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Darfur conflict

Darfur conflict

Overview
The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 conflict or civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 centered on the Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

 region of Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army or is a Sudanese rebel group...

 (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement
Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict of Sudan, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups, such as the Sudan Liberation Movement , they are fighting against the Sudanese Government, including the government's proxy militia, the Janjaweed...

 (JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government
Politics of Sudan
Officially, the politics of Sudan takes place in the framework of a presidential representative democratic consociationalist republic, where the President of Sudan is Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces in a multi-party system...

 of oppressing non-Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Sudanese in favor of Sudanese Arabs.

One side of the conflict was composed mainly of the official Sudanese military and police, and the Janjaweed
Janjaweed
The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

, a Sudanese militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 group recruited mostly from the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat
Rizeigat
The Rizeigat, or Rizigat, or Rezeigat are a Muslim and Arabic tribe of the nomadic Bedouin Baggara people in Sudan's Darfur region. The Rizeigat belong to the greater Baggara Arabs fraternity of Darfur and Kordofan and speak Sudanese Arabic...

 region in Sudan; these tribes are mainly camel-herding nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

s.
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The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 conflict or civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 centered on the Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

 region of Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army or is a Sudanese rebel group...

 (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement
Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict of Sudan, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups, such as the Sudan Liberation Movement , they are fighting against the Sudanese Government, including the government's proxy militia, the Janjaweed...

 (JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government
Politics of Sudan
Officially, the politics of Sudan takes place in the framework of a presidential representative democratic consociationalist republic, where the President of Sudan is Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces in a multi-party system...

 of oppressing non-Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Sudanese in favor of Sudanese Arabs.

One side of the conflict was composed mainly of the official Sudanese military and police, and the Janjaweed
Janjaweed
The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

, a Sudanese militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 group recruited mostly from the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat
Rizeigat
The Rizeigat, or Rizigat, or Rezeigat are a Muslim and Arabic tribe of the nomadic Bedouin Baggara people in Sudan's Darfur region. The Rizeigat belong to the greater Baggara Arabs fraternity of Darfur and Kordofan and speak Sudanese Arabic...

 region in Sudan; these tribes are mainly camel-herding nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

s. The other combatants are made up of rebel groups, notably the SLM/A and the JEM, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslim Fur
Fur people
The Fur are an ethnic group from western Sudan, principally inhabiting the region of Darfur where they are the largest tribe....

, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups. Although the Sudanese government publicly denies that it supports the Janjaweed, it has been providing financial assistance and weapons to the militia and has been organizing joint attacks targeting civilians. The Sudanese government uses oil revenues to fund a military capacity that is in turn, used to conduct war in Darfur. Oil revenues collected from companies around the world fund the civil war as well as violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Sudan’s oil wealth has played a major part in enabling an otherwise poor government to fund the expensive bombers, helicopters and arms supplies which have allowed the Sudanese government to launch aerial attacks on towns and villages and fund militias to fight its proxy war in Darfur.

There are various estimates on the number of human casualties, ranging from under twenty thousand to several hundred thousand dead, from either direct combat or starvation and disease inflicted by the conflict. There have also been mass displacements and coercive migrations, forcing millions into refugee camps or over the border and creating a large humanitarian crisis
Humanitarian crisis
A humanitarian crisis is an event or series of events which represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area...

 and is regarded by many as a genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

.

The Sudanese government and the JEM signed a ceasefire agreement in February, 2010, with a tentative agreement to pursue further peace. The JEM has the most to gain from the talks, and could see semi-autonomy much like South Sudan. However, talks have been disrupted by accusations that the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the February agreement. The JEM, the largest rebel group in Darfur, has said they will boycott further negotiations.
In Darfur, over 5 million people have been affected by the conflict.>
List of abbreviations used in this article

AU: African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...



DLF: Darfur Liberation Front

ICC: International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...



IDP: Internally Displaced Person
Internally displaced person
An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

 

JEM: Justice and Equality Movement
Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict of Sudan, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups, such as the Sudan Liberation Movement , they are fighting against the Sudanese Government, including the government's proxy militia, the Janjaweed...



SLM/A/A: Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army or is a Sudanese rebel group...



SLM/A: Sudan Liberation Movement
Sudan Liberation Movement
The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army or is a Sudanese rebel group...



SPLA: Sudan People's Liberation Army
Sudan People's Liberation Army
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement is a political party in South Sudan. It was initially founded as a rebel political movement with a military wing known as the Sudan People's Liberation Army estimated at 180,000 soldiers. The SPLM fought in the Second Sudanese Civil War against the Sudanese...



UN: United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 

UNAMID: United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur
United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur
The African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur is a joint African Union and United Nations peacekeeping mission formally approved by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 on July 31, 2007, to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan while peace talks on a...



UNSC: United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...


Origins of the conflict


The conflict's origin goes back to land disputes between semi-nomadic livestock herders and those who practice sedentary agriculture. The usage of the terms "Arab" and "Black" has been opposed, because all parties involved in the Darfur conflict—whether they are referred to as ‘Arab’ or as ‘African,’ are equally indigenous and equally Black. 'Arab' in the Sudanese context is different from Arab in the American context.

Since the population of Darfur is predominantly Muslim, conflict is not about race or religion, but about resources as the nomadic tribes facing drought are going after the territory of sedentary farmers.

Arab Apartheid


Beginning in 1991 elders of the Zaghawa people of Sudan complained that they were victims of an intensifying Arab apartheid campaign. Sudanese Arabs, who control the government, are widely referred to as practising apartheid against Sudan's non-Arab citizens. The government is accused of "deftly manipulat(ing) Arab solidarity" to carry out policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing against non-Arabs in Darfur.

American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

 economist George Ayittey
George Ayittey
George Ayittey is a Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC. He is a professor at American University, and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute...

 accuses the Arab government of Sudan of practicing apartheid against black citizens. According to Ayittey, "In Sudan... the Arabs monopolized power and excluded blacks - Arab apartheid." Many African commentators join Ayittey in accusing Sudan of practising Arab apartheid.

Boston Globe columnist Fred Jacoby has accused Sudan of practising apartheid against Christians in what is now South Sudan "where tens of thousands of black Africans in the country's southern region, most of them Christians or animists, have been abducted and sold into slavery by Arab militias backed by the Islamist regime in Khartoum."

Alan Dershowitz has pointed to Sudan as an example of a government that "actually deserve(s)" the appellation "apartheid." Other distinguished people who have accused the regime in Sudan of practising "apartheid" against non-Arabs include former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler
Irwin Cotler
Irwin Cotler, PC, OC, MP was Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 until the Liberal government of Paul Martin lost power following the 2006 federal election. He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons for the constituency of Mount Royal in a by-election...

.

Beginning of the conflict


The beginning point of the conflict in the Darfur region is typically said to be 26 February 2003, when a group calling itself the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF) publicly claimed credit for an attack on Golo
Golo, Sudan
Golo is a settlement and rural district located in West Darfur, Sudan. The start of the Darfur conflict is conventionally dated to an attack claimed by the Darfur Liberation Front upon Golo on 26 February 2003...

