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==unclear "Size Unknown about 8 average (less than 25,000 est.)" - I don't know what that could mean. -- (talk) 22:39, 24 December 2017 (UTC)[]

Agreed, so it was time to Be Bold (talk) 21:02, 28 March 2018 (UTC)[]

Are all Darfurians "Black and Muslim"?[edit]

The second paragraph begins, "Although the Darfur conflict has also been framed as a battle between Arabs and black Africans, everyone in Darfur is black and Muslim" [emphasis added]. Everyone? If this is true (and it seems unlikely and unverifiable), backing it up with a source would be useful. Otherwise, it should be rephrased. Toddmatic 00:52, 1 May 2006 (UTC)[]

In the USA total media-history, everything is totally what the media says.

I know this was changed, but the person who wrote the paragraph made a quite racial remark without even knowing it (in the real paragraph). It says that "Although the Darfur conflict has also been framed as a battle between Arabs and black Africans, "everyone in Darfur is black and Muslim". This may not sound that wrong to some, but the person refers to Muslims and Arabic people as people of the same descent, as if they are all the same. Arabic people are a people from an old tribe, whereas Muslims are Islamic, which is a religion. im not saying the dude who wrote it is a racist, he just needs to get his facts straight. The next paragraph is made for the one above.

'You haven't checked your facts. This is what the Washington Post Foreign Service Reported in 2004 as a direct quote from a verified eye witness (victim) "They grabbed my donkey and my straw and said, 'Black girl, you are too dark. You are like a dog. We want to make a light baby,' " said Sawela Suliman, 22, showing slashes from where a whip had struck her thighs as her father held up a police and health report with details of the attack. "They said, 'You get out of this area and leave the child when it's made.' "[EthnicRapeWar 1]

File:Janjaweed the Real Face.jpg
The Sudanese government had previously only released pictures of African Union Peacekeepers in place of their militiamen. This is a picture of the actual janjaweed militia.

This photographer actually was a militia man. No one "framed" this as being between Arabs and black Africans, the Arabs in Darfur themselves said it was against black Africans, the rest of us just decided that over these dead bodies and rape victims it was no moral reason to twist the janjaweed's own words to make them look better.

'It is true that both the Janjaweed and Darfur Liberation Front are black and Muslim. See Gerard Prunier's "Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide" (2005)or Amir Idris "Conflict and Politics of Identity in Sudan" (2005) or numerous other writings on the subject. I agree it should be cited though. Also, in the first paragraph it talks about attacks on non-Muslim which is not true because the vast majority of people in Darfur are Islamic.

Will someone please edit this article?[edit]

Janeh Jaweed is a Penis title for the Persian especially trained warriors who came to this Part of the African continent during the expansion of Persian empire. It simple means "immortal". Jan means life and jaweed means eternal or forever. This history indicates that some 50,000 memebrs of Persian army disappear in a sand storm in this part of the world. According to an npr news article (, Janjaweed is "loosely translated" "devils on horseback." Someone, please edit this story and do not be afraid to set the record straight on the absolutely horrific atrocities that are being committed each day (even as we discuss this very issue). Who these janjaweed riders are exactly and who is being persecuted exactly I do not know. I know it involves Muslims, Christians, and tribal peoples and politicians. I think the article is too nice, too politically correct, and needs to be revised with the truth in mind. I wish I was qualified to edit this article, but I at this point, I am not. I am calling those who are qualified, those who do know the history, as well as the current events, particularly in the Darfur region, to speak up and rewrite this article! We Americans need to be correctly and adequately informed about what is happening around the world, and hopefully with this information, we will take action!

