No Moral Clarity in Darfur

The conflict has defied the best efforts of envoys, activists and Hollywood stars. Now it's turning the victims into villains

Yuri Kozyrev / Noor for TIME

Militiamen, like these in the north Darfur town of Kaguro, rose up against government oppression. But some rebel groups are themselves responsible for brutal atrocities against civilians.

As he sips tea on a dusty mat beneath the sparse shade of a thorn tree, Ahmed Hatum Shiib Ahmed recalls the day in early 2006 when his tribal village in Darfur was attacked. Men in desert-beaten pickups with mounted guns swept in at noon, strafing the market and shooting villagers. Then just as quickly, the fighters withdrew to the outskirts, cordoning the village and trapping its inhabitants. In the days that followed, they terrorized the villagers. They stole cattle and camels, eating what they needed and sending the rest on long caravans to distant markets for sale. One by one,...

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