Shades of Grey II

Nairobi: Following my earlier post about Darfur not being quite the black and white issue many people want it to be, reports are emerging of a particularly nasty attack by unknown militias against the beleagured African Union force. Numbers vary, but anything up to 12 African soldiers were killed during the attack on an Amis base in Haskanita on Saturday evening. For now, rebels are blaming the government and the government is blaming rebels.

But a statement issued by the AU force, although not directly apportioning blame, makes interesting reading:

General Martin Luther Agwai, chairman of the Ceasefire Commission, said: “The Ceasefire Commission condemns the acts of violence committed against peacekeepers in Darfur. Such irresponsible acts constitute a serious violation to the Ceasefire agreement. Rebel groups, who indulge in such random violence and bloodshed, undermine their own credibility on any negotiation table.”

More often than not, attacks on the AU have been carried out by rebel groups – rather than Janjaweed or government troops. Sometimes they are stocking up on arms. Other times they are acting on their hatred of an African force they believe is colluding with the government, and which they believe was responsible for the flawed Darfur Peace Agreement. But again, the point is that the rebels are not always the good guys.

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