Benjamin Lowy


In early 2003 Ethnic African Sudanese rebels calling themselves the Sudan Liberation Army attacked an outpost of the Arab Sudanese government in a protest over the mistreatment and neglect in the Darfur region of Western Sudan. In response the Sudan government armed, funded, and mobilized Arab "self-defense militias," – the Janjaweed - which are accused of carrying out atrocities against local black Africans: Raping women, destroying villages, food stocks and other supplies essential to the civilian population. They have driven more than one million civilians, mostly farmers, into camps and settlements in and out of Darfur where they live on the very edge of survival. The SLA rebels, composed mostly of orphaned children, continue to patrol Darfur, skirmishing with Sudan government forces and the Janjaweed.