, the headquarters of Jebel Marra District. Even prior to this attack, however, a conflict had erupted in Darfur, as rebels had already attacked police stations, army outposts and military convoys, and the government had engaged in a massive air and land assault on the rebel stronghold in the Marrah Mountains
Marrah Mountains
The Marrah Mountains or Marra Mountains is a range of volcanic peaks created by a massif that rises up to 3,000 m. It is located in the center of the Darfur region of Sudan, specifically within Dar Zagahawa and neighboring areas. The highest point is Deriba Caldera...

. The rebels' first military action was a successful attack on an army garrison on the mountain on 25 February 2002 and the Sudanese government had been aware of a unified rebel movement since an attack on the Golo police station in June 2002. Chroniclers Julie Flint and Alex de Waal
Alex de Waal
Alexander William Lowndes de Waal is a British writer and researcher on African issues. He was a fellow of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at Harvard University, as well as program director at the Social Science Research Council on AIDS in New York City...

 state that the beginning of the rebellion is better dated to 21 July 2001, when a group of Zaghawa and Fur
Fur people
The Fur are an ethnic group from western Sudan, principally inhabiting the region of Darfur where they are the largest tribe....

 met in Abu Gamra
Abu Gamra
Abu Gamra is a town in Sudan. It was attacked by Sudanese forces during 2003/2004 in the Darfur conflict....

 and swore oaths on the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 to work together to defend against government-sponsored attacks on their villages. It should be noted that nearly all of the residents of Darfur are Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, including the Janjaweed
Janjaweed
The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

, as well as the government leaders in Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

.

On 25 March 2003, the rebels seized the garrison town of Tine along the Chadian border, seizing large quantities of supplies and arms. Despite a threat by President Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

 to "unleash" the army, the military had little in reserve. The army was already deployed both to the south, where the Second Sudanese Civil War
Second Sudanese Civil War
The Second Sudanese Civil War started in 1983, although it was largely a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Although it originated in southern Sudan, the civil war spread to the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile by the end of the 1980s....

 was drawing to an end, and to the east, where rebels sponsored by Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 were threatening a newly constructed pipeline from the central oilfields to Port Sudan
Port Sudan
Port Sudan is the capital of Red Sea State, Sudan; it has 489,725 residents . Located on the Red Sea, it is the Republic of Sudan's main port city.-History:...

. The rebel tactic of hit-and-run raids to speed across the semi-desert region proved almost impossible for the army, untrained in desert operations, to counter. However, its aerial bombardment of rebel positions on the mountain was devastating.

At 5:30 am on 25 April 2003, a joint Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement
Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict of Sudan, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups, such as the Sudan Liberation Movement , they are fighting against the Sudanese Government, including the government's proxy militia, the Janjaweed...

 (JEM) force in 33 Land Cruisers entered al-Fashir
Al-Fashir
Al Fashir or Al-Fashir is the capital city of North Darfur, Sudan. It is a large town in the Darfur region of northwestern Sudan, 120 miles northeast of Nyala, Sudan....

 and attacked the sleeping garrison. In the next four hours, four Antonov
Antonov
Antonov, or Antonov Aeronautical Scientist/Technical Complex , formerly the Antonov Design Bureau, is a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and services company with particular expertise in the field of very large aircraft construction. Antonov ASTC is a state-owned commercial company...

 bombers and helicopter gunships (according to the government; seven according to the rebels) were destroyed on the ground, 75 soldiers, pilots and technicians were killed and 32 were captured, including the commander of the air base, a Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

. The success of the raid was unprecedented in Sudan; in the 20 years of the war in the south, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army
Sudan People's Liberation Army
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement is a political party in South Sudan. It was initially founded as a rebel political movement with a military wing known as the Sudan People's Liberation Army estimated at 180,000 soldiers. The SPLM fought in the Second Sudanese Civil War against the Sudanese...

 (SPLA) had never carried out such an operation.

The Janjaweed enter the conflict (2003)



The al-Fashir raid was a turning point both militarily and psychologically. The armed forces had been humiliated by the al-Fashir raid and the government was faced with a difficult strategic situation. The armed forces would clearly need to be retrained and redeployed to fight this new kind of war and there were well-founded concerns about the loyalty of the many Darfurian non-commissioned officers and soldiers in the army. Responsibility for prosecuting the war was given to Sudanese military intelligence. Nevertheless, in the middle months of 2003, the rebels won 34 of 38 engagements. In May, the SLA destroyed a battalion at Kutum
Kutum
Kutum is a town in the Sudanese state of North Darfur. It lies northwest of the state capital, Al-Fashir. The town is located along a wadi and therefore also known as Wadi Kutum. It lies north along the Marrah Mountains; the Kutum volcanic field is better known as the Tagabo Hills. As of 2006,...

, killing 500 and taking 300 prisoners; and in mid-July, 250 were killed in a second attack on Tine. The SLA began to infiltrate farther east, threatening to extend the war into Kordofan.

However, at this point the government changed its strategy. Given that the army was being consistently defeated, the war effort depended on three elements: military intelligence, the air force, and the Janjaweed
Janjaweed
The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

, armed Baggara
Baggara
The Baggāra Arabs are a set of communities inhabiting the portion of Africa's Sahel between Lake Chad and southern Kordofan, numbering over one million. They have a common language which is one of the regional colloquial Arabic languages...

 herders whom the government had begun directing in suppression of a Masalit uprising in 1996-1999. The Janjaweed were put at the center of the new counter-insurgency
Counter-insurgency
A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency involves actions taken by the recognized government of a nation to contain or quell an insurgency taken up against it...

 strategy. Though the government consistently denied supporting the Janjaweed, military resources were poured into Darfur and the Janjaweed were outfitted as a paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 force, complete with communication equipment and some artillery. The military planners were doubtlessly aware of the probable consequences of such a strategy: similar methods undertaken in the Nuba Mountains
Nuba Mountains
Nuba Mountains is an area located in South Kordofan, Sudan. The area is home to a group of indigenous ethnic groups known collectively as the Nuba peoples. In the 18th century, Nuba Mountains became home to the kingdom of Taqali that controlled the hills of the mountains until their defeat by...

 and around the southern oil fields during the 1990s had resulted in massive human rights violations and forced displacements.

The better-armed Janjaweed quickly gained the upper hand. By the spring of 2004, several thousand people — mostly from the non-Arab population — had been killed and as many as a million more had been driven from their homes, causing a major humanitarian crisis in the region. The crisis took on an international dimension when over 100,000 refugees poured into neighbouring Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

, pursued by Janjaweed militiamen, who clashed with Chadian government forces along the border. More than 70 militiamen and 10 Chadian soldiers were killed in one gun battle in April. A United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 observer team reported that non-Arab villages were singled out while Arab villages were left untouched:

The 23 Fur villages in the Shattaya Administrative Unit have been completely depopulated, looted and burnt to the ground (the team observed several such sites driving through the area for two days). Meanwhile, dotted alongside these charred locations are unharmed, populated and functioning Arab settlements. In some locations, the distance between a destroyed Fur village and an Arab village is less than 500 meters.


