The Conflict in Darfur, Sudan is a humanitarian crisis which officially began in 2003 and continues to this day. The conflict began with tribal and governmental disputes. The government then began to fight a proxy war by arming nomadic Arab tribes, called the Janjaweed, to fight against the Darfuri people. The government has isolated themselves from the Darfuri people. The war has displaced millions of people from the Darfur region of Sudan and hundreds of thousands have been killed. Due to the conflict, Sudanese president, Hassan Omar al-Bashir, the International Crimes Court has issues an arrest warrant.
The conflict in the impoverished Darfur, Sudan is a result of governmental favoritism of foreign nations and conflicts between ethnic people groups which has left millions dead or displaced and damaged the country’s image in the eyes of the world. The conflict in Darfur, Sudan is the result of land disputes due to changing regimes, governmental favoritism of Arab nations and Arab groups, and a struggle for natural resources necessary for survival. The population of the Darfur region of Sudan is estimated to be around 7. 5 million people. They are spread out in an area roughly the size of France (Thomas Reuters Foundation).
As the Sahara has begun to increase, Arab farmers have begun to encroach on the Darfuri’s territory. In the past, the territorial disputes were solved peacefully with tribal leaders, but, since a military coup in occurred, the government has ignored and abolished all attempts (The Guardian). Instead, the government began to arm the nomadic Arab tribes and recruited Arab militias, also called the Janjaweed. In the western Sudanese region, the word Janjaweed refers to a group of outlaws (Ohio State University). They were armed in order to fight against the native Darfuri (BBC).
The government has denied the fact that they armed the Janjaweed (Thomas Reuter Foundation). The nomadic Arab tribes and the Darfuri, who are traditionally sedentary farmers, will clash over the use of local national resources. The Darfuri claims that they were given the resources in part of their hakurat, or assigned land. The Arab herders are in need of the resources in order to sustain their lifestyle (OSU). The International Crisis Group says that the Sudanese government’s border patrol has begun to answer to the tribal leaders instead of the government (Thomas Reuter Foundation).
Another contributing issues to the war in Darfur is the discovery of gold deposits in North Darfur’s Jebel Amir hills (Thomas Reuters Foundation). However, the issue of religious differences has not contributed to the increasing tensions. Most of the Darfuri and Arab tribes are Muslims (BBC). Overall, the government has ignored the pleas of the Darfuri people for help and instead aided Arab tribes and militias in the hope that they will stifle the Darfuri’s pleas for help. The detail of conflict between the Darfuri, Arabs, and the Sudanese government has been bloody and violent and currently shows no signs of stopping.
Since tensions began to rise in the area, the government has tried extremely hard to ignore the growing tensions (Ohio State University). The beginning of the war is considered to be in 2003. In April of 2003, the Sudan Liberation Army, a Darfuri rebel group, attacked the airport in the capital of their region (BBC). The attack took the government by surprise. The attack destroyed seven airplanes and other governmental equipment located there (BBC). After the attack on the airport, the Sudanese government began to take the conflict seriously. Due to a war waging in the southern regions of the country, the Sudanese military was stretched thin.
Instead of sending troops to the Darfur region, the government decided to instead fight a proxy war using the Janjaweed to fight for them instead of pulling troops from the southern region of the country (Ohio State University). The government has used the tactic of waging a proxy war in the past in a conflict between the South and the Nuba Mountains. The government and the Janjaweed responded to the attack. The government began commencing air raids over the Darfur region, while the Janjaweed would go into villages. The Janjaweed would boom and burn the village.
They would also kill the people in the villages and rape the women (BBC). The main villages which have been attacked are Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit (BBC). The refugees who fled from the Janjaweed attacks described them as ferocious gun-wielding men riding camels (Thomas Reuter Foundation). Overtime, the Janjaweed began to either integrate into the Sudanese military or they changed sides and joined the Darfuri rebels or they are in conflict with other Arab groups. Still some fight in militia groups. The United Nations Security Council has ordered that the Janjaweed be disarmed (Ohio State University).
Overall, the war between the Janjaweed and the Darfuri has been a very bloody and has caused many people to flee into another country for refuge. The result of the conflict in the region of Darfur is that the country has received a tarnished view in the eyes of the world, tens of millions of people have been displaced, and the country’s president has been indicted on humanitarian charges. The international community is trying to convince the government to stop the war. The United Nations has assembled a peacekeeping organization to send to the region.
The organization is the United Nation-African Union Mission in Darfur(UNAMID). The UNAMID took over a smaller peacekeeping force, which only had 7,00 members, in order to quell the violence in the country (Thomas Reuters Foundation). The conflict has produced a large number of refugees who are fleeing from the violence. It is estimated that since the beginning of the war, more than 2. 3 million people have been displaced. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that since the beginning of 2014 more the 450,00 people have fled from the violence (Human Rights Watch).
Contrary to the estimates by the United Nations, the Sudanese government estimates that only 10,000 people have been killed since 2003 while the United Nations believes the number to be closer to 300,00. The conflict in Darfur has displaced millions and has killed thousands despite the government’s attempt to conceal the numbers. Due to the Sudanese government’s attempts at aiding the Janjaweed and committing airstrikes on Darfuri, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, has had an arrest warrant issued by the International Crimes Court(ICC).
His charges include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide (BBC). This charge made Bashir the first head of a state to be the subject of an ICC arrest warrant. Because of the ICC arrest warrant, western countries will no longer meet with Bashir and have placed trade sanctions on the country. Although the ICC arrest warrant have diminished the popularity of Sudan in the eyes of Western countries, Bashir has gained popularity in certain parts of Sudan and some African and Arab countries (BBC).
Most recently, evidence of Bashir’s popularity in African countries was shown when he was allowed into South Africa. Bashir entered the country by private jet to attend the African Union Summit. The South African High Court issued an order to prevent his departure, but Bashir was still able to leave the country freely (Save Darfur). The International Crimes Court has been trying to arrest Bashir for six years. Despite Bashir having an arrest warrant for committing atrocities against humanity, many African and Arab countries still support the Sudanese government.
In conclusion, the conflict in Darfur, Sudan was the result of tribal territorial disputes, governmental favoritism, and conflict between ethnic groups. The war began with disputes between nomadic Arab tribes and the sedentary Darfuri farmers. It then escalated to the Sudanese government arming the Arab tribes and allowing them to attack the Darfuri people. The genocide of the Darfuri people has caused an international outrage. Hassan Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, had an arrest warrant issued for him by the International Crimes Court on the charges of genocide, crime against humanity, and war crimes.
The arrest warrant issued for him decreased the popularity of Sudan in the eyes of Western countries while increasing popularity in certain Africa and Arab countries. Bashir has been able to travel freely throughout Africa. The conflict in Darfur originated as a conflict between Arab tribes and the Darfuri people and has escalated to a genocide of the Darfuri people. The conflict has displaced millions and has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people.