According to United Nations sources, the entire town of Haskanita in Darfur has been completely burned down and over 15,000 of its inhabitants forced to flee for their lives. The town is completely under the control of the Sudan army and its janjaweed associates who have been responsible for most deaths of innocent people in Darfur. A UN spokesperson said the Sudan army entered the town after rebels attacked a nearby UN camp and killed ten soldiers. Haskanita now lies in ruins as Sudan soldiers and members of the janjaweed patrol its streets where smoldering fires can still be seen. “There’s absolutely no doubt the army and the janjaweed did it,” says a spokesperson for the UN.
A perennial problem in the UN’s mandate to be in Darfur stems from its lack of jurisdiction in responding to security issues. For the most part, UN troops are in a passive mode unable to initiate action nor do they even have the right to investigate security problems! The notorious janjaweed thugs roam at will still engaged in their program of raping, brutalizing, and killing thousands of people in Darfur. The UN must dispatch more troops and equipment, particularly helicopters that can roam the area and be allowed to fire upon the janjaweed. How can a town of 15,000 be burned down by the government of the Sudan without any response to such an action?