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CNN Op-Ed: At the UN, Janjaweed is a Dirty Word
Editor's Note: This article by Akshaya Kumar, Enough's Sudan and South Sudan policy analyst, originally appeared on CNN.
Ten years ago this week, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that genocide had been committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the janjaweed bore responsibility for those acts. Even though it did not actually trigger a legal obligation to act, many hoped that using the "g word" meant that the United States was crossing the Rubicon and committing itself to stopping the violence in Darfur, Sudan's most troubled region.
The janjaweed, however, are still at large in Darfur -- and with the Sudanese government's help, they are now arguably more powerful than ever.
It is this reality that makes it so disturbing that the United Nations recently declared that getting weapons out of this militant group's hands is no longer "relevant" to their work. After all, janjaweed fighters formed the backbone of the genocidal attack forces that the Sudanese government unleashed on Darfur 11 years ago.
Photo credit: UNAMID/Albert Gonzalez Farran