Look at these pictures carefully, and you will see what happened in Darfur. Thank you.
In June and July 2007, Waging Peace researcher Anna Schmitt conducted a three week fact-finding mission to Eastern Chad. The aim of the mission was to assess the humanitarian, human rights and security situation in the region and to collect testimonies from Darfuri refugees and displaced Chadians.
While collecting testimonies from adults, women told Anna how their children had witnessed horrendous events when their villages were being attacked. This prompted Anna to talk to the children. She gave the children aged 6 to 18 paper and pencils and asked them what their dreams were for the future and what their strongest memory was.
When the children handed Anna their drawings, she was shocked to see the details of their memories of the attacks. While a handful of children had submitted drawings of daily life in the village or in the refugee camp, the majority of the drawings described the attacks on their village by Sudanese Government forces and their allied Janjaweed militia. Many of the drawings depict adult men being killed, women being shot, beaten and taken prisoner, babies being thrown on fires and Government of Sudan helicopters and planes bombing civilians.
The five hundred drawings collected by Waging Peace amount to a form of criminal evidence from silent witnesses. The killings, bombing and looting shown in the drawings directly contradict the Government of Sudan's version of events over the last four years of bloodshed. The pattern that emerges from these drawings corroborates what we know has been taking place in Darfur and shows a worryingly similar pattern of attacks developing in Eastern Chad.
In November 2007, the drawings were accepted by the International Criminal Court as contextual evidence of the crimes committed in Darfur. They are also being exhibited throughout the world to raise awareness about the crisis in Darfur.
This boy was 9 when his village in the area of Aishbarra, Darfur, was attacked in 2003 by the Sudanese Government forces and Janjaweed militia. The drawing shows houses burning, villagers being shot and limbs being amputated. The villagers that are attacked are coloured in black, while the attackers have lighter (orange) skin – showing the ethnic character of the attacks (ie Arabs attacking ‘black Africans’ – in this case Massalit). In the bottom right of the drawing are two young men, attached by the neck, led away by a Janjaweed fighter. These boys could be taken into slavery, or may become child soldiers.
This young boy was 10 when his village in the area of Aishbarra, Darfur, was attacked in 2003 by the Sudanese Government-allied Janjaweed militia. The drawing shows fleeing civilians stopped by the Janjaweed. The civilian men are put in a row to be shot. One man is shot. This method is often used by the Janjaweed as a means of psychological torture, killing some of the men and not others, leaving the women to watch helplessly. One woman and one man are shown with tears falling down their cheeks. In the bottom left hand corner of the drawing, a Janjaweed is searching the men’s suitcases for belongings to loot. Once again, the skin colour of the victims and the attackers is different, reflecting the ethnic character of the attacks. The attackers are on worse-back and in machinegun-mounted pick up trucks, both widely used by the Janjaweed militia.
This young boy was 11 when his village in the area of Aishbarra, Darfur, was attacked by the Janjaweed in 2003. This drawing depicts a man shot to pieces by the Janjaweed militia.The attackers are on camel and horse backs, clearly identifying them as Janjaweed. They nonetheless are wearing Sudanese Government uniforms (red insignia on the shoulder and army outfits), showing the clear link between the Sudanese Government and the Janjaweed militia, which are armed, trained and equipped by the Sudanese Government. The skin colour of the attackers and the victim is yet again different, the Janjaweed having lighter skin than the attacked civilian.
This young boy was 9 when his village in the area of Aishbarra, Darfur, was attacked in 2003 by Sudanese Government forces and Janjaweed militia. In the drawing, two women and a boy are shown fleeing an attack by Janjaweed in two machine gun-mounted pick up trucks and Sudanese forces in a tank. Houses in the village are set ablaze. The Janjaweed and Sudanese forces are shooting at the three civilians and the boy is hit in the leg. The fact that these are women and children who are being shot at clearly shows that the attackers are targeting civilians. The use of a tank in the attack is particularily interesting as the Sudanese Government has consistently denied using such heavy weaponry in Darfur.
This young boy was 8 when he had to flee his village in Darfur. In this drawing he shows Janjaweed and Sudanese Government troops working together (bottom half of the drawing), and an Sudan Liberation Army solider killing a Sudanese Government soldier (top half of the drawing). Interestingly, a Sudanese flag is drawn on the tank, clearly identifying it as from the Sudanese Government.
This young boy was 17 when his village was attacked in 2003. In this three panel drawing, he describes the attacker getting ready, the attack of the village (burning houses, dead bodies) and the displacement caused by the attack.
This boy was 8 when his village in Darfur was attacked in 2004. His drawing describes this attack, where Janjaweed forces (drawn on horseback) and Sudanese forces (in vehicles and tanks) worked together to burn his village, kill many civilians (shown lying on the ground) and displace survivors.
This picture was drawn by a young Chadian boy in a camp for displaced persons in Eastern Chad. His drawing describes the attack on his village by Janjaweed militias from Sudan. On the top left hand corner of the drawing is written ‘ataque village’ (French for ‘attack of the village’). The attackers, wearing military uniforms and on camels are shooting civilians with machine guns and burning their houses. Bullets are coming from all over. Next to each civilian that is shot is the word ‘Morts’ which is the plural of ‘dead’ in French.
