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The Army, Security Forces, and Other Government Forces

In 1997 the main army base was at Girinti, north of Wau, and was reported to house 7,000 soldiers and their families.142 The Wau security committee was composed of the governor as chair, the Officer in Charge (O.C.) of the army, the Wau police commissioner, and the Wau director of security.143

According to former Wau civil servants, all of the top echelon of government in Wau were northerners or southern Muslims: the senior security officer and his deputy; the commander of the army base at Girinti; the army Officer in Change and his assistant; and other senior army officers, including the area military commander.144 The top four judges in Wau were northerners. Among the police chiefs, the superintendent and senior officers were northerners,145 although 60 to 80 percent of the rank and file police were Dinka and Jur. The governor of Western Bahr El Ghazal (Wau) state from 1992 or 1993 until 1997 was a NIF stalwart, Ali Tamim Fartak, of a Feroge family that historically ruled part of western Bahr El Ghazal.146 He was said to be highly unpopular with the Fertit, nor was he liked by the Dinka of Wau.

142 For an evaluation of the arms flow to the Sudan military and rebel forces, see Human Rights Watch, Global Trade, Local Impact: Arms Transfers to all Sides in the Civil War in Sudan (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 1998). There are unconfirmed allegations that Iraq secretly built a chemical weapons plant in Wau. Alan Cooperman, AMoving Target Iraq has secretly built chemical weapons plants in Sudan,@ U.S. News and World Report (New York), February 16, 1998, referring to a draft report by the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. This was not mentioned by any of the Wau residents interviewed by Human Rights Watch in 1998, and there were no reports that the government used chemical weapons during the rebel attack on Wau.

143 Human Rights Watch interview, Martin Marial, May 3, 1998. The police commander in 1996-98 was said to be Luka Mudria, a Fertit from western Bahr El Ghazal, appointed to this Ministry of Interior post by Khartoum.

144 Major General Umar Abd al Qadir held the post of area military commander. ADefense Committee Visits Wau Following Rebel Attacks,@ Sudan TV, Omdurman, in English, January 30, 1998, BBC Monitoring Service, February 2, 1998.

145 Human Rights Watch interview, Wunrok, Bahr El Ghazal, May 8, 1998.

146 Ibid.

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