14 December, 2006

"Fire Seeds in Darfur"

Nigerian poet, Tanure Ojaide’s poem, ”To the Janaweed, in Per Contra begins and ends with the fires in Darfur:

“May the fire you spread gleefully this way
scorch you and your family at the other end

may djinns you invoke in your despoliation
testify against you in the final judgment

may you be victim of your blood thirst
and wander without relief from paradise

may the fire seeds you sow in Darfur
consume you and your damned bands. . .

Who are the janjaweed? You can find out about their deeds by reading Ojaide’s poem.

A less poetic description was in Slate:
“The word, an Arabic colloquialism, means "a man with a gun on a horse." Janjaweed militiamen are primarily members of nomadic "Arab" tribes who've long been at odds with Darfur's settled "African" farmers, who are darker-skinned…. In fact, the term "Janjaweed" has for years been synonymous with bandit, as these horse- or camel-borne fighters were known to swoop in on non-Arab farms to steal cattle.”


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