Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Even though I've read it all a million times and even seen it before in a previous aid worker existence the real face of the conflict is still disturbingly ugly and frightening. This morning, one of our Sudanese staff tells me that he has been watching the new army recruits jog through town- among them, he has spotted the man who killed two of his brothers.

This month’s army recruitment drive in Darfur is basically a way of integrating the people responsible for Darfur's rapes and murders into official military ranks. The displaced women who walk through town to get water are literally forced to stare their rapists in the eye. Even the children recognise those who butchered their families.

The Janjaweed still hiss verbal abuse at them as they pass, and the only thing that has really changed in the eyes of the victims if that their killers have now been properly armed and uniformed. It's no wonder everyone is terrified.

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At , Blogger Vasco Pyjama said...

Hmmmm... interested in your further insights into this. I have recently agreed to start a PhD towards the end of next year on the disarmament, demobilsiation and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants.

There is the perpetual dilemma of what to do with former combatants. If you ignore them, they will become insurgents or continue being combatants. They will contribute to instability, as they do in Afghanistan. But then, integrating them into the police and armed forces isn't always the answer... as you have demonstrated. It causes fear and mistrust for armed forces and police.

I am wondering what will happen in Aceh too now that a peace agreement has been signed there.


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