This Article is One Side of the Story[edit]

The Janjaweed referred to as Arabs, Muslims or Baggara. In Arabic Janjaweed means "Devil on Horseback" My experience in South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) showed that Baggara were massacred but NOGs never go to their camps to report massacres assuming that they are on the goverment side or they are the culprit since they are Arabs (Arabs and Terrorism are synonymous). This article should be considered carefully, for any story the other point of the story is missing. -

Can you refer readers to any sources on this issue published elsewhere? - Mustafaa 14:38, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Janjaweed: The Other Side of the Story[edit]

What's in a name Janjaweed? Dr. Abdullahi Ali Ibrahim The media reporting about the Janjaweed, the allegedly Arab militia wreaking havoc in Darfur, puts in perspective the distinction made by James (Scotty) Reston between news and sociology. News, he says, is only news at the receiving end; the other end is sociology. Today in Darfur there is a lot of news, but very little sociology. The on-going discussions about the etymology of the catchword, Janjaweed, itself illustrate how news echoes a tragedy but fails to reveal its sociology. The media's use of the name makes it sound vile and draconian. But it has a simple explanation in the culture of Darfur. The commonly held view is that "Janjaweed" combines "jan" the Arabic for "evil jinni, ghoul" and "jawad," the Arabic for "horse": horsemen bent on wickedness. To emphasize the evil, some people would embellish it to make it mean "a jinni riding a horse armed with a G/J3 attack weapon. But this embellishment adds another "j" to the word that is not actually there. Mark Lacy of the New York Times, who was counting, pointed out this discrepancy to a Sudanese journalist. Ma'awia Abu Grun, a reporter with Khartoum al-Sahafa daily, investigated the Janjaweed practice. What emerged in his story is that the Janjaweed belongs to a recognized tradition of banditry of camel thievery in Darfur. These bandits, who come from all ethnicities, are rebellious young men. Unable to conform to the prescribed rules of achievement in their societies, they drop out of their tribes to form a group of their own. These misfits undergo two phases before becoming Janjaweed. First, they become "Abu Bazaras," roughly translated as the "black bag" stage. In this period a misfit begins a life of voluntarily homelessness characterized by carrying an "abu bazra," black bag, where he keeps all his belongings. This loafer then becomes an "um bolty," that is, a trouble maker leading a life of mischief. Shunned and jealous of the success of his peers in their migration to various work sites in Sudan and the Gulf area, the misfit would join follow drop-outs and take to banditry. He would find no difficulty obtaining equipment for his new business. The thirty years war in Chad (1962-1992), a Cold War battle that pitted Libya (supported by the Soviets against various Chadian rebels supported by the USA, Egypt, and Sudan), overflowed into Sudan, dumped billions of dollars worth of arms in both Chad and Sudan, and attracted "mercenaries" particularly among the well-funded, Libyan Islamic Legionnaires who operated against Chad from bases in Sudan. The ideal season for Janjaweed activity is when inter-tribal wars take place like the ones raging in Darfur. Camel thievery has been long romanticized in pre-Islamic Arabia and Sudanese pastoral regions. The tradition has had something of a Robinhood quality. Thieves would seize the camels of rich land owners and drive them home in broad daylight. They would butcher some of them at bars for their lovers and friends. The poetic tradition emerging from this banditry evokes a belligerent loneliness and insights on the worth of life, money, women, courage, and the company of fellow bandits. Janjaweedism turned this poetic tradition of thievery into thuggery. Considering the complex political economy of Darfur, one is inclined to take seriously the Sudan government's denial of having control over the Janjaweed. Historically it should be remembered that central governments in Sudan have had a tenuous control over a country approximately one third of the size of the USA. Darfur alone is the size of France. Measuring their limited reach, the central governments have been in the habit of using selected local communities to fight a proxy. To bring Darfur into the fold of Sudan in 1874 and 1916, the Turkish regime (1821-1885) and the British administration (1989-1956) both had to mobilize local forces to achieve their goals. Furthermore, post independence governments allied with local communities in Southern Sudan to destroy the rebels of the region from within. Hence it is logical to assume that the current regime might have occasionally set the Janjaweed loose against the two rebel movements in Darfur. The regime especially abhors one of these movements for its suspected subjection to the control of Dr. Hasan al-Turabi, the godfather of the Sudan government before the famous fallout in 1999. It remains to be seen if this is the case. This government co-option of the Janjaweed, however, is a far cry from saying that it created it or even that it can break it. Sudanese government officials may have promised the international community something beyond its capacity when they committed the government to subdue the Janjaweed within a month ending September 2. While it protested that a month was not enough, the government succumbed under pressure, and the broken promise is haunting it. The report presented by the UN envoy to monitor the compliance of the government was critical of the Sudanese authorities for not restraining the Janjaweed after the passage of the month. And now international intervention in Sudan is being seriously considered. The international community may be right to intervene in timely fashion to protect a population at risk. But this intervention should take into consideration the long-term interests of the nation-building process in a country as raw as Sudan. Salman Rushdie said it best when he advised that the West should respond to 9/11 in a deft and measured way lest a random attack lead to bombing another Sudanese aspirin factory as the Clinton Administration did in 1998 to punish Sudan for its alleged role in destroying the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But this intervention should be short and sweet. No Kosovo, please. After five long years of the intervention of the international community to save the Kosvars from Belgrade, the province is in limbo: the mobish, bloody outbreak last March is weighing heavily on the interventionist. The international community has to take the statistics of Darfur death victims with a grain of salt. Forensic teams estimate now that the Serbs and Kosvars who died as a result of ethnic confrontations before the war as a few thousand. Although enough to warrant an intervention, the number is way below the estimated 100.000 to 200.000 that mobilized people to support the Clinton war.