This young boy was 8 when his village in Darfur was attacked in 2003 by Janjaweed and Sudanese armed forces. He is now 12 and living in a refugee camp in Eastern Chad. In this drawing the attackers, on camel and horseback and in armed vehicles, are setting the houses on fire and shooting at civilians from all corners (note how the bullets are crossing each others paths). The villagers are also fighting back with spears and arrows, while the Janjaweed and Sudanese forces are attacking them with machine guns. The skin colour of the attackers is lighter than that of the victims, clearly denoting the ethnic aspect of the attacks.
This picture was drawn by a young Chadian boy in a camp for displaced persons in Eastern Chad. His drawing describes the attack on his village by Janjaweed militias from Sudan. The whole village is set on fire and there are body parts scattered in the right of the drawing. Next to the body parts, the boy wrote ‘Mourire Jan de village’ (Mourir gens du village) which is the French for ‘the people from the village are killed’. Under the attackers in the left of the picture is written ‘janjinwite’, clearly identifying the attackers as the Sudanese Government-allied Janjaweed forces.
This young girl was 11 when her village in Darfur was attacked in 2004. The drawing, depicting an attack by the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed forces, contains small explanations within the drawing. On the bottom left, she writes: ‘The Sudanese government soldiers entered the village on camels’. On the bottom right, under a tank: ‘heavy artillery’. Under the plane, she writes ‘the aeroplane bombs are dropped over the house’.
This young boy was 15 when his village in Darfur was attacked by Janjaweed and Sudanese armed forces in 2004. Houses are set on fire and civilians are shot dead and thrown into the river. Behind the drawing, he has written ‘Look at these pictures carefully, and you will see what happened in Darfur. Thank you’.
This boy was 9 when his village in Darfur was attacked by Sudanese Government forces and Janjaweed militias in 2003. This drawing shows some of the methods of killing used by the Janjaweed (on foot and on horses) and the Sudanese forces (in tanks, machine gun-mounted vehicles and planes). At the top of the picture a boy is thrown into a fire. In the middle, a man has a bag placed over his head before being shot. A soldier in a ‘technical’ shoots a civilian. At the bottom, a soldier appears to be cutting a man’s head off. Women, with hands tied behind their backs, are being marched off at gun point. A woman with her possessions on her head flees with her 2 children, pursued by 2 soldiers. A government plane is bombing the village and setting the houses on fire.
The young boy was 10 when his village in Darfur was attacked in 2003. Sudanese Government forces in pick-up trucks, helicopters and aeroplanes and Janjaweed militias on horseback are seen attacking a village. In the left of the drawing an Antonov is bombing the village, setting fire to the huts. Sudanese forces on the ground and perched in trees are targeting young women, men and children. Three women are tied up and taken away by a Sudanese soldier while men are killed and thrown into the valley.
This young boy describes the attack by Sudanese Government forces and Janjaweed militias on his village in Darfur. In the top of the drawing, a Sudanese helicopter is shown bombing the village, setting houses on fire and killing civilians and a donkey. Under the houses, the young boy wrote ‘village on fire’. A Sudanese soldier and Janjaweed forces are shooting and killing fleeing civilians. Under the drawing of armed men on horseback is written ‘Janjaweed’.
In this drawing, a young girl from Darfur shows the peaceful life in her village being disrupted by a violent attack by Sudanese Government forces and the Janjaweed militia. Some villagers are seen herding cattle and sheep or sitting under trees. But this sense of calm is contrasted by Sudanese aeroplanes and helicopters bombing the village and setting fire to the houses. Government forces in pick-up trucks and Janjaweed on camel and horseback are shooting at civilians.
This drawing clearly depicts an attack by Sudanese government forces on a village in Darfur. Three aeroplanes and a helicopter with Sudanese Government markings are hovering above the village, with one of the planes shown dropping a bomb. The huts are on fire as villagers are seen fleeing.
This drawing describes an attack by Sudanese Government forces on the village in Eastern Chad. Sudanese armed forces, identifiable by their berets and uniforms, arrive in the village on machine gun-mounted pick-up trucks and by foot. They shoot at the fleeing population that only has arrows to protect itself, while the houses are set alight.
This young boy drew an attack by Sudanese Government forces on his village in Darfur. Sudanese soldiers on foot, in elaborate pick-up trucks and in tanks shoot at the village while three helicopters set fire to the houses. A mother and her two children are seen fleeing.
This young girl describes an attack on her village in Darfur. In this drawing the attackers (Sudanese army and Janjaweed militia) are drawn with a blue top and orange trousers, while the targeted civilians are dressed in green and purple. A Sudanese helicopter drops bombs on the village while armed men on horses, camels and by foot are shown shooting civilians, stabbing them and setting fire to their homes. Next to each dead person is a cross.
If you would be interested in exhibiting the drawings, please contact Waging Peace. We do not charge to exhibit the drawings but ask that you pay for their postage. Exhibitions can be tailored to your needs but usually consist of 20 images and a set of foam boards.