A 2011 study in the British Journal of Sociology, “The Displaced and Dispossessed of Darfur: Explaining the Sources of a Continuing State-Led Genocide,” examined 1,000 interviews with Black African participants who fled from 22 village clusters in Darfur to various refugee camps in 2003 and 2004. The study found that: 1) The frequency of hearing racial epithets during an attack was 70% higher when it was led by the Janjaweed alone compared to official police forces; it was 80% higher when the Janjaweed and the Sudanese Government attacked together; 2) Risk of displacement was nearly 110% higher during a joint attack compared to when the police or Janjaweed acted alone, and 85% higher when Janjaweed forces attacked alone compared to when the attack was only perpetrated by the Sudanese Government forces; 3) Attacks on food and water supplies made it 129% more likely to be displaced compared to attacks that involved house burnings or killing of persons; 4) Perpetrators knew and took “special advantage” of the susceptibility of Darfur residents to attacks focused on basic resources. This vulnerability came against the backdrop of increased regional desertification.

2004-2005


In 2004, Chad brokered negotiations in N'Djamena
N'Djamena
N'Djamena is the capital and largest city of Chad. A port on the Chari River, near the confluence with the Logone River, it directly faces the Cameroonian town of Kousséri, to which the city is connected by a bridge. It is also a special statute region, divided in 10 arrondissements. It is a...

, leading to the April 8 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement
April 8 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement
Following the escalation of the Darfur conflict in the Sudan, Chad brokered negotiations in N'Djamena in 2004, leading to the April 8 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement between the Sudanese government and the two rebel groups, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation...

 between the Sudanese government, the JEM, and the SLA. One group which did not participate in the April cease-fire talks or agreement — the National Movement for Reform and Development
National Movement for Reform and Development
The National Movement for Reform and Development is a Sudanese rebel group based in the region of Darfur that was formed when it broke away from the Justice and Equality Movement in 2004 because it felt JEM focused to much on the political, rather than the social and economic needs of the Fur people...

 — splintered from the JEM in April. Janjaweed and rebel attacks continued despite the ceasefire, and the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 (AU) formed a Ceasefire Commission (CFC) to monitor its observance.

In August 2004, the African Union sent 150 Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

n troops in to protect the ceasefire monitors. It, however, soon became apparent that 150 troops would not be enough, so they were joined by 150 Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

n troops.

On September 18, 2004 United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 1564
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564, adopted on September 18, 2004, after recalling resolutions 1502 , 1547 and 1556 , the Council threatened the imposition of sanctions against Sudan if it failed to comply with its obligations on Darfur, and an internaional inquiry was established to...

 declaring that the government of Sudan had not met its commitments, expressing concern at helicopter attacks and assaults by the Janjaweed militia against villages in Darfur. It welcomed the intention of the African Union to enhance its monitoring mission in Darfur and urged all member states to support such efforts.

During April 2005, after the government of Sudan signed a ceasefire agreement with Sudan People's Liberation Army
Sudan People's Liberation Army
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement is a political party in South Sudan. It was initially founded as a rebel political movement with a military wing known as the Sudan People's Liberation Army estimated at 180,000 soldiers. The SPLM fought in the Second Sudanese Civil War against the Sudanese...

 which led to the end of the Second Sudanese Civil War
Second Sudanese Civil War
The Second Sudanese Civil War started in 1983, although it was largely a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Although it originated in southern Sudan, the civil war spread to the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile by the end of the 1980s....

, the African Union Mission in Sudan
African Union Mission in Sudan
The African Union Mission in Sudan was an African Union peacekeeping force operating primarily in the country's western region of Darfur with the aim of performing peacekeeping operations related to the Darfur conflict. Originally founded in 2004, with a force of 150 troops, by mid-2005, its...

 force was increased by 600 troops and 80 military observers. In July 2005, the force was increased by about 3,300 (with a budget of 220 million dollars). In April 2005, AMIS was increased to about 7,000.

The scale of the crisis led to warnings of an imminent disaster, with United Nations Secretary-General
United Nations Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat of the United Nations, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations....

 Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 warning that the risk of genocide was frighteningly real in Darfur. The scale of the Janjaweed campaign led to comparisons with the Rwandan Genocide
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

, a parallel hotly denied by the Sudanese government. Independent observers noted that the tactics, which included dismemberment and killing of noncombatants and even young children and babies, were more akin to the ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

 used in the Yugoslav wars
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

, but warned that the region's remoteness meant that hundreds of thousands of people were effectively cut off from aid. The Brussels-based International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group
The International Crisis Group is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world through field-based analyses and high-level advocacy.-History:...

 reported in May 2004 that over 350,000 people could potentially die as a result of starvation
Starvation
Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient and vitamin intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death...

 and disease.
On 10 July 2005, Ex-SPLA leader John Garang
John Garang
John Garang de Mabior was a Sudanese politician and rebel leader. From 1983 to 2005, he led the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War, and following a peace agreement he briefly served as First Vice President of Sudan from January 2005 until he died in a July 2005...

 was sworn in as Sudan's vice-president. However, on 30 July, Garang died in a helicopter crash. His death had long-term implications and, despite improved security, talks between the various rebels in the Darfur region went slowly.

An attack on the Chadian town of Adré
Adré
Adré is the main town of the Assoungha department in the Ouaddaï Region of Chad. It is located very close to Chad's eastern border with Sudan, 400 m away...

 near the Sudanese border led to the deaths of three hundred rebels in December 2005. Sudan was blamed for the attack, which was the second in the region in three days. The escalating tensions in the region led to the government of Chad
Government of Chad
The Government of Chad has been ruled and controlled by Idriss Déby and his Patriotic Salvation Movement since December 2, 1990, and officially since February 28, 1991. An amendment to the Constitution of Chad, passed in 2005, allowed Déby to run for his next term which will be his third...

 declaring its hostility toward Sudan and calling for Chadian citizens to mobilise themselves against the "common enemy". (See Chad-Sudan conflict)

May Agreement (2006)


On 5 May 2006, the government of Sudan signed an accord with the faction of the SLA led by Minni Minnawi
Minni Minnawi
Suliman Arcua Minnawi known as "Minni Minnawi" is the leader of the what once was the largest faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army until it was weakened by dissention and infighting...

. However, the agreement was rejected by two other, smaller groups, the Justice and Equality Movement and a rival faction of the SLA. The accord was orchestrated by the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, Salim Ahmed Salim
Salim Ahmed Salim
Salim Ahmed Salim a Tanzanian diplomat who has worked in the international diplomatic arena since the early 1960s. Salim is married to Amne and they have three children: Maryam, Ali and Ahmed....

