REPUBLIC OF CHAD: Amnesty International calls for protection of civilians as Janjawid renew attacks on Eastern Chad

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  3. REPUBLIC OF CHAD: Amnesty International calls for protection of civilians as Janjawid renew attacks on Eastern Chad
1 Nov 2006
Topic: Regional conflict
Failure to take action to prevent renewed attacks by Janjawid in eastern Chad has led to killings and mass displacement of civilians in the region. As many feared, attacks on villages in eastern Chad are now restarting as the rainy season ends.
Janjawid are once more crossing the border of Sudan and attacking villages in Eastern Chad. Several villages -- possibly up to 10 villages -- were raided in attacks starting 3 October. At least 12 people have been killed and dozens injured, some of whom are now in the hospital of Goz Beida. The villages which were attacked include Djimezi, Djimeze Mobi, Djedjibe, Marfakadel, Kach-Kacha, Mirena and Awirado in the cantons of Bar Azoum and Signar. Four of the villages were burnt.

Amnesty International has the names of nine people killed, including one woman, Khaltouma Khamis.

As documented in Amnesty International June 2006 report, Chad/Sudan Sowing the seeds of Darfur (AI Index: AFR/006/2006), since September 2005 Janjawid from Darfur have systematically attacked civilians in villages in eastern Chad targeting members of certain ethnic groups such as the Dajo and the Masalit, who are being driven relentlessly and systematically from their homes. The Sudanese government has taken no action to prevent these cross-border attacks allowing Janjawid, often carrying Sudanese paramilitary ID cards, to raid, loot, and kill in Chad as they have in Darfur.

The Chad government has been unable or unwilling so far to protect civilians in eastern Chad. Last week the Chadian army was said to have been called to help the villages, but reportedly arrived several hours too late.

UN Security Council resolution 1706 mandated a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur to monitor “transborder activities of armed groups along the Sudanese borders with Chad and the Central African Republic”. The resolution also envisaged the establishment of a UN presence in key locations in Chad.

The Government of Sudan has so far refused to give its consent to the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur. The existing African Union peacekeeping force (AMIS) in Darfur does not have the mandate or the means to effectively prevent Janjawid from crossing the border to attack villages in Chad.

The international community should not allow the people of eastern Chad to be held hostage to the pace of negotiations regarding Darfur. The predicted attacks have started, people are being killed and fleeing their villages, and protection is needed now. The Janjawid rarely or never attack areas protected by armed forces.

The government of Sudan must act to prevent further cross-border attacks and to cooperate fully with AMIS and the UN in protecting the population in Chad and Darfur.
Chad must deploy military forces wherever necessary to safeguard civilians. If it is unable to do this it should seek assistance from the international community.
The UN Security Council should take immediate measures to ensure that the population of eastern Chad is protected, including by rapidly sending an assessment mission under Security Council Resolution 1706.

AI Index:AFR 20/011/2006
13 October 2006

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