The London Times is reporting on a new offensive launched in the Dafur region of the Sudan. 300 ‘technicals’ (militarized civilian vehicles) are on the move in a major push in Northern Dafur. Oil companies have been asking for this area to be pacified so that they can begin seismic surveys in the never ending hunt for new oil sources.
Suleiman Marajan, a commander with one faction of the Sudan Liberation Army, said yesterday that the Government had lied to the world with its message of peace.
“The Government of Sudan has attacked our places with 300 vehicles. They have been here for three days protecting Chinese oil workers,” he told The Times by satellite telephone from North Darfur.
There has been no comment (or action) from either UN or African Union peacekeepers regarding this latest offensive.
Interestingly, the roots of the term ‘technical’ have never been definitively proven. It is believed that the term (which came to most people’s attention during the Somalia crisis in 1992) arose from the use of ’security contractors’ and ‘warlord bribes’ made by aid agencies operating in Somalia. These payments were called ‘Technical Assistance’ on the expense reports and the name ‘technical’ sort of stuck as a way of describing a militarized (but non-military) vehicle.]]>