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

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 horse-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 a 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 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 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.