Jérôme Tubiana, 3 June 2021
Abunduluk’s body, covered with scars, is a map of the Darfur conflict. He rolled up his trousers and showed me marks on both his calves: his older wounds were from 1989, during the first war between Arabs and Fur. A janjawid bullet killed his grandfather and he was hit in the leg. He was fourteen and still at school. Many of his other relatives, including his father, were killed in the following years. A scar on his right leg, from 2000, came from a janjawid ambush on Shoba, where he was visiting relatives. In 2002, sixty people were killed in another assault on the village, and Abunduluk was injured in the left arm. Shortly afterwards he joined the rebellion. The scar on his head is a souvenir of the rebel raid on El-Fasher in 2003. Harassed by aerial bombardment in the mountains where they were hiding, the first Darfur rebels – 317 fighters moving in thirteen pickups – surprised and destroyed two planes and five helicopters at the nearby airfield. After the raid, Abunduluk discovered a man hiding in a fridge in the officers’ quarters. He pointed his gun but his commander ordered him not to shoot.