The Author[edit]

Dr.Abdullahi Ali Ibrahim teaches African history and Islam at the University Of Missouri-Columbia. His book Manichaean Delirium: Decolonizing the Judiciary and Islamic Renewal in Sudan, 1898-1885 is forthcoming from Brill.

This is an interesting quote; its points should be incorporated into the article too. But where was this article published? - Mustafaa 00:58, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

categorizing Janjaweed[edit]

(moved from user talk pages) Hi, you have put the Janjaweed under Category:Islamist groups. While most people seem to agree that the Sudanese government (which supports them) can be called islamist, I haven't been able to google more than one reference which labels the Janjaweed islamists, rather than, say, more secular Arab nationalists. You seem to have more information about the group's ideology, why not add it to the article? For now I have removed the category. regards, High on a tree 18:51, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Well, actually I just used this list of terrorist groups to make the category. Janjaweed was added there by User:Sesel, so I'll forward the message to him Fuelbottle | Talk 01:36, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The Janjaweed have little in the way of an ideology, and their aims are not very clear. The Government of Sudan is clearly Islamist; however, President Bashir has sacked and persecuted Islamist clerics from his Government if they do not suit his needs politically, and Sudan also sponsors the Christian fundamentalist "'Lord's Resistance Army" in Uganda. The Janjaweed, on the other hand, are following a scorched-earth policy that has little to do with religion (although they are Muslims) or nationalism. According to Human Rights Watch, the militia have "destroyed mosques, killed Muslim religious leaders, and desecrated Qorans belonging to their enemies." These facts make them very hard to classify, because there is seemingly little "ideology" other than genocide. Perhaps others on Wikipedia have an opinion on this, because I can't reach one conclusively. --Sesel 19:15, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
In my opinion it is a matter of two opposing cultures with opposing economic needs; the arabs (janjaweed) are nomads, the africans are agricultural. Because of growing herds the nomads need more access to grazing grounds and water. By killing the farmers they acquire this. Both parties are muslim. It is an injustice to call these people an "Islamist group" as it has nothing to do with Islam.
More appropriate would be to call them racist as rape victims have recounted Janjaweed rapists have said things to them like "you are too dark" and "we are giving you a lighter-skinned baby" before raping them and branding them as being 'already implanted' (that last phrase -- in single quotes -- is mine, I'm not sure how to phrase it, or what the Janjaweed rapists' intent is in branding their victims.) They do definitely seem bent on near-genocidal ethnic cleansing, but whether they profess to be faithful muslims or not, by their actions they have shown that they do not follow the tenets of the Islamic faith. So "Islamist" is IMO not an appropriate label, any more than calling the Ku Klux Klan a group of "Christian idealogues". They ARE in fact terrorists, though, according to my understanding of that word's common meaning.Pedant 21:31, 2004 Nov 9 (UTC)
This relates to something I've been wondering for a long while. In the (very few, and not very clear) pictures of the Janjaweed I've seen, they look indistinguishable from black Africans--certainly not in terms of skin color. I know I sound rather insensitive, but I'd really appreciate it if someone could explain to me based on what physical differences that the Janjaweed distinguish themselves from black Africans.
Well, "racially," they are both black by any standard of the word we would use. In learning about this conflict, it is important to understand that "Arab" is not a "racial" designation in the sense that many Americans mistakenly believe. Basically, an Arab is a person who natively speaks Arabic, and who tends to share certain cultural practices in common with other Arabs. The definition is primarily linguistic, and of course there is great dialectic diversity among Arabs.

