Sudan, one of the largest countries in Africa has been under crisis for many years. These ongoing crises in Sudan include those in Darfur, Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, Eastern Sudan, and South Sudan (which seceded from Sudan in 2011).
Darfur: During the early 2000’s much of the international concern was fixed on the disputes between North Sudan and South Sudan. Meanwhile in 2003, two rebel groups launched a full rebellion against the Sudanese government in Darfur. The two groups: Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality movement wanted to go against the government because of oppression against Darfur’s’ non-Arabic population.
The Sudanese government responded to the rebels’ attacks by advocating for an ethnic cleaning against the non-Arabs living in Darfur. The government recruited nomadic tribes to form military alliances in exchange for land. These groups formed militias known as the Janjaweed. The Janjaweed began a killing spree throughout Darfur.The villages of Darfur were bombed and burnt to the ground, and their inhabitants raped and murdered. An estimated 300,000 people were murdered and almost 4 million were displaced.
In 2006, the Darfur Peace Agreement was created, but there was little to no implementation and violence was ongoing. Consequently, the UN has referred to the genocide in Darfur as one of the worst humanitarian disasters.
Today, a war is still raging despite the many rebuilding and peacekeeping efforts underway. Rebel groups still exist and are desperately trying to make peace with the Sudanese government. I think it is so incredibly important to understand the horror and tragedy surrounding Darfur, and perhaps by simply educating those who are unaware of this conflict, we are one baby step closer to peace in Western Sudan.