 (working on behalf of the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

), AU representatives, and other foreign officials operating in Abuja
Abuja
Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. It is located in the centre of Nigeria, within the Federal Capital Territory . Abuja is a planned city, and was built mainly in the 1980s. It officially became Nigeria's capital on 12 December 1991, replacing Lagos...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

. It called for the disarmament of the Janjaweed militia, and for the rebel forces to disband and be incorporated into the army.

July–August 2006


July and August 2006 saw renewed fighting, with international aid organizations considering leaving due to attacks against their personnel. Kofi Annan called for the deployment of 18,000 international peacekeepers in Darfur to replace the African Union force of 7,000 (AMIS
African Union Mission in Sudan
The African Union Mission in Sudan was an African Union peacekeeping force operating primarily in the country's western region of Darfur with the aim of performing peacekeeping operations related to the Darfur conflict. Originally founded in 2004, with a force of 150 troops, by mid-2005, its...

). In one incident at Kalma
Kalma, Sudan
Kalma is a relocation camp in the Darfur region of Sudan. It is located 17 kilometers outside of Nyala, Sudan. It is estimated that there are over 90,000 residents in the camp. Most if not all the residents are there because of the violence caused by the Darfur conflict....

, seven women, who ventured out of a refugee camp to gather firewood, were gang-raped, beaten and robbed by the Janjaweed. When they had finished, the attackers stripped them naked and jeered at them as they fled.

In a private meeting on 18 August, Hédi Annabi
Hédi Annabi
Hédi Annabi was a Tunisian diplomat and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti...

, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
Department of Peacekeeping Operations
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations is a department of the United Nations which is charged with the planning, preparation, management and direction of UN peacekeeping operations.-History of the DPKO:...

, warned that Sudan appeared to be preparing for a major military offensive in Darfur. The warning came a day after UN Commission on Human Rights
United Nations Commission on Human Rights
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006...

 special investigator Sima Samar
Sima Samar
Dr. Sima Samar OC is a politician in Afghanistan, who served as Minister of Women's Affairs of Afghanistan from December 2001 to 2003...

 stated that Sudan's efforts in the region remained poor despite the May Agreement. On 19 August, Sudan reiterated its opposition to replacing the 7,000 AU force with a 17,000 UN one, resulting in the US issuing a "threat" to Sudan over the "potential consequences" of this position.

On 24 August, Sudan rejected attending a United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 (UNSC) meeting to explain its plan of sending 10,000 Sudanese soldiers to Darfur instead of the proposed 20,000 UN peacekeeping force. The UNSC announced it would hold the meeting despite Sudan's non-attendance. Also on August 24, the International Rescue Committee
International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee is a leading nonsectarian, nongovernmental international relief and development organization based in the United States, with operations in over 40 countries...

 reported that hundreds of women were raped and sexually assaulted
Sexual assault
Sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature on another person, or any sexual act committed without consent. Although sexual assaults most frequently are by a man on a woman, it may involve any combination of two or more men, women and children....

 around the Kalma refugee camp during the last several weeks, a practice that the Janjaweed were reportedly using rape to cause women's humiliation and ostracism. On 25 August, the head of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of African Affairs
Bureau of African Affairs
In the United States Government, the Bureau of African Affairs is part of the U.S. Department of State and is charged with advising the Secretary of State on matters of Sub-Saharan Africa. The bureau was established in 1958...

, Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer
Jendayi Frazer
Jendayi Elizabeth Frazer is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, heading the Bureau of African Affairs. She currently serves as a Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College and Department of Social and Decision...

, warned that the region faces a security crisis unless the proposed UN peacekeeping force is allowed to deploy.

On 26 August, two days before the UNSC meeting, and on the day Frazer was due to arrive in Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

, Paul Salopek, a U.S. National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic, formerly the National Geographic Magazine, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded...

journalist, appeared in court in Darfur facing charges of espionage; he had crossed into the country illegally from Chad, circumventing the Sudanese government's official restrictions on foreign journalists. He was later released after direct negotiation with President al-Bashir. This came a month after Tomo Križnar
Tomo Križnar
Tomo Križnar is a peace activist, writer and special envoy of the Slovene president for Darfur in Sudan.Tomo Križnar was born in Jesenice, Slovenia. He entered the Sudanese Darfur region in February 2006 via the neighbouring Chad, with the help of Darfur rebels and without a valid visa.He was...

, a Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

n presidential envoy, was sentenced to two years in prison for spying.

New proposed UN peacekeeping force



On 31 August 2006, the UNSC approved a resolution to send a new peacekeeping force of 17,300 to the region. Sudan expressed strong opposition to the resolution. On 1 September, African Union officials reported that Sudan had launched a major offensive in Darfur, killing more than 20 people and displacing over 1,000. On 5 September, Sudan asked the AU force in Darfur to leave the region by the end of the month, adding that "they have no right to transfer this assignment to the United Nations or any other party. This right rests with the government of Sudan." On 4 September, in a move not viewed as surprising, Chad's president Idriss Déby
Idriss Déby
General Idriss Déby Itno is the President of Chad and the head of the Patriotic Salvation Movement. Déby is of the Bidyat clan of the Zaghawa ethnic group. He added "Itno" to his surname in January 2006.-Rise to power:...

 voiced support for the new UN peacekeeping force. The AU, whose peacekeeping force mandate expired on 30 September 2006, confirmed that its troops would leave the region. The next day, however, a senior US State Department official told reporters that the AU force might remain past the deadline.

Implementation failure (September 2006)


On 8 September, António Guterres
António Guterres
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, GCC is a Portuguese politician, a former prime minister and President of the Socialist International. Currently he is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.-Early life:...

, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

, said Darfur faced a "humanitarian catastrophe". On 12 September, Sudan's European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 envoy Pekka Haavisto claimed that the Sudanese army was "bombing civilians in Darfur". A World Food Programme
World Food Programme
The World Food Programme is the food aid branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide. WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children...

 official reported that food aid had been cut off from at least 355,000 people in the region. Kofi Annan told the UNSC that "the tragedy in Darfur has reached a critical moment. It merits this council's closest attention and urgent action."

On 14 September, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Minni Minnawi
Minni Minnawi
Suliman Arcua Minnawi known as "Minni Minnawi" is the leader of the what once was the largest faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army until it was weakened by dissention and infighting...

, stated that he did not object to the UN peacekeeping force, in opposition to the Sudanese government's view that such a deployment would be an act of Western invasion. Minnawi claimed that the AU force "can do nothing because the AU mandate is very limited". Khartoum remained sternly against the UN's involvement, with Sudanese president Al-Bashir depicting it as a colonial plan and stating that "we do not want Sudan to turn into another Iraq."

Deterioration (October–November 2006)


On 2 October, with the UN force plan suspended indefinitely because of Sudanese opposition, the AU announced that it would extend its presence in the region until 31 December 2006. Two hundred UN troops were sent to reinforce the AU force. On 6 October, the UNSC voted to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sudan
United Nations Mission in Sudan
The United Nations Mission in the Sudan was established by the UN Security Council under Resolution 1590 of 24 March 2005, in response to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement on January 9, 2005 in Nairobi,...

 until 30 April 2007. On 9 October, the Food and Agriculture Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and...

 listed Darfur as the most pressing food emergency out of the forty countries listed on its Crop Prospects and Food Situation report. On 10 October, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour
Louise Arbour
Louise Arbour, is the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario and a former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda...

