Darfur: guerillas (not Janjaweed!) attack AU troops

Twelve Nigerian troops were killed in a Sept. 30 attack on an African Union base at Haskanita, Darfur, the deadliest since AU forces were deployed in 2004. Thirty vehicles overran the base, with fifty troops still missing and seven seriously wounded. A spokesman for the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) condemned the attack, but admitted it was led by breakaway commanders from his own movement, in conjunction with breakaway rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). “There is a war going on between the rebels and the government, and the AU is crunched in the middle,” a senior AU officer said.

An April shooting by unidentified gunmen killed five Senegalese AU troops in Umbaro, in northwest Darfur near the border with Chad. The AU also said gunfire “clearly targeted” a helicopter carrying Brig. Gen. Ephreim Rurangwa, a commander for the African Union Mission in Sudan, in March. (This Day, Lagos, Oct. 1, via AllAfrica)

This is a rather inconvenient occurrence for those clamoring for more “boots on the ground” to defend Darfur’s civilians against the Janjaweed militia. It is not the Janjaweed but the guerillas fighting them which are attacking the intervention force… And on the other side of the political equation, how does this square with the leftist conspiracy theory that the guerillas and the AU force alike are pawns of the West in a sinister plot to divide Sudan?

See our last post on Darfur, and our special report, “Destination Darfur: A New Cold War Over Oil.”