Essay Crisis in Darfur

Submitted By jwromney
Words: 1328
Pages: 6

Geography 120/Section 1
10 December 2007
Crisis in Darfur The crisis in Darfur is a very serious and ugly situation happening in the very heart of Africa in the country of Sudan. This is a conflict of much bloodshed and death that has been going on for many years and there seems to be no end in sight. It is a complicated conflict involving many people including rebel groups and corrupt governments. I will discuss the history of this conflict and how it is affecting the people and the country. I will also talk about different solutions to possibly end this horrible conflict. The Darfur conflict has often been portrayed as a struggle between Arabs and Africans sparked by ethnic and tribal tension over competition of resources. However as with many conflicts in Sudan and Africa as a whole there is no single root cause. It is a set of intertwined factors that are driving this war. Things such as historical grievances, perception of race, demand for power, the distribution of economic resources, and access to resources are just several of the numerous factors that are driving this war. This quote by a struggling woman typifies what is going on in Darfur, “I have been waiting here two days for my turn, and if the water finishes I will have to ask for water from other people," says Khadija Musa, the elderly woman. "Sometimes I have to borrow water to cook. Our clothes are filthy, we cannot wash without water." She rubs her shoulder and sighs. "The only thing left is to die"(Christian). The current conflict started in 2003, after several years of fighting between different Darfuri tribes. In 2002 the self proclaimed Darfur Liberation Front made a number of attacks on police stations and other government buildings. This group then went even further and captured the town of Tine and attacked the Al-Fashir airport. The government found out about this attack and was not happy with this group’s direction toward peace. The government decided to fight this rebellion outright. But, the government knew that their army was weak so they decided to supply small tribes around the area with supplies and guns. This group has become known as the Janjaweed. This quote states their purpose, “The government pays local militias, in this case the Janjaweed, to lead attacks on civilians in coordination with government aircraft. Though the government denies arming the Janjaweed, there have long been reports of coordinated attacks. This method worked very well for the government as a low-cost method of handling the armed rebellion during the civil war between the north and south that lasted from 1983 to 2005” (Joireman). The Janjaweed began to pull off attacks on civilian population. This did not make people very happy and the government would never admit to arming this group. But the government and the Sudanese army still helped out and supported the militia raids on villages. Fighting continued for several years until it seemed like it would stop when a peace treaty was put out for approval by the Sudanese government. Both sides disagreed on the treaty saying that it was not fair for the people and didn’t give them enough representation. This led to another outbreak of fighting that has lasted to present time. The UN is now trying to make peace by moving UN forces into the area of conflict. All of this fighting and bloodshed has made a huge impact on the civilian population. Since fighting began in 2003 there has been an estimated 200,000 people killed and two million displaced. This has been because of the pro-government militias that have burnt and looted villages, rapped woman and killed men, which has forced innocent people to flee across the border to seek refuge elsewhere. The sad part is that these people are still in danger of militia violence, and have no way of assistance. The militias have also aimed at their food producing capacity. They torched crops and food supplies which have taken away the people’s