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Darfur

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Kristy Spencer

on 21 April 2010

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Transcript of Darfur

Darfur Why it occured How it ended World Reaction Why It Occured The government of Sudan and its Janjaweed proxy militias systematically destroy the livelihoods of Darfurians through bombing and burning villages, looting economic resources, and committing crimes against humanity, such as the murder, rape, and torture of innocent civilians. Over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions of civilians were forced to flee their homes. The conflict in Darfur began in the spring of 2003 when two Darfuri rebel movements – the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – launched attacks against government military installations as part of a campaign to fight against the historic political and economic marginalization of Darfur. The Sudanese government responded swiftly and viciously to extinguish the insurgency. Through coordinated military raids with government-armed militia, known as the Janjaweed, the Sudanese military specifically targeted ethnic groups from which the rebels received much of their support. The government denied any association with the Janjaweed. The Sudanese government has also been accused of tampering with evidence, such as attempting to cover up mass graves. They also arrested and harassed journalists, thus limiting the extent of press coverage of the situation in Darfur The ethnic groups are the non-Arab or African tribal groups of Darfur, primarily the Fur, the Massaleit, and the Zaghawa, but also the Tunjur, the Birgid, the Dajo, and others. In recent years the National Islamic Front regime, based in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum, has refused to control increasingly violent Arab militia raids of African villages in Darfur. Competition between Arab and African tribal groups over the scarce primary resources in Darfur-arable land and water-has been exacerbated by advancing desertification throughout the Sahel region. How It Ended Today, fighting between the rebel movements and the government continues. In the last few years, opportunistic bandits and militias have also taken advantage of the anarchy in Darfur. General banditry and looting jeopardize humanitarian aid and gender-based crimes are now being committed by many different sides. Despite this chaotic environment, the Sudanese government remains the most responsible for the violence in Darfur. President al-Bashir and others in his government created the anarchic conditions presiding in Darfur today through their violent violent counterinsurgency campaign targeting innocent men, women and children. Furthermore, the Sudanese government has obstructed the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, avoided serious negotiations with the rebel groups, refused to prosecute any individuals responsible for crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, and most recently expelled thirteen international humanitarian aid groups from Darfur. These actions continue to leave many civilians in Darfur unprotected and dispossessed of their basic human rights. While the United States government has described the conflict as genocide, the UN has not recognized the conflict as such. On January 31, 2005, the UN released a 176-page report saying that while there were mass murders and rapes of Darfurian civilians, they could not label the atrocities as "genocide" because "genocidal intent appears to be missing". Many activists, however, refer to the crisis in Darfur as genocide, including the Save Darfur Coalition, the Aegis Trust and the Genocide Intervention Network. These organizations point to statements by former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, referring to the conflict as genocide. Other activist organizations, such as Amnesty International, while calling for international intervention, avoid the use of the term genocide. On 14 July 2008, the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) filed ten charges of war crimes against Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, charges that included three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity, and two of murder. The ICC's prosecutors have claimed that al-Bashir "masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part" three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity. On 4 March 2009 the ICC issued an arrest warrant for president al-Bashir, without the genocide charges, claiming they lacked sufficient evidence.

In February 2009, Darfur's UNAMID tried to persuade the rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese government to sign a peace agreement. World Reaction The United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) now in Darfur replaced an underfunded and underequipped African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur in January 2008. UNAMID to this day remains without the necessary resources to protect the 2.7 million internally displaced persons who live in large camps across Darfur. There are also around 300,000 Darfuri refugees living across the Sudanese border in neighbouring Chad. Overall, the UN estimates that roughly 4.7 million people in Darfur (out of a total population of roughly 6 million) are still affected by the conflict. Many organizations have started to help raise awareness for Darfur and to get people involved in the fight against genocide, and the genocide going on in Darfur now. http://www.savedarfur.org/
http://www.genocideintervention.net/
http://www.24hoursfordarfur.org
http://www.stopgenocidenow.org/
http://www.standnow.org/
http://www.darfurisdying.com/
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