It is a complex world we live in, one that seems to be filled with only evil, one that forgets one conflict because a new one emerges. The state of violence that our global community has been catapulted into is a result of emotionally based fears such as bias, hatred, and marginalization. A region that particularly suffers from the aftermath of colonial relegation is Africa. Divided by outsiders, they were tribally segregated and told that arbitrary lines were what made them different, and inherently they believed it. Sudan is no exception to this. This fascinating and beautiful state has a deep and rich history, yet unfortunately it has been scarred by a constant state of conflict.
The violence in the Darfur region of Sudan began around 2002/2003. The government of Sudan is responsible for perpetrating the genocide. President Omar al-Bashir created the Janjaweed, which is the rebel group who is responsible for the attacks on the native Africans of Darfur. Those run the government in Sudan are partial to the Arab north of the country, and want to get rid of the native African tribes of the east and southwestern Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions. The most recent statistics state that over 300,000 Darfuri men, women, and children have been killed and over 3 million are displaced, with 2.7 million being internally displaced. The Janjaweed is known for its brutality, especially toward women. Rape is being used as a weapon of the Janjaweed. It is particularly horrible because of not just the physical trauma it causes, but the emotional as well.
This genocide is one of the longest genocides in history.
With conflicts seemingly in all corners of the world what makes this any different? It is really hard to compare suffering, to say that one is worse than another. The reason stopping the genocide in Darfur is so important is because it was given hope, and then the world gave up on it. There were massive campaigns that emerged around the beginning of the conflict, such as Save Darfur, and it seemed that anyone who was anyone would wear a shirt or have a bumper sticker on the back of their car to show support for the ending of the al-Bashir regime. And then the public got tired of the lack of news streaming out of the region, they found they violence repetitive, and it became overshadowed by other conflicts that were also happening. Which resulted in the push for any action beginning to decline. International organizations, such as the International Criminal Court have tried to make big political moves by claiming al-Bashir is a war criminal. However, this only made the situation worse because al-Bashir in turn expelled every humanitarian group that was still remaining.
The Darfuris though, are still suffering and we cannot leave them without support. We must push for action to be taken and continue to make a lot of noise until the issue gets the attention it needs. The horrible government of Sudan needs to be held accountable for its gross human rights violations. The United Nations must review the practices and effectiveness of UNAMID in order to create a better peacekeeping force. Those who have the power, such as the United Nations Security Council, should pressure Sudan into allowing aid organizations to re-enter in order to take care of the Darfuris and those of other effected regions. Most importantly, we cannot forget Darfur. We must continue to talk about it and make sure that it remains a current political issue and that the most that can be done to end the genocide is actually accomplished.
The following pictures are from an undisclosed source who is currently living in Sudan. They depict the burned villages that are a result of the Janjaweed’s brutality and the living conditions of the IDPs.