Home | Press Releases    Friday 19 December 2003

Stop The Massacres And Humanitarian Disaster In Western Sudan


Press Release
Massaleit Community in Exile (RMCE) USA

Is it not time to stop the mounting atrocities committed by the Sudanese government forces and its allies in the Arab militias or Janjaweed against indigenous African populations in western Sudan? Despite protests by human rights organizations and recent concerns expressed by the American State Department, the killings, massacres and evictions continue to mount.

Last Friday, December 12th, 50 villages around Beida and Arara towns were completely destroyed in one of the biggest recent atrocities. Hundreds of Massaleit civilians were killed, and more than 20,000 people were forced to flee into neighbouring Chad. Thousands of others fled into Beida, Arara and Mesteri towns, seeking refuge in population centres within the region. Some of those who took shelter in Arara were killed within the town by their pursuing attackers. This massacre was the work of a joint force of the Janjaweed and government soldiers.

In Chad, the refugees of the carnage found their way to Um-Saterna, about 50 kilometres from Beida. The situation of these refugees is dire. They have no clothes to protect themselves from the biting nighttime winter temperatures. Also, they lack basic life sustaining supplies, particularly food and clean water. Moreover, they lack medicines to treat the injured and the sick. Malaria, typhoid and Anaemia are a constant threat. The plight of these refugees is compounded by the fact that their attackers are nearby and could attack anytime. The Janjaweed attack their victims across the international border with impunity.

Those forced into Beida, Arara and Mesteri are also in an appalling situation. The injured that were able to reach Geneina and those in other hospitals hardily receive any care, mainly because of neglect by the doctors supposed to care for them. The Sudanese government has replaced most of the doctors and staff serving in hospitals in western Sudan with loyalists, who have little regard for medical ethics.

We estimate that more than 80 percent of Massaleit have been forced out of their homes. Similarly, Fur, Zaghawa and other indigenous African peoples in western Sudan have been targeted for ethnic cleansing by the Janjaweed and Sudanese government forces. We appeal to the international community to come to the rescue of the persecuted people of western Sudan before it is too late. The United Nations and the international community should do all that they can to prevent the repeat of a genocide on the scale of Rwanda in this neglected corner of Africa.

For more information contact Mr. Mohamed Adam Yahya, Chairman and Spokesman :
- Telephone: (434) 409 9638
- Email: Kamasarakendy@hotmail.com or Massaleitcommunity@yahoo.com

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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