, claimed that the Sudanese government had prior knowledge of attacks by Janjaweed militias in Buram, South Darfur
South Darfur
South Darfur is one of the 15 wilayat or states of Sudan. It is one of the three states that compose the region of Darfur in western Sudan. It has an area of and an estimated population of approximately 2,890,000 . Nyala is the capital of the state. The State was affected by the 2010 Sahel...

 the month before, an attack which saw hundreds of civilians killed.


On 12 October, Nigerian Foreign Minister Joy Ogwu
Joy Ogwu
Joy Uche Angela Ogwu is a former Foreign Minister of Nigeria and has been the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York since 2008. She was the second woman to hold the post in the history of Nigeria. Prior to her ministerial career, Dr...

 arrived in Darfur for a two-day visit. She urged the Sudanese government to accept a UN formula. Speaking in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo spoke against "stand[ing] by and see[ing] genocide being developed in Darfur." On 13 October, US President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 imposed further sanctions against those deemed complicit in the Darfur atrocities under the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act
Darfur Peace and Accountability Act
The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act or DPAA restates the United States government's position that the Darfur conflict constitutes genocide, asks the government to expand the African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur and give the force a stronger mandate, including more generous logistical...

 of 2006
. The measures were said to strengthen existing sanctions by prohibiting US citizens from engaging in oil-related transactions with Sudan (although US companies had been prohibited from doing any business with Sudan since 1997), freezing the assets of complicit parties and denying them entry to the US.

The AU mission's lack of funding and equipment meant that aid workers' work in Darfur was severely limited by fighting. Some warned that the humanitarian situation could deteriorate to levels seen in 2003 and 2004, when UN officials called Darfur the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

On 22 October, the Sudanese government told UN envoy Jan Pronk
Jan Pronk
Johannes "Jan" Pieter Pronk is a Dutch politician and diplomat. Currently, he is a Professor of Theory and Practice of International Development at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague....

 to leave the country within three days. Pronk, the senior UN official in the country, had been heavily criticized by the army after he posted a description of several recent military defeats in Darfur to his personal blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

. On 1 November, the US announced that it would formulate an international plan which it hoped the Sudanese government would find more palatable. On 9 November, senior Sudanese presidential advisor Nafie Ali Nafie told reporters that his government was prepared to start unconditional talks with the National Redemption Front
National Redemption Front
The National Redemption Front is an alliance of fighting groups in Darfur. According to their foundation declaration, the NRF consists of the Justice and Equality Movement , a holdout faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance...

 (NRF) rebel alliance, but noted he saw little use for a new peace agreement. The NRF, which had rejected the May Agreement and sought a new peace agreement, did not issue a comment.

In late 2006, Darfur Arabs started their own rebel group, the Popular Forces Troops, and announced on December 6 that they had repulsed an assault by the Sudanese army at Kas-Zallingi the previous day. In a statement, they called the Janjaweed mercenaries who did not represent Darfur's Arabs. They were the latest of numerous Darfur Arab groups to have announced their opposition to the government's war since 2003, some of which had signed political accords with rebel movements.

The same period saw an example of a tribe-based split within the Arab forces, when relations between the farming Terjem and nomadic, camel-herding Mahria tribes became tense. Terjem leaders accused the Mahria of kidnapping a Terjem boy, and Mahria leaders said the Terjem had been stealing their animals. Ali Mahamoud Mohammed, the wali, or governor, of South Darfur, said the fighting began in December when the Mahria drove their camels south in a seasonal migration, trampling through Terjem territory near the Bulbul River. Fighting would resume in July 2007.

Proposed compromise UN force and Sudanese offensive


On 17 November, reports of a potential deal to place a "compromise peacekeeping force" in Darfur were announced, but would later appear to have been rejected by Sudan. The UN, nonetheless, claimed on 18 November that Sudan had agreed to the deployment of UN peacekeepers. Sudan's Foreign Minister Lam Akol
Lam Akol
Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin is a South Sudanese politician of Kenyan descent. He is the current leader of SPLM for Democratic Change , which he founded 6 June 2009...

 stated that "there should be no talk about a mixed force" and that the UN's role should be restricted to technical support. Also on November 18, the AU reported that Sudanese military and Sudanese-backed militias had launched a ground and air operation in the region which resulted in about 70 civilian deaths. The AU stated that this "was a flagrant violation of security agreements".

On 25 November, a spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights accused the Sudanese government of having committed "a deliberate and unprovoked attack" against civilians in the town of Sirba on 11 November, which claimed the lives of at least 30 people. The Commissioner's statement maintained that "contrary to the government’s claim, it appears that the Sudanese Armed Forces launched a deliberate and unprovoked attack on civilians and their property in Sirba," and that this also involved "extensive and wanton destruction and looting of civilian property".

January - April 2007 cease-fire agreement and its rapid dissolution


According to the Save Darfur Coalition
Save Darfur Coalition
The Save Darfur Coalition is an advocacy group calling for international intervention in the Darfur genocide in the Eastern African state of Sudan...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 Governor Bill Richardson and President al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

 have agreed to a cease-fire whereby the Sudanese "government and rebel groups will cease hostilities for a period of 60 days while they work towards a lasting peace." In addition, the Save Darfur press release stated that the agreement "included a number of concessions to improve humanitarian aid and media access to Darfur." Despite the formality of a ceasefire there have been further media reports of killings and other violence. On Sunday 15 April 2007, African Union peacekeepers were targeted and killed. The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

reported that "a confidential United Nations report says the government of Sudan is flying arms and heavy military equipment into Darfur in violation of Security Council resolutions and painting Sudanese military planes white to disguise them as United Nations or African Union aircraft."

The violence has spread over the border to Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

. On 31 March 2007 Janjaweed militiamen killed up to 400 people in the volatile eastern border region of Chad near Sudan. The attack took place in the border villages of Tiero and Marena. The villages were encircled and then fired upon. Fleeing villagers were later subsequently chased. The women were robbed and the men shot according to the UNHCR. There were many who, despite surviving the initial attack, ended up dying due to exhaustion and dehydration, often while fleeing.

On 14 April 2007, more attacks within Chad were reported by the UNHCR to have occurred again in the border villages of Tiero and Marena. On April 18 President Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 gave a speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum criticizing the Sudanese government and threatened the use of sanctions
Economic sanctions
Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas...

 if the situation does not improve. Sanctions would involve restriction of trade and dollar transactions with the Sudanese government and 29 Sudanese businesses.

International Criminal Court charges


Sudan's humanitarian affairs minister, Ahmed Haroun
Ahmed Haroun
Ahmed Mohammed Haroun is one of three Sudanese men wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur...

