It is the hunger period in Darfur: the month before the harvest season when food stores are at their lowest and hunger is the highest. As the fields of Darfur fill with crop ready for the harvest, the skies of Darfur have filled with bombs, and the news from Darfur has been filled with headlines of new attacks on rebel bases and civilian villages by the Sudanese Army:
· “Sudanese Army Bombing N. Darfur” – BBC
· “Formal rebels: Government attacking central Darfur” – PR Inside
· “Sudanese Army continue attacks in Southern Darfur – rebels” – Sudan tribune
In all these cases, the Sudanese Army has been accused of launching ground and air attacks on villages across Darfur. The majority of the attacks have happened in North Darfur, but as you can see from the headlines, the reports from the attacks have come from many different regions of Darfur, from many different rebel groups, and on many different days. The Sudanese Army even attacked the only rebel group to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement – the SLM-Minni Minawi faction – and in doing this, basically destroying the only truce left in Darfur.
This shows that this series of attacks is part of a strategy by the Sudanese Government – perhaps in a last-minute effort to intimidate and assert their power before peace talks start again.
The insecurity, instability, and violence is reaching a new climax at a time when the Darfuri people are at their most vulnerable. When Darfuris should be harvesting their fields so they can feed themselves for the next year, they are fleeing their fields to refugee camps. For how many more seasons will we let Darfur and Darfuris lie in fear before we give them the protection and peace they need to rebuild their lives?