Professor Krista Clark
1 December 2014
The Genocide in Darfur
One ponders, “Will humanity ever change?” looking at the first genocide of the 21st century, it seems that history continues to repeat itself in the aspect of conflict. With the concept of resolution, non-involved citizens appear to be removing themselves from the solution while relying on the government to make amends. Identifying an attack as genocide often leads to limited, international intervention rather than individual support (Semelin 23). From the earliest identified genocide involving the Turkish government and Armenian Christians, through the Holocaust, into Rwanda, to present day Sudan, individuals, from time to time, have had to deal with conflict based upon their nationality, ethnicity, race, or religious beliefs. The genocide in Darfur has resulted in Arabism, Islamism, famine, and mass rape. Humanity cannot turn its back on this African country.
The United Nations has defined genocide as: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group (United Nations)
Since 2003, this has been happening in Sudan. The history behind the Darfur Genocide began with Sudan’s independence from Britain in 1956. This country spent the remainder of the 20th century entangled with two civil wars. These were caused by the discovery of oil in the land of Darfur. This forced a competition for scarce resources by the Sudanese government and other international contributors. This conflict expounded in 2003 amongst the Arab grazers and non-Arab farmers (“Darfur Genocide, 2003 - Present”). Sudan, Africa’s largest country, is controlled by a government that inhibits its citizens. Despite the overabundance of natural resources, the Sudanese live in poverty. Because of government control, the population is unable to benefit from its natural resources (Worth). Darfur, a region in Western Sudan, is about the size of Spain. It contains about six million of Sudan’s 35 million people (“Darfur Genocide, 2003 - Present”). Early government involvement, concerning the attacks, resulted in a ruling of “criminal activity” rather than true “genocide” (Hoge pa3). The United Nation has noted that it must be determined whether all of Darfur is being attacked or if it is just a specific group of individuals facing the turmoil. This is to ensure that the entire population of a particular group is not destroyed (United Nations). Darfur is composed of individual living a rural lifestyle. Some are nomadic herders, while others have settled farms. This Muslim region practices Islam religion and is members of the ethnic group, Fur (Worth). In an attempt to remove the non-Arab farmers from Darfur, the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militia (de Waal, “Tragedy in Darfur”), have carried out this atrocity in an attempt to create a Pan-Arab state. The Janjaweed, government-supported Arab militia, raid non-Arab villages; this has forced thousands of refugees to flee into Chad and the Central African Republic ("Darfur Peace Process & Chronology"). These raids include burning villages, stealing resources, destroying water sources via pollutants, and terrorizing villagers with murder, rape and other acts of torture ("Darfur Genocide, 2003 - Present"). Because the attempt was to destroy the population, it was identified as a genocide (Nathan 23). Arabism is the primary culprit. The Janjaweed is attempting to rid Darfur of all non-Arabs. Most of the targeted villages are those consisting of non-Arabic speaking citizens (de Waal, “Tragedy in