UNREPORTED WORLD: Chad/Darfur (Channel 4)

This week’s Unreported World comes from the perilous border region that divides Darfur in Sudan from Chad. The programme uncovers evidence that feared Janjawiid militiamen are increasingly carrying out atrocities against civilians across the border in Chad, undermining the recently signed peace agreement and threatening to destabilise the entire region.

Reporter Peter Oborne begins his journey by tracking down the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA). He travels with them into Darfur and witnesses the destruction wreaked by Sudanese military helicopter gunships which operate in support of bands of armed Janjawiid militiamen. For a week he accompanies these SLA soldiers in the field as they patrol one of the world’s most dangerous borders.

Oborne then crosses into Chad and travels with a group of Chadian tribesmen to the site of a recent massacre where more than 180 men have been slaughtered by Janjawiid who have crossed the border from the Sudan. In the surrounding areas, he finds evidence of ethnic cleansing, and witnesses bodies lying unburied in burned and emptied villages. His guides, fearing that the Janjawiid will return, hurriedly bury their dead relatives as he watches.

Unreported World highlights evidence that Chad and Sudan are both using armed militias to fight a proxy war. The Chad military is providing weapons and equipment to the Sudanese Liberation Army for its fight inside Darfur, while the Sudanese military is supporting the Janjawiid attacks into Chad to pursue their objective of overthrowing the country’s President and extending Arab unity across the two countries.

From all the evidence on the ground, Oborne concludes that the recently signed peace agreement in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, which is supposed to bring peace to Darfur, has little chance of success: the Sudanese Liberation Army commanders and soldiers on the field believe that the Sudanese government will not honour the agreement

As always it’s the innocent civilians who are suffering most as the Janjawiid continue to kill and plunder, forcing thousands from their homes in Chad, replicating scenes witnessed in Darfur. While the international community is proclaiming the signing of the peace treaty, Unreported World shows how a new and bloody chapter in this terrible tragedy is underway.

Dir: Robin Barnwell
Series Editor: Ed Braman
Prod Co: Mentorn Oxford

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