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Photographs: Darfur in Flames

The Sudanese government has been clearing out villages of African Zaghawa, Masaalit, and Fur communities in Darfur since February 2003 in a fierce campaign of “ethnic cleansing.” Government soldiers and Arab nomad militia, called “janjaweed,” frequently surrounded groups of villages, often encircling them with trenches. In the first phase of the coordinated attacks, government air forces using Russian-built MiG and Antonov jets and attack helicopters, bomb the villages. In the second phase, the soldiers and militia move into the villages to loot, burn, kill, rape, and abduct. Bodies are left out in the open or thrown into the trenches. In Jijira Adi Abbe village alone, 267 civilians were killed in such an attack.

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Photos © Marcus Bleasdale

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