The government exploited these conflicts and subcontracted to the janjaweed the work of combating the insurgency--allowing them in return to keep what they can loot. The central government perfected this method--of swallowing up an anti-government insurgency with a local ethnic slaughter--in two decades of war in the country’s south against the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Under pressure from the U.S., the SPLA and Bashir reached an agreement in May to share power and the south’s oil wealth. Washington hoped the arrangement in the south would show that Bush’s "war on terror" had brought peace--and would allow U.S. oil companies back into Sudan. But the Darfur crisis has forced Bush to distance himself again from the Bashir regime.