Darfur Genocide

August 5, 2011
By kate1918 SILVER, Boston, Massachusetts
kate1918 SILVER, Boston, Massachusetts
6 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Genocide is defined in many ways. One is killing members of a group. Second is causing serious mental or bodily harm to members of a group, third is imposing measures to prevent births within a group.[ A famous genocide was world war II. Which was against Jews and other non- catholic.] Darfur is an example of genocide. Darfur is a region of Africa it borders Egypt, Chad, C.A.R. Dem. Rep. Of Congo, UG, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Darfur is on the western side of Sudan. The conflict in Darfur has generated from crops to mass murders. But in February of 2003 it the conflict was declared a genocide. Up till 1953 Sudan was under the government of the British and the Egyptians. When after war they finally sighed an agreement providing Sudan with self-governance. Muslim military leaders in the north held the political power. The south which was mostly made of animism and Christians, had resources including oil. But the north controlled the nations wealth. The south was left out of most political things including when Sudan became independent. After Sudan won independence only a handful of government positions where given to the South. Darfur could not compete politically or economically with the rest of the country. Darfur was not even a factor the first few decades of independence. The religious and economic differences erupted between the south and the north and a civil war began. This lasted till 1972, thus making southern rebel groups After the Addis Abba agreement there was some peace for about 10 years. Over 20 years of drought, famine, and more conflicts reached crisis point in 1984. all this worsened the political problems. Chad and Libya [neighboring countries] wanted the region Darfur. Darfur is mostly has mostly a Muslim faith, which connects them to the north government. So the Darfur people either sided with the anti-government forces in the south or their neighboring countries Chad and Libya. After two civil wars as fighting as a whole. Darfur now stands alone against its own country. Another factor from history is about camels and crops. At first the farmers (the fur people) and the camel herding nomads (Arabs) got along. The camel herding nomads came from the very crowded north. So they went south, the farmers welcomed them to graze on their land. They sold their crops to the herders. But when drought hit the farmers worried for the crops if the nomads came. They didn’t want the camels eating their food which at this point they could not spare any crop. So they built fences and burned dry grass to show the nomads where no longer welcomed. Tension grew between the nomads and the farmers. More drought came and Chad’s Arabs migrated to Darfur. Now the tension grew from “farmer” and “herder” to “Arab” and “African”. For years this cycle went on along with other things. But this pushed Arabs to take up arms.
For years Darfur has been systematically attacked by the Sudanese army and militia controlled by their government. These militia bands are called the Janjaweed (also known as the devils on horseback). Darfur is one of the most remote places on earth. Most of it is not accessible by roads. A great amount of Darfur’s six million inhabitants are farmers or herders. Darfur has a rich culture with vast ethnic diversity and an intricate ancient system of revolving conflict. For all of these reasons it has great political importance, which makes the conflict that much more important and complex. The Janjaweed are mostly criminals that were promised land, livestock and anything they could steal. The Janjaweed work for the government. The government’s head during the genocide is General Amar Al-Bashir (who has been in power since 1989). After fighting erupted Al-Bashir publically vowed to stop the rebellions “who started the fighting” using the army, the police and Janjaweed. In this decision he decided to follow the extremists nation Islamic front (NIF). They wanted Sudan to be an Islamic Country.
They do anything even killing other Muslims. Under NIF the government imposed forced starvation by withholding aid workers from coming to Darfur and stealing their livestock and crops. Even though according to international law forced starvation is a war felony. The Darfur violence has escalated to 500,000 estimated deaths from when it started in 2003 to 2007. That means one person in twelve has been killed during those years. Attack on villages is in the form of raids where the Janjaweed arrive on horseback, camels and automobiles. They steal anything of value. Villagers are raped, tortured and most are murdered. These attacks are followed aerial assaults from the Sudanese’s Military. Planes bomb villages and then soldiers attack on foot raping and killing more villagers. The villages are destroyed so no survivors can return. They steal and destroy crops, food and animals. They tear apart copies Koran (the Muslims holy book). They also poison the wells by putting dead bodies in them. They line up men and boys and shoot them in the back of their heads. Women and girls would be raped multiple times which is a great shame. For more torture the Janjaweed branded them to show everyone what had happened and to humiliate them. They shouted racial slurs calling them slaves and the land belonged to the Arabs not the Africans. They made sure that they had no home to come back to. An estimated 2 million Darfur people have been displaced and an estimated 2,000 villages have been destroyed. People around the world have urges Sudan for peace along with AU(African Union) and the UN ( United Nations). In the 2004 the Au started with peace missions but they only had the authority to protect the monitoring committee not the civilians. In 2006 the Au called for the UN to take over peace keeping missions. After great international pressure Khartoum allowed the UN into Darfur. In the summer of 2007 the UN got a force of 26,000 to work under the direction of the Au. But Khartoum (to delay aid workers) only allowed troops from certain countries. In 2007 a group of world leaders known as the “elders” visited Darfur. The group included Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu. Their mission was to find a political solution to the conflict. They were outspoken by the criticism of the government. When peace talks began in October of 2007 only twenty rebels showed up and the leaders refused to come. People from all over the world have also had protests and raised money for food and aid workers. The crisis is getting worse and all peace efforts have failed. But in 2009 ICC (International Criminal Court) issued an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir on five counts crimes against humanity, murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape. Also he was charged with two counts of war crimes, pillaging and intentionally directing attacks against civilians. But the court ruled insufficient evidence to prosecute him for genocide. They issued another warrant on July 12, 2010 and he was found guilty of genocide which was sent through the Sudanese government. They have not handed him over and he has still not paid for what he did to the people of Darfur. The genocide continues.

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