Since 2003, over 200,000 civilians have died in Darfur and millions have been displaced from their homes, many of them at the hands of militia nicknamed the ‘Janjaweed’ (‘devils on horseback’). Time after time, survivors stated – and international observers confirmed – that as they murdered, raped, looted and burned village after village, the Janjaweed was backed by the Sudanese army and air force. Yet the Sudanese Government has consistently denied responsibility for atrocities in Darfur and to this day, says it has nothing to do with the Janjaweed.
However, the defectors in this film – some of them speaking publicly for the first time – tell a very different story.
Created by the Aegis Trust with the support of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (Egypt), Human Rights First (USA), the Save Darfur Coalition (USA), the Society for Threatened Peoples (Germany), and the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (Sudan and the UK), the film features interviews conducted by researchers including Phil Cox (Native Voice Films) and Frank Dutton, former deputy head of investigations at the ICTY.
Between them, a senior Army finance officer, a Janjaweed commander, a regular soldier and a Janjaweed fighter explain why and how the Sudanese Government created and launched the Janjaweed militia; how it disguised the militia, once atrocities in Darfur came to world attention; how it armed and paid the Janjaweed; how the Janjaweed worked with Sudan’s regular army and air force, and how rape has been used as a weapon against the civilian population.
The witnesses implicate Sudanese Government figures at the highest level – including Ahmed Harun (Minister for Humanitarian Affairs), Ali Osman Mohammed Taha (Second Vice President), and even Omar al-Bashir himself.
This film was featured in many Egyptian newspapers; Le Monde, the International Herald Tribune, CNN, BBC News online, and the Economist.