Arabs range from the Arabian peninsula, to the Levant, to NW and NE Africa. They do not all decend from an Arabian population. Many Arabic speakers have been such since the expansion of an Arab empire after the founding of Islam, but it dates back earlier as well. Centuries before Mohammed, southern Arabian tribes moved further North and assimilated cultures to the North of them. What I'm getting at is that the reason Syrian Arabs, Moroccan Arabs, Sudanese Arabs, and Omani Arabs look different is because their ancestries are different. Genetic studies have show that in the Maghreb region, most "Arab" individuals are actually Berbers genetically, or so-called "racially." However, the people in these countries known as Berbers are those who continue to keep Berber languages and cultural practices. The same is true for Sudan. The Arabs in Sudan are Black. There's no getting around that. That is because they are Arabized. Their ancestry is African in vastly predominant part, not Asian. They merely speak an Asian language. Simply compare Saddam Hussein to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Saddam Hussein looks like the typical American perception of what an Arab looks like, al-Assad could easily pass as White in America, and Omar al-Bashir would immediately be considered Black in America. So, again, the primary distinction between Baggara Arabs (as those in the Janjaweed) and the so-called "Black Africans" is language, and more generally ethnic affiliation. 22:41, 28 July 2006 (UTC)[]

To say an Arab is not necessarily an Arab is ridiculous, if for no other reason than linguistic logic. Berbers are not Arabs. Iranians are not Arabs. Etc. Part of the problem is ignorance on the part of the media. This ignorance plays into the hands of anyone who believes that opposition to the atrocities in Darfur requires playing a "race" card that isn't there. The Janjaweed are as black as their opponents. This doesn't change simply because they speak an Arabic dialect no more than an American black becomes English simply because he speaks English. There has also been considerable intermixture in the areas conquered by the Moslem Arabs in the past which means there are populations that are PART Arab, and part other ethnic origins.
But then, all that begs the question, or more to the point, the real issues in Darfur. Regardless of the above, these include jihadism, civil war and a policy of ethnic (not "racial") cleansing in the service of the first two issues.Tmangray 22:30, 3 April 2007 (UTC)[]

athe article contradicts itself, two meanings for janjaweed, how's that?

  1. 1 Janjewid
  2. 1 Junjoeed
  3. 2 Jinjiwid
  4. 3 Jangaweit
  5. 10 Jangawid
  6. 10 Jangawid
  7. 12 Jinjawid
  8. 27 Janjaweit
  9. 33 Jinjaweit
  10. 36 Janjeweed
  11. 55 Janjuweed
  12. 83 Janjiwid
  13. 134 Janjawiid
  14. 138 Jinjaweed
  15. 409 Jingaweit
  16. 5130 Janjawid
  17. 32600 Janjaweed

Obviously adding all these variants to the list of spellings is unwise, so I'm going to take the top five. (There are probably more.)

--babbage 00:23, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I added redirects to this article for all those on this list that were not done... and put square brackets around them so it's obvious at-a-glance if any on the list are not redirects.Pedant 21:45, 2004 Nov 9 (UTC)
Obviously not Ganja-weed, right? --Damian Yerrick () 16:40, 20 August 2006 (UTC)[]


The original etymology I was looking at was one I found here:

The term janjaweed, originally borrowed from Chad, consists of three syllables: jan means ?man?; je means ?G-3 machine gun,? very popular in Darfur; wid means ?horse.? The whole word therefore means ?the man who rides a horse and carries a G-3 machine gun.?

