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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 22:47 GMT
'They raped me, one after the other'
Women gathered in Darfur
Hundreds of women gathered to tell their stories
Panorama travelled across the Darfur region and heard stories of atrocities being committed by Arab militia soldiers against black Africans.

One of the worst cases came when the team reached the mountains of Jebil Mara, where some areas here have been cut off from the outside world for years.

It is in places like this that the killings have yet to be documented.

When the Panorama team arrived at one village - hundreds of women had gathered. Everyone wanted to talk about the ordeals they had been through.

Dozens of women from the African Fur tribe told of seeing their children being killed in attacks by the Janjaweed.

Darfur
Kalima
He (Janjaweed attacker) grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire
Kalima

One said: "(I've lost) two girls and one boy, in the school." Another added: "(I lost) a boy, in the house."

Everywhere that Panorama went, there was a similar story.

In the village of Kidinyir, the women went into more detail about the abuses that they allege were carried out by the Arab tribesmen known as Janjaweed.

One woman called Hawa told the programme: "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'.

Foreign aid

Refugee camp in Chad
The conflict has created hundreds of thousands of refugees

"They were terrorising our civilians. They would say 'kill them'".

When Panorama travelled to the crowded refugee camps the story was also one of extreme suffering.

At Mornei in Chad, a woman called Juma told the BBC that she had walked for miles with her 10-month-old daughter Nadia to reach the camp.

She said: "The Arabs attacked our village in the early morning. They opened fire. Women and children escaped here. They burnt the village. Everything was burnt. They killed young children. My brother was shot whilst he was trying to escape."

Both Juma and Nadia were painfully thin when they were interviewed in June, their food rations had run out 20 days previously.

The situation was made worse in the camps because Sudan's government had blocked much foreign aid with bureaucracy.

And when cameramen returned to the camp in July - Nadia had died.

Darfur
Khatra
They started beating us. We tried to resist and defend ourselves but we failed because they threatened us with knives
Khatra

In another camp in Kebkabiya, the refugees who had fled there still felt in serious danger.

One woman called Khatra told the programme the camp was like "a prison" as the women were frightened to step over the boundaries and into Janjaweed controlled territory.

However, she felt she had no choice but to leave the camp to collect much needed firewood.

Khatra said her worst fears were realised just four days before the Panorama team arrived in the camp, when she was attacked and raped by the Janjaweed.

She told the programme: "We went to get the firewood at eight o'clock in the morning. Suddenly we were confronted by the attackers.

"They started asking us: 'Where are you going, fur women?', and calling us donkeys. 'Where are the rebels?'

"They started beating us. We tried to resist and defend ourselves but we failed because they threatened us with knives. Four of them raped me."

Panorama: The new killing fields will be broadcast at 2215 GMT on Sunday, November 14 on BBC One



SEE ALSO:
The new killing fields
08 Nov 04 |  Panorama
Sudan: charities and information
12 Nov 04 |  Panorama
Your comments
12 Nov 04 |  Panorama


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