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WAR IN DARFUR 1 War in Darfur Analysis: Assignment 1 Joseph Brown Dr. Timothy Smith PAD540 January 29, 2014 WAR IN DARFUR 2 Part I: War in Darfur Introduction Sudan is Africa’s largest country, roughly the size of Western Europe. It is geo strategically significant, especially to an imperial US. Thanks to its location, it is the backdoor to the Middle East. Thanks to its size, it has the potential to be a dominant power in the African continent, and thanks to its oil, it has what advanced capitalist economies crave the most. Darfur, roughly the size of France, is the westernmost province of Sudan. “It was long a place of Sudanic states, with Daju and Tunjur kingdoms preceding that of Darfur (founded circa 1630), where a small sultanate of Masalit emerged in the west in the 19th century” (Reyna 2010). According to the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, in 1989, a military coup brought Omar alBashir and some fellow officers to power in alliance with the Islamist movement, the National Islamic Front (NIF) led by Hassan al Turabi. The new regime immediately posed problems in Darfur, especially for nonArab peoples. It divided Darfur in 1994 into three smaller states; North, West and South Darfur. In doing so it made certain that, ‘boundaries were gerrymandered to make the Fur a minority in each of the states’, thereby diminishing Fur power. A year later the central government appointed eight Arab emirs in West Darfur. This directly threatened Masalit authority in their West Darfurian heartland. Darfur was swiftly becoming a ‘dar alharba’ (Sudanese Arabic, ‘land of war’). During the decade between 1989 and 1999 what had begun as small localized quarrels became a larger regional conflict in which the Khartoum regime increasingly sought to intervene to augment its own authority. “Khartoum’s manipulation of land tenure problems on the side of Arabs provoked two wars, an Arab–Fur (1987–89) and an Arab–Masalit (1995–99) war” (Reyna WAR IN DARFUR 3 2010). Arabs began to form militias as early as the middle 1980s and, during the Arab–Masalit conflict, an Arab militia called Janjawid emerged. In response to 2001 Fur, Masalit and the Zaghawa organized their own militias. First there was the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF), out of which came the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), announcing its existence in February 2003. “A month later the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the second major antigovernment militia, announced its organization. There was talk of Darfur’s secession. Thereafter, the pace of events quickened” (Reyna, 2010). These events led to the war in Darfur, which is still being fought today. Not only has war greatly impacted Darfur, it also has garnered involvement from neighboring states, as well as the United States. This involvement will be detailed in later sections of this analysis. Major Issues in Darfur There are major issues that contributed to the occurrence of this political event taking place. Illogical governance, anarchy, and disrespect of human rights have played a major role in the war in Darfur. Specifically, the conflict in Darfur began in the spring of 2003 when two Darfuri rebel movements; the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) launched attacks against government military installations as part of a campaign to fight against the historic political and economic marginalization of Darfur. The Sudanese government, at the time engaged in tense negotiations with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) to end a three decades long civil war between North and South Sudan, responded swiftly and viciously to extinguish the insurgency. Through coordinated military raids with governmentarmed militia, Janjaweed, the Sudanese military specifically targeted ethnic groups from which the rebels received much of their support. The WAR IN DARFUR 4 civilian casualties were immense. According to the Refugee International website, over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions of civilians were forced to flee their homes. An immense humanitarian crisis resulted from the mass displacement of these civilians. From direct attacks and the deterioration of living conditions, many experts estimate that as many as 300,000 people lost their lives between 2003 and 2005. In September 2004, President George W. Bush declared the crisis in Darfur a “genocide”; the first time a sitting American president had made such a declaration regarding an ongoing conflict. Despite the world’s growing outcry, the violence has continued in Darfur and the number of dead and displaced has increased considerably. Today, fighting between the rebel movements and the government continues. In the last few years, opportunistic bandits and militias have also taken advantage of the anarchy in Darfur. General banditry and looting jeopardize humanitarian aid and genderbased crimes are now being committed by many different sides. Despite this chaotic environment, the Sudanese government remains the most responsible for the violence in Darfur. President alBashir and others in his government created the anarchic conditions presiding in Darfur today through their violent counterinsurgency campaign targeting innocent men, women and children. Furthermore, the Sudanese government has obstructed the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, avoided serious negotiations with the rebel groups, refused to prosecute any individuals responsible for crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, and most recently expelled thirteen international humanitarian aid groups from Darfur. These actions continue to leave many civilians in Darfur unprotected and dispossessed of their basic human rights (savedarfur.org). WAR IN DARFUR 5 International Community in Darfur The three main effects that this political event had on the international community are: genocide, displacement, and human rights. The “Darfur Genocide” refers to the current mass slaughter and rape of Darfuri men, women and children in Western Sudan. The killings began in 2003 and continue still today, as the first genocide in the 21st century. The genocide is being carried out by a group of governmentarmed and funded Arab militias known as the Janjaweed (which loosely translates to ‘devils on horseback’). The Janjaweed systematically destroy Darfurians by burning villages, looting economic resources, polluting water sources, and murdering, raping, and torturing civilians. These militias are historic rivals of the main rebel groups, the Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). As of today, over 480,000 people have been killed, and over 2.8 million people are displaced (worldwithoutgenocide.org). Next, the displacement of the Darfurians has indeed had an impact on in the international community. Due to this conflict in Darfur, millions of citizens have been displaced. They have been displaced to surrounding areas. They have been forced to flee their homes, and at times construct makeshift dwellings to keep them from harm’s way. Additionally, this displacement has stripped them of their dignity, and cultural and civil rights. Moreover, these atrocities results in their human rights being non existent. The citizens of Darfur have not been afforded the human rights that each citizen is entitled to receive. Ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis. The aforementioned inhumanities have affected the international community as a whole because a plethora of injustices have been bestowed upon the citizens of Darfur. Such malaise has warranted global support, including Hollywood stars. WAR IN DARFUR 6 Key Political Roles in Darfur Key political and nonstate roles heavily participated in the conflict in Darfur. Specifically, the Obama Administration and the United Nations African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) serve in the capacity of key political roles. The Obama Administration is deeply concerned that, ten years after the outbreak of war in Darfur, the Darfuri people continue to suffer from increased insecurity, human rights abuses, and sexual violence. The United States strongly supports international efforts to bring peace, security, and humanitarian relief to the people of Darfur. The US unequivocally supports UNAMID, the joint United NationsAfrican Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, and demand immediate, unimpeded access for peacekeepers and humanitarians throughout Darfur. “Over the past decade the United States has provided over $7.5 billion in funding for humanitarian, transition, and peacekeeping assistance for vulnerable populations in Darfur and eastern Chad” (Ventrell, 2013). UNAMID has been proactive in enhancing the protection of its personnel, bases and equipment’s and greater capacity in the provision of security for safe delivery of humanitarian assistance and protection of civilians. “Much as the deployment of UNAMID mission has brought semblance of security and militating against the achievement of durable peace in Darfur” (Luqman, 2012). Participants of nonstate roles are filled by Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Refugees International. JEM is major antigovernment militia. The Justice and Equality Movement aims to reform Sudan’s political and economic structure due to underrepresentation of certain ethnic groups in the country. Members contend that the government neglects to distribute resource revenue evenly among the provinces, and suffers from abject corruption stemming from the monopolization of governing power by one ethnic and social group. WAR IN DARFUR 7 According to statements made by the leader of the group, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim Mohammad, the group is unlikely to end their offensives against government forces and governmentcontrolled paramilitary groups until the alBashir administration is removed from power (isvg.org). Refugees International funds independent, effective, lifesaving work. Worldwide, millions of people have been forced from their homes because of conflict and climate change in Darfur, with millions more living as stateless people with no national identity. Refugees International provides governments, international agencies, and nongovernmental organizations with effective solutions to improve the lives of displaced people (refugeesinternational.org). Overall, these political and nonstate entities have been instrumental in providing support and assistance to the victimized and displaced citizens of Darfur. Collectively, if these ‘roles’ remain steadfast, perhaps the genocide in Darfur will be eradicated. Foreign Policy Decisions in Darfur Foreign policy decisions can either improve or hinder political agendas. Moreover, Sudan’s government and the United States government were major factors in the foreign policy decisions. Specifically, the president of Sudan (1994 ), Bashir, Omar Hassan Ahmed, was not interested in humanities, which has thwarted reconciliation endeavors. In June 1989, he led a coup that overthrew Prime Minister Sadiq alMahdi and became chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. In 1990 he reorganized the government, giving greater power to Islamists, and a year later he introduced sharia (religious law of Islam) in most of the country. Two years later civilian rule was reintroduced, and Bashir appointed himself president; he was elected to the post in 1996. An attempt by parliament to limit his powers led him to declare a state of emergency and dissolve the legislature; he was reelected in 2000. He remained president when WAR IN DARFUR 8 an interim government was established in 2005 under a powersharing agreement with South Sudanese rebels. Atrocities committed by his government forces and allied militias during fighting against rebels in Darfur led the International Criminal Court to indict Bashir for war crimes in 2009 and issue a warrant for his arrest. Bashir was reelected president in 2010, receiving most of his votes in North and central Sudan, but the election was marred by irregularities (ebscohoststrayer.edu). Juxtapose of the unwillingness of Sudan officials, the United States has in fact warranted peace offerings, and federal aid to Darfur citizens and officials. Specifically, “over the past decade the United States has provided over $7.5 billion in funding for humanitarian, transition, and peacekeeping assistance for vulnerable populations in Darfur and eastern Chad” (Ventrell, 2013). In sum, Bashir, Omar Hassan Ahmed, has affected foreign policy in Darfur because of his unwillingness to cooperate. He is more concerned with fulfilling his ill agenda, instead of creating a peaceful environment for the citizens he presides over. Contrastingly, the foreign policy of the United States has provided peacekeeping assistance with hopes of removing all forms of genocide. Finally, this challenge will remain until hearts are softened and a collective agreement is reached. WAR IN DARFUR 9 References Darfur genocide (2013). Retrieved January 29, 2014 from http://www.worldwithoutgenocide.org Institute for the study of violent groups. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2014 from http://www.vkb.isvg.org. Luqman, S. (2012). From AMIS to UNAMID: The African Union, the United Nations and the challenges of sustainable peace in Darfur, Sudan. Canadian Social Science, 8(1), 6069. doi:10.3968/j.css.1923669720120801.590 Omar Hassan Ahmed al Bashir. (2013). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition. Retrieved January 31, 2014 from http://searchebscohostcom.libdatab.strayer.edu. Refugees International. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2014 from http://refugeesinternational.org. Reyna, S. P. (2010). The disasters of war in Darfur, 19502004. Third World Quarterly, 31(8), 12971320. doi:10.1080/01436597.2010.541083 Ventrell, P. (2013). Ten years of war in Darfur. Retrieved January 29, 2014 from http://www.state.gov. What has happened in Darfur? (2013) Retrieved January 30, 2014 from WAR IN DARFUR 10 http://www.safedarfur.org.
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