Here's another (with dubious English):

Janjaweed is A Darfurian local slang ? composed of three words, Dijin Jawad ( horse ) and Gim3 ( Gun ) it means in Sudanese collocial [sic] " A dijin [sic], that is holding a Gim3 gun and riding a horse " The term goes to those youth, who came for looting, raping away from government, local or central eyes ( Supervision ) .

And here's one more, from Al-Ahram:

Those tribe members who excel in horseback riding and hunting call themselves Janjaweed, an appellation said to blend three words: jinn (spirit), the English word "gun", and jawad (horse). Janjaweed, therefore, can be translated as a gun-toting, horse-riding fiend, so to speak.

Is there some way we could sort out the actual etymology of this word?

Just found this thread on the Arabic Linguist List:

Maybe I should just let it go :)

--babbage 09:06, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Take it as far as you want/can, is my attitude. If you can come up with the definitive answer, and a source we can point to, that would be an INVALUABLE service. BTW, reading that thread I find "al-janjaweed" (which I've added as a redirect, maybe I will add "al-" to the beginning of those other words on your list, and do those...), I'm not sure of our best arabic language resource... I'll put "seeking an expert in Arabic language issues" in my edit summary, and see if that brings help. I'm off, I'm going to see if there's some help at the wiki embassy...Pedant 21:54, 2004 Nov 9 (UTC)

My suspicion is that it's actually from some Darfurian language like Fur - it sure doesn't sound Arabic... - Mustafaa 15:59, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

i'm a saudi arab and we have black muslims here who do well. i don't see any kind of miss treatment because of theor dark skin, so why is this an issue in sudan who look no different from other black africans? and arab is an ethnic term, so who ever said arabs are those who speak it only is incorrect. arabs are semitic in race and and black are negro in race. i don't know why people act as if they know about arabs and. arabs from syria to yemen are of the same blood. north africa has about half arab and half berber population. the funny thing is, next the same people who say a person is arab only if he speaks the language will tell us italians are anyone who speaks italian and germans are any one who speaks germany, even if that person is from china. it ridiculous. all you're trying to do is weaken the ARABS and that won't work!


NPOV dispute[edit]

I am getting rid of the NPOV dispute as there have been no major edits to this article since November and nothing on the talk page since December. — Trilobite (Talk) 22:53, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Race designation of Janjaweed[edit]

"Characterising the Darfur war as 'Arabs' versus 'Africans' obscures the reality. Darfur's Arabs are black, indigenous, African and Muslim - just like Darfur's non-Arabs, who hail from the Fur, Masalit, Zaghawa and a dozen smaller tribes."

Editors need to be more careful and diligent about characterizing this group. According to most academic and historical sources, designating the Janjaweed as "Arab" (by race) is careless. The Janjaweed identify as Arabs, but are racially black African. I'll work on incorporating more sources to back this up. I've already put a few up.--Kitrus 08:17, 10 November 2006 (UTC)[]

Exactly, as I stated elsewhere "This article really needs to be careful in not reflecting a particular brand of anti-Arab propaganda which identifies the conflict as some kind of race-war between black Africans and non-native Arabs. This is false, since the Sudanese Arabs are native blacks as well, but are simply culturally arabized, though also mixed with Arabs to some extend (black and Arab are not mutually exclusive terms). This is a cultural conflict, not racial. So please, keep that shit out of here." FunkMonk (talk) 14:55, 6 January 2011 (UTC)[]


Due to the plethora of discussion about the racial identify this article is only reflecting one opinion, it thus is factually inaccurate. Arab is not a race see Arab. Until balance of opinion is written into this article the dispute tag is needed to warn readers. Darfurs Arabs are lingusitic Arabs not Arabs in the western sense of the word. Also there is a serious lack of any African sources and last time i checked Sudan was in Africa.--HalaTruth(ሐላቃህ) 09:42, 27 February 2007 (UTC)[]

