The United States has determined that Sudan provided
major military support to the Janjaweed militia, accused of expelling 1.2
million black Africans from their homes in the western Darfour province.
Two U.S. delegations sent to Sudan in late June examined the link
between Janjaweed and the Khartoum regime. They were said to have concluded
that the Sudanese military provided training and equipment to Janjaweed as
part of Khartoum's policy to remove black Christians and other non-Muslims
from Darfour, which neighbors Chad.
A congressional delegation that returned from Sudan this week said the
Janjaweed was directly supported by the military. Delegates said Janjaweed
fighters participated in Sudanese Air Force attacks on black African
villages in Darfour as well as led ground attacks that resulted in the death
of at least 30,000 people and the displacement of 1.2 million people.
Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, recounted testimony he
heard regarding the coordination between the Sudanese air force attacks and
Janjaweed raids of black villages. Wolf told a July 6 news conference that a
Janjaweed base in Darfour was adjacent to the Sudanese air base at Geneina
in Darfour that contained two Soviet-origin attack helicopters and an
Antonov air transport.
"The militiamen we saw did not look like skilled pilots who could fly
planes or helicopters," Wolf said.
Delegates said the Antonovs and helicopter gunships usually strafed and
bombed villages to prepare for the Janjaweed assault. They said Janjaweed
fighters arrived on horseback and camels to kill, loot, rape and burn.
The Janjaweed have been heavily armed and well-supplied, U.S. officials
and congressional members said. They were provided with satellite phones to
maintain constant communications with Sudanese military commanders.
Sen. Sam Brownback, chairman of the Senate Near Eastern and Southasian
subcommittee, said the Janjaweed effort has eliminated an entire generation
of black Africans from Darfour, the size of Texas. Brownback dismissed a
decision by the African Union to send 279 military observers to Darfour.
"We did not see any men in any of these camps from the ages of 18 to
45," Brownback, a Kansas Republican, said. "There's a whole generation
that's missing, and it is ethnic cleansing, and I believe that clearly the
seeds of genocide have been sown in Darfour."
The congressional delegation toured Darfour as Secretary of State Colin
Powell moved through the area and discussed the crisis with the government
in Khartoum. State Department officials familiar with Darfour confirmed most
the findings of the congressional delegation, particularly the collusion
between the regime and Janjaweed.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has warned that the death
toll in Darfour could reach 1 million by 2005 unless the international
community sends massive aid to the province. Washington has accused Khartoum
of hampering relief efforts in Darfour and warned that it would support
United Nations sanctions on Sudan.
"The attention of the world is now on Sudan and the government of Sudan
and what its actual performance is going to be," U.S. envoy to the United
Nations John Danforth said. "Is it going to rein in the Janjaweed or is it
not? We're watching."