, and a Janjaweed militia leader, known as Ali Kushayb
Ali Kushayb
Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, commonly known as Ali Kushayb, is a former senior Janjaweed commander supporting the Sudanese government against Darfur rebel groups, and currently is sought under an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He was known as aqid al oqada ...

, have been charged by the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 with 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ahmed Haroun said he "did not feel guilty," his conscience was clear, and that he was ready to defend himself.

May 2007


Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Chad president Idriss Deby signed a peace agreement on 3 May 2007 aimed at reducing tension between their countries. The accord was brokered by Saudi Arabia. It sought to guarantee that each country would not be used to harbor, train or fund armed movements opposed to the government of the other. The Reuters News Service reported that "Deby's fears that Nouri
Mahamat Nouri
General Mahamat Nouri is a Chadian insurgent leader who currently commands the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development . A Muslim from northern Chad, he began his career as a FROLINAT rebel, and when the group's Second Army split in 1976 he sided with his kinsman Hissène Habré...

's UFDD may have been receiving Saudi as well as Sudanese support could have pushed him to sign the Saudi-mediated pact with Bashir on Thursday". Colin Thomas-Jensen, an expert on Chad and Darfur who works International Crisis Group think-tank has grave doubts as to whether "this new deal will lead to any genuine thaw in relations or improvement in the security situation". Additionally The Chadian rebel Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD) which has fought a hit-and-run war against Chad President Deby's forces in east Chad since 2006 stated that the Saudi-backed peace deal would not stop its military campaign. Thus the agreement may end up hurting the Sudanese rebels the most, leaving the Sudanese government with a freer hand.
Also in May, locations related to the conflict were added in Google Earth
Google Earth
Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency funded company acquired by Google in 2004 . It maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite...

.

June 2007


Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 announced on June 17 that it is permanently pulling out of Gereida, the largest camp in Darfur, where more than 130,000 have sought refuge. The agency cited inaction by local authorities from the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), which controls the region, in addressing security concerns and violence against aid workers. An employee of the NGO Action by Churches Together was murdered in June in West Darfur. There have been ongoing hijackings of vehicles belonging to the UN and other international organizations—something that is also making them think twice about staying in the region.

July 2007


BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 reported that a huge underground lake has been found in the Darfur region. It is suggested that this find could help end the war as it could eliminate the existing competition for precious water resources. France and Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 announced they would push for a UN resolution to dispatch African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 and United Nations peacekeepers to Darfur and would push for an immediate cease-fire in Darfur and are prepared to provide "substantial" economic aid "as soon as a cease-fire makes it possible."

A 14 July 2007 article notes that in the past two months up to 75,000 Arabs from Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

 and Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

 crossed the border into Darfur. Most have been relocated by Sudanese government to former villages of displaced non-Arab people.

The hybrid UN/AU force was finally approved on 31 July 2007 with the unanimously approved United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769, adopted unanimously on July 31, 2007, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Sudan, the Council established the joint African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur in an attempt to end the violence in Darfur, for an...

. UNAMID will take over from AMIS
African Union Mission in Sudan
The African Union Mission in Sudan was an African Union peacekeeping force operating primarily in the country's western region of Darfur with the aim of performing peacekeeping operations related to the Darfur conflict. Originally founded in 2004, with a force of 150 troops, by mid-2005, its...

 by 31 December 2007 at the latest, and has an initial mandate up to 31 July 2008.

On 31 July, the ongoing conflict between the Terjem and the Mahria tribes (former partners in the Janjaweed) heated up, with Mahria gunmen surrounding mourners at the funeral of an important Terjem sheik and killing 60 with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and belt-fed machine guns.

August 2007


From 3 August 2007 until 5 August 2007, a conference was held in Arusha
Arusha
Arusha is a city in northern Tanzania. It is the capital of the Arusha Region, which claims a population of 1,288,088, including 281,608 for the Arusha District . Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, to unite the different existing rebel groups to make the subsequent peace negotiations with the government of Sudan more streamlined. Most senior rebel leaders attended, with the notable exception of Abdul Wahid al Nur, who — while not in command of large forces, but a rather small splinter group of the SLA/M he initially founded in 2003 — is considered to be the representatives of a large part of the displaced Fur people
Fur people
The Fur are an ethnic group from western Sudan, principally inhabiting the region of Darfur where they are the largest tribe....

, and there have been concerns that his absence would be damaging to the peace talks. International officials have stated that the difficulty lies in the fact that there is "no John Garang
John Garang
John Garang de Mabior was a Sudanese politician and rebel leader. From 1983 to 2005, he led the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War, and following a peace agreement he briefly served as First Vice President of Sudan from January 2005 until he died in a July 2005...

 in Darfur", referring to the leader of the negotiating team of South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

, who was universally accepted by all the various South Sudanese splinter groups.

The leaders who arrived on Friday were Gamali Galaleiddine, Khalil Abdalla Adam, Salah Abu Surra, Khamis Abdallah Abakar, Ahmed Abdelshafi, Abdalla Yahya, Khalil Ibrahim
Khalil Ibrahim
Dr. Khalil Ibrahim is the leader of the Zaghawa-dominated Darfurian rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement . -History:Ibrahim is from the Koba branch of the Zaghawa ethnic group, which is located mainly in Sudan, with a minority on the Chad side of the border...

 (of the Justice and Equality Movement
Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict of Sudan, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups, such as the Sudan Liberation Movement , they are fighting against the Sudanese Government, including the government's proxy militia, the Janjaweed...

) and Ahmed Ibrahim Ali Diraige. The schedule for Saturday consists of closed-door meetings between the AU-UN and rebel leaders, as well as between rebel leaders alone. In addition to those eight, eight more arrived there late on 4 August (including Jar el-Neby, Salah Adam Isaac and Suleiman Marajan), whereas the SLM Unity faction also boycotted the talks as the Sudanese government had threatened to arrest Suleiman Jamous if he left the hospital. The rebel leaders aimed to unify their positions and demands, which included compensation for the victims and autonomy for Darfur. They eventually reached agreement on joined demands, including power and wealth sharing, security, land and humanitarian issues.

In the several months up through August, Arab tribes that had worked together in the Janjaweed militia began falling out among themselves, and even further splintered into factions. Terjem fought Mahria as thousands of gunmen from each side traveled hundreds of miles to fight in the strategic Bulbul river valley. Farther south, Habanniya and Salamat tribes clashed. The fighting did not result in as much killing as in 2003 and 2004, the height of the violence. United Nations officials said the groups might be trying to seize land before U.N. and African Union peacekeepers arrived.

September 2007


On 6 September 2007, the next round of peace talks was set to begin on 27 October 2007. On 18 September 2007, JEM stated that if the peace talks with Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

 should fail, they would step up their demands from self-determination to independence for the Darfur region.

On 30 September 2007, the rebels overran an AMIS
Haskanita raids
The Haskanita raids was an attack on African Union peacekeepers by rebel groups during the Darfur conflict. The attacks took place on 30 September and early October 2007 near the town of Haskanita in South Darfur...

 base, killing at least 12 peacekeepers in "the heaviest loss of life and biggest attack on the African Mission" during a raid at the end of Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 season.

