attacked by armed militia and bombed, leaving some 130 people dead."