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 Home > News & Policies > September 2004

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2004

Global Message

The violence in Darfur has complex roots in traditional conflicts between Arab nomadic herders and African farmers. It intensified in 2003 when two groups declared open rebellion against the Government of Sudan. Khartoum reacted aggressively, intensifying support for Arab militias, the so-called Jinjaweid. The Government of Sudan supported the Jinjaweid, directly and indirectly, as they carried out a scorched-earth policy towards the rebels and the African civilian population.

A U.S. investigative team has found:

  • A consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities (killings, rapes, burning of villages) committed by Jinjaweid and government forces against non-Arab villagers;
  • Three-fourths (74 percent) of those interviewed in the investigation reported that the Sudanese military forces were involved in the attacks; and
  • Villages often experienced multiple attacks over a prolonged period before they were destroyed by burning, shelling or bombing, making it impossible for villagers to return.

The team's findings show that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Jinjaweid bear responsibility--and that genocide may still be occurring.

It is imperative that there be enough security so that refugees can go home; for the Jinjaweid militias to cease and desist their murderous raids; and for the Government in Khartoum to stop being complicit in such raids.

The UN and the U.S. are calling for an expanded African Union mission in Darfur involving more observers and protection forces. Khartoum appears to have signaled a willingness to consider an expanded mission.

The U.S. State Department has identified $20.5 million for initial support of this expanded mission.

UN Resolution 1556 demands that the Government of Sudan take action to disarm the Jinjaweid militia and bring Jinjaweid leaders to justice.

The U.S. is calling on the UN to initiate a full investigation.