By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada, in N’Djamena, Chad
Tension is building fast along the Chad/Sudan border. The signs of a worsening human rights situation in Sudan’s neighbouring Darfur region have been growing for months, including while we have been travelling in areas close to the border during this mission. Fighting and human rights violations are always more prevalent during the dry season. And the end of the rainy season this year has certainly brought a sharp increase in violence.
Fighting is raging between various ethnic groups on the Darfur side of the border, particularly between two Arab tribes, the Salamat and Misseriya, who have been allies in the past. More villages are being attacked and left in ruins. That means more people killed and injured. It also means more women and girls being raped, though it is as of yet impossible to get a clear read on how widespread that has become. Homes and businesses are being set on fire and destroyed. Looting and theft, of livestock and personal property, is pervasive.