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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 09:56 GMT
Darfur attacks fuel genocide fear
By Hilary Andersson
BBC Africa correspondent

Village in Darfur on fire
Janjaweed have been accused of torching villages
The BBC's Panorama programme has revealed new evidence of mass ethnic killings and rape in Darfur, adding to fears of genocide in the region.

In one town the BBC team visited, at least 80 children had been killed as well as many adults.

Janjaweed militias and government troops attacked Kidinyir throughout the past year, killing huge numbers.

It is now estimated that more than 70,000 people have died in Darfur and massacres are still going on.

Mass graves

In the remote reaches of Darfur, the town of Kidinyir has been utterly devastated.

DARFUR VIOLENCE
Kalima
An Arab looking man, in a uniform with military insignia, stopped his car next to me. He grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire.
Kalima, Kidinyir villager

Survivors told the BBC one by one about which family members they had lost.

At least 80 children had been killed.

There were four mass grave sites on the town's fringes.

The attacks on Kidinyir are very similar to other attacks in Darfur, where massacres are still going on.

Government planes bomb whilst the Janjaweed militia move in to kill on the ground.

Almost 400 non-Arab villages in Darfur have either been burnt down or attacked, indicating a systematic and organised attempt to kill non-Arabs.

Brutality

In Kidinyir, survivors told the BBC stories of Janjaweed violence.

One woman, called Hawa, said: "Five of them surrounded me. I couldn't move, I was paralysed. They raped me, one after the other."

Another woman, called Kalima, spoke of the brutality used in the attacks.

She said: "My son was clinging to my dress. An Arab looking man, in a uniform with military insignia, stopped his car next to me. He grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire."

A third villager Hikma, claimed the Janjaweed hurled racist insults as they carried out their attacks.

She said: "They were saying 'the blacks are slaves, the blacks are stupid. Catch them alive, catch them alive, take them away with you, tie them up'."

Government accused

Sudan's government insists that the killings are the result of tribal chaos in the region. However, African Union observers in Darfur say the government has been arming and directing the Janjaweed militia.

The BBC travelled to a key Janjaweed base and discovered the fighters were carrying government military identity cards.

America has called the killings in Darfur genocide because of their ethnic nature.

Britain and many other nations are waiting for the outcome of a lengthy UN investigation into the subject.



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