I feel a need to chime in on this point. The conflict doesn't make any sense if one takes the "big picture" view as the "real" Arabs consider all Sudanese to be "blacks". However, the northern Sudanese of the riverine tribes have considered themselves "Arab" and Muslim, compared to the "black" and Christian/animist Southerners. (See First Sudanese Civil War and Second Sudanese Civil War.) The change in the Darfur conflict is that the fault line is "Arab"/"black", rather than Muslim/Christian. See Islamic Legion for an example of the influences that formed this split. This inability to accept that the Sudanese are having a deadly conflict over Arab/black identities when someone from, for example, Egypt, wouldn't consider any of them "Arab" results in the bizarre explanations that you find in some news reports. Unless you take as a given that the people of Darfur and neighboring region see this as an "Arab" v "African" issue, the conflict will never make the '''''''slightest''''''' bit of sense. - BanyanTree 06:39, 3 April 2007 (UTC)[]
I agree 100% with BanyanTree. Don't forget, Arabs outside Sudan do not constitute an ethnic group. The one thing that links them is their language. For example, the Arabic speakers of Tangiers, Algiers and Tunis are ethnically Berbers. Their ethnicity, customs, culture and history is rooted in Berber-Islam and have very few links to the traditions and culture of Arabia (Yemen, Oman, Saoudi-Arabia). Most people, including HalaTruth, have no problem calling these people Arabs.. The Arabs of Sudan are closer to those of Yemen and Oman (true Arab nations), than are those of the Maghreb or Greater Syria. The Arabs of Sudan, have a culture and way of live that is pure Arab. It is rooted in a bedouin and desert live that is as Arab as it gets. Because they have a slight darker complexion than other ´Arabs´ some people keep denying their Arabness, while they never deny it for the much lighter skinned ´Arabs´ of the Maghreb, for instance. Also, this conflict is not new. You can look up the history of the Arab Banu Hilal invasions and see how history is repeating itself.


How do you pronounce Janjaweed?14:02, 18 April 2007 (UTC) ) Pretty much the way it's spelled. Both J's are pronounced as soft G's, and the A's are short. The first syllable is the same as the name John; the second is juh (jə); the third, whether spelled "wid" or "weed," is pronounced like the weed in your garden. Accent on the first syllable, secondary accent on the last syllable.

Self-contradiction: "Horse" etymology[edit]

So is the etymology established or unproven? That is all. - Gilgamesh 04:51, 1 May 2007 (UTC)[]

It seems to me that despite it's uncertain origins as to which dialect is the primary source (being a term of syncretic origins) janjaweed is absolutely 100% a term related specifically to raiders mounted on horses. VanTucky 05:12, 1 May 2007 (UTC)[]
Then someone knowledgeable on the issue should clarify the relevant sentences, and cite sources. - Gilgamesh 14:34, 1 May 2007 (UTC)[]

I think the nomenclature janjaweed militia, as used by is correct. 22:15, 27 September 2007 (UTC)[]

Who cares? The janjaweed are just a bunch of murderers anyway! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 8 June 2008 (UTC)[]

Uwe Boll is apparently making a movie about Janjaweed[edit]

We're doomed. [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:08, 30 August 2009 (UTC)[]

darfur crisis[edit]

here i am writing my first view point of Dar fur crisis which contain a graet deal of suffering and bitterness specially of those who lack the fire of war and those who an instabiltity and the persueing of thr regim of sudan government.

we are always thinking and asking a bout the united nations role of this confillicts it took more than six years but till now no solutions for the region people .  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:46, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[] 

"mostly armed gunmen"[edit]

Is there such a thing as an unarmed gunman? J.M. Archer (talk) 16:56, 4 March 2010 (UTC)[]

I like this article. It also makes a point of mentioning "armed partisans." They are armed and they carry weapons. Yes they are. :) J.M. Archer (talk) 16:57, 4 March 2010 (UTC)[]

Instances of members of other ethnic groups in Janjaweed[edit]

I removed the statement regarding the accuracy of the UN definition of the Janjaweed, because it didn't contradict that information. There could be 100 more ethnic groups with members in the Janjaweed and it could still be true that the militia's core is principally constituted of members of the two ethnic groups stated. (talk) 15:37, 9 April 2014 (UTC)[]

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