Too Soon To Return Home, Say Darfurians





The Obama administration's Sudan envoy is facing growing resistance to a suggestion he made recently to civilians displaced from Darfur that they should start planning to go back to their villages. Darfurian civilians and U.N. relief agencies say it is still too dangerous to return to the region where a six-year-long conflict has led to the deaths of more than 300,000 people.

In the latest sign of tension, Sheik al-Tahir, a leader at Kalma, one of Darfur's largest camps for displaced people, said Tuesday that homeless civilians would protest retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration's strategy for resolving the conflict and his assertion in June that genocide in Darfur has ended. Tahir and other camp leaders have accused Gration of taking the side of the Sudanese government, which has been seeking to dismantle the camps.

The latest round of violence in Darfur began in February 2003, when two rebel movements took up arms against the Islamic government in Khartoum. In response, the government, backed by local Arab militiamen known as Janjaweed, launched a bloody counterinsurgency operation that the Bush and Obama administrations have termed genocidal.


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