October 2007


Peace talks started on 27 October 2007 in Sirte
Sirte
Sirte is a city in LibyaSirte may also refer to:* Sirte Declaration, a 1999 resolution to create the African Union* Sirte Oil Company, a Libyan oil companyIn geography:* Gulf of Sirte, alias for Gulf of Sidra on Libya's coast...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. The following groups attended the talks:
  • Justice and Equality Movement splinters:
    • Justice and Equality Movement–Collective Leadership, led by Bahr Idriss Abu Garda
      Bahr Idriss Abu Garda
      Bahr Idriss Abu Garda is the leader of the United Resistance Front, a rebel group fighting against the Sudanese government in Darfur...

    • Justice and Equality Movement–Azraq, led by Idriss Ibrahim Azraq
    • National Movement for Reform and Development
      National Movement for Reform and Development
      The National Movement for Reform and Development is a Sudanese rebel group based in the region of Darfur that was formed when it broke away from the Justice and Equality Movement in 2004 because it felt JEM focused to much on the political, rather than the social and economic needs of the Fur people...

      , led by Khalil Abdullah
  • Revolutionary Democratic Forces Front, led by Salah Abu Surrah
  • United Revolutionary Force Front, led by Alhadi Agabeldour
  • Sudan Liberation Movement–G19, led by Khamees Abdullah
  • Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance, led by Ahmed Ibrahim Diraige


The following groups didn't attend:
  • Justice and Equality Movement
    Justice and Equality Movement
    The Justice and Equality Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict of Sudan, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups, such as the Sudan Liberation Movement , they are fighting against the Sudanese Government, including the government's proxy militia, the Janjaweed...

    , led by Khalil Ibrahim; they object to the presence of rebel groups they say had no constituency and no place at the table.
  • Sudan Liberation Movement (Abdel Wahed), led by Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur; the group has few forces, but its leader is highly respected; refused to attend until a force was deployed to stem the Darfur violence.
  • Sudan Liberation Movement–Unity, originally led by Abdallah Yehya, includes many other prominent figures (Sherif Harir, Abu Bakr Kadu, Ahmed Kubur); the group with the largest number of rebel fighters; object for the same reason as JEM.
  • Ahmed Abdel Shafi, a notable rebel enjoying strong support from the Fur tribe.


Faced with a boycott from the most important rebel factions, the talks were rebranded as an "advanced consultation phase", with actual talks likely to start in November or December.

November 2007


On 2007-11-15, nine rebel groups — six SLM factions, the Democratic Popular Front, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and the Justice and Equality Movement–Field Revolutionary Command — signed a Charter of Unification and agreed to operate under the name of SLM/A henceforth. On 2007-11-30 it was announced that Darfur's rebel movements had united into two large groups and were now ready to negotiate in an orderly structure with the government.

February 2008


A fresh Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

ese offensive by government soldiers and Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 militiamen against Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

 rebels has trapped thousands of refugees along the Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

ian border, the rebels and humanitarian workers said 20 February 2008.
As of February 21, the total dead in Darfur stands at 450,000 and displaced totals somewhere around 3,245,000

May 2008



On May 10, 2008 Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

ese government soldiers and Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

 rebels clashed in the city of Omdurman
Omdurman
Omdurman is the second largest city in Sudan and Khartoum State, lying on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum. Omdurman has a population of 2,395,159 and is the national centre of commerce...

, opposite the capital of Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

, over the control of a military headquarters. They also raided a police base from which they stole police vehicles. A Sudanese police spokesperson said that the leader of the assailants was Mohamed Saleh Garbo and his intelligence chief Mohamed Nur Al-Deen were killed in the clash.

Witnesses said that heavy gunfire could be heard in the west of Sudan's capital. Sudanese troops backed by tanks, artillery, and helicopter gunships were immediately deployed to Omdurman, and fighting raged for several hours.After seizing the strategic military airbase at Wadi-Sayedna, the Sudanese soldiers eventually defeated the rebels. A JEM force headed to the Al-Ingaz bridge to cross the White Nile
White Nile
The White Nile is a river of Africa, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile from Egypt, the other being the Blue Nile. In the strict meaning, "White Nile" refers to the river formed at Lake No at the confluence of the Bahr al Jabal and Bahr el Ghazal rivers...

 into Khartoum, but was repulsed by Sudanese forces. By late afternoon, Sudanese TV claimed that the rebels had been "completely repulsed", while showing live images of burnt vehicles and corpses on the streets.

The government imposed a curfew in Khartoum from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m., and aid agencies told their workers living in the capital to stay indoors.

Some 93 soldiers and 13 policemen were killed along with 30 civilians in the attack on Khartoum and Omdurman. Sudanese forces confirmed that they found the bodies of 90 rebels and to have spotted dozens more strewn outside the city limits. While Sudanese authorities claimed that up to 400 rebels could have been killed, the rebels stated that they lost 45 fighters dead or wounded. Sudanese authorities also claimed to have destroyed 40 rebel vehicles and captured 17.

August 2009


General Martin Agwai, head of the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur, says the war is over in the region, though low-level disputes remain. "Banditry, localised issues, people trying to resolve issues over water and land at a local level. But real war as such, I think we are over that," he said.

Doha peace forum (December 2010 to Present)


In December 2010, representatives of the Liberation and Justice Movement
Liberation and Justice Movement
The Liberation and Justice Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict in Sudan, led by Dr Tijani Sese. The Liberation and Justice Movement is an alliance of ten smaller Darfuri rebel organisations which formed a new grouping on 23 February 2010...

, an umbrella organisation of ten rebel groups formed in February 2010, started a fresh round of talks with the Sudanese Government in Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

. A new rebel group, the Sudanese Alliance Resistance Forces in Darfur, has also been formed and the Justice and Equality Movement
Justice and Equality Movement
The Justice and Equality Movement is a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict of Sudan, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Along with other rebel groups, such as the Sudan Liberation Movement , they are fighting against the Sudanese Government, including the government's proxy militia, the Janjaweed...

 is planning further talks. The talks ended on December 19 without a new peace agreement but basic principles were agreed, these included a regional authority and a referendum on autonomy for Darfur. A Darfuri Vice-President was also discussed.

In January 2011, the leader of the Liberation and Justice Movement, Dr Tijani Sese, stated that the movement had accepted the core proposals of the Darfur peace document proposed by the joint-mediators in Doha. The proposals include a $300,000,000 compensation package for victims of atrocities in Darfur and special courts to conduct trials of persons accused of human rights violations. Proposals for a new Darfur Regional Authority were also included, this authority would have an executive council of 18 ministers and would remain in place for five years. The current three Darfur states and state governments would also continue to exist during this period. In February 2011, the Sudanese Government rejected the idea of a single region headed by a vice-president from the region.

On 29 January 2011, the leaders of the Liberation and Justice Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement issued a joint statement stating their commitment to the Doha negotiations and agreed to attend the Doha forum on 5 February 2011. The Sudanese government initially withheld decision whether to attend the forum on that date due to beliefs an internal peace process without involvement of rebel groups might be possible. Later in February 2011, the Sudanese Government agreed to return to the Doha peace forum with a view to complete a new peace agreement by the end of that month. On 25 February 2011, both the Liberation and Justice Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement announced that they have now rejected the peace document proposed by the mediators in Doha. The main sticking points were the issue of a darfuri vice-president and compensation for victims. The Sudanese government has not commented on the peace document.

On 9 March 2011, it was announced that two more states would be established in Darfur: Central Darfur around Zalingei
Zalingei
Zalingei or Zalinjay is a town in western Sudan, located in the state of West Darfur. It is known for its white cheese Gibna Bayda. As of 2009 it had an estimated population of 27,258....

 and Eastern Darfur around Ed Daein. The presidential decree making this official has not yet been released. The rebel groups protested and stated that this was a bid to further divide Darfur's influence.

Advising both the LJM and JEM during the Doha peace negotiations is the Public International Law & Policy Group
Public International Law & Policy Group
The Public International Law & Policy Group is a non-profit organization, operating as a global pro bono law firm providing free legal assistance to developing states and sub-state entities involved in conflicts. To facilitate the utilization of this legal assistance, PILPG also provides policy...

 (PILPG). Lead by Dr. Paul Williams
Paul Williams (professor)
Paul R. Williams holds the Rebecca Grazier Professorship in Law and International Relations at American University, where he teaches in the School of International Service and the Washington College of Law...

 and Matthew T. Simpson, PILPG's team has provided on the ground legal support with regard to the substantive issues in the peace process.

In June 2011, a new Darfur Peace Agreement (2011) was proposed by the Joint Mediators at the Doha Peace Forum. This agreement will supersede the Abuja Agreement of 2005 and if signed, preparations for a Darfur status referendum will be stopped. The proposed document included provisions for a Darfuri Vice-President and an administrative structure that includes both three states
States of Sudan
Below is a list of the 15 states of Sudan, organized by their original provinces during the period of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Arabic language versions are, as appropriate, in parentheses. States that were not provinces before 1994 are marked with . Transliterations from Arabic to English may vary;...

 and a strategic regional authority, the Darfur Regional Authority, to oversee Darfur as a whole. The agreement was signed by the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement on 14 July 2011.

Mortality figures


Sudanese authorities claim a death toll of roughly 19,500 civilians while certain non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s, such as the Coalition for International Justice
Coalition for International Justice
The Coalition for International Justice was an international, non-profit organization based in both Washington D.C. and The Hague that supported the international war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, and criminal and transitional justice initiatives for East Timor, Sierra...

, claim that over 400,000 people have been killed.

In September 2004, the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 estimated there had been 50,000 deaths in Darfur since the beginning of the conflict, an 18-month period, mostly due to starvation
Starvation
Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient and vitamin intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death...

. An updated estimate the following month put the number of deaths for the 6-month period from March to October 2004 due to starvation and disease at 70,000; These figures were criticized, because they only considered short periods and did not include deaths from violence. A more recent British Parliamentary Report has estimated that over 300,000 people have died, and others have estimated even more.

In March 2005, the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland
Jan Egeland
Jan Egeland was the United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator from June 2003 to December 2006. Egeland was appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and succeeded Kenzo Oshima...

 estimated that 10,000 were dying each month excluding deaths due to ethnic violence. An estimated 2.7 million people had at that time been displaced from their homes, mostly seeking refuge in camps in Darfur's major towns. Two hundred thousand had fled to neighboring Chad. Reports of violent deaths compiled by the UN indicate between 6,000 and 7,000 fatalities from 2004 to 2007.

In May 2005, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters
Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters
The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters is a research unit of the Université catholique de Louvain . It is situated at the School of Public Health of the Brussels campus of the university....

 (CRED) of the School of Public Health of the Université catholique de Louvain
Université catholique de Louvain
The Université catholique de Louvain, sometimes known, especially in Belgium, as UCL, is Belgium's largest French-speaking university. It is located in Louvain-la-Neuve and in Brussels...

 in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 published an analysis of mortality in Darfur. Their estimate stated that from September 2003 to January 2005, between 98,000 and 181,000 persons had died in Darfur, including from 63,000 to 146,000 excess deaths.

On 28 April 2006, Dr. Eric Reeves argued that "extant data, in aggregate, strongly suggest that total excess mortality in Darfur, over the course of more than three years of deadly conflict, now significantly exceeds 450,000," but this has not been independently verified.

The UN disclosed on 22 April 2008 that it might have underestimated the Darfur death toll by nearly 50%.

In July 2009, the Christian Science Monitor published an op-ed stating that many of the published mortality rates have been misleading because they include a large number of people who have died of disease and malnutrition, as well as those who have died from direct violence. Therefore, when activist groups make statements indicating that "four hundred thousand people have been killed," they are misleading the public.

In January 2010, The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters
Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters
The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters is a research unit of the Université catholique de Louvain . It is situated at the School of Public Health of the Brussels campus of the university....

 published an article in a special issue of The Lancet
The Lancet
The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is one of the world's best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals...

. The article, entitled Patterns of mortality rates in Darfur Conflict, estimated, with 95% confidence, that the excess number of deaths is between 178,258 and 461,520 (the mean being 298,271), with 80% of these due to diseases. 51 International peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur.

International response



International attention to the Darfur conflict largely began with reports by the advocacy organizations Amnesty International in July 2003 and the International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group
The International Crisis Group is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world through field-based analyses and high-level advocacy.-History:...

 in December 2003. However, widespread media coverage did not start until the outgoing United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapila
Mukesh Kapila
Mukesh Kapila CBE has worked extensively and advised in crisis and conflict management, humanitarian affairs, post-conflict recovery and development, and HIV and AIDS...

, called Darfur the "world's greatest humanitarian crisis" in March 2004. Organizations such as STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition, later under the umbrella of Genocide Intervention Network
Genocide Intervention Network
thumb|right|300px|Genocide Intervention Network logoThe Genocide Intervention Network is a non-profit organization that "envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities...

, and the Save Darfur Coalition
Save Darfur Coalition
The Save Darfur Coalition is an advocacy group calling for international intervention in the Darfur genocide in the Eastern African state of Sudan...

 emerged and became particularly active in the areas of engaging the United States Congress and President on the issue and pushing for divestment nationwide, initially launched by Adam Sterling
Adam Sterling
Adam Sterling, born in 1983 in Los Angeles, California, was the Executive Director of the Sudan Divestment Task Force, a project of the Genocide Intervention Network,and a graduate of UCLA with degrees in Political Science and African American Studies...

 under the auspice of the Sudan Divestment Task Force. Particularly strong advocates have additionally included: New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Sudan scholar Eric Reeves
Eric Reeves
Dr. Eric Reeves is professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he teaches courses in Shakespeare, Milton, and the history of literary theory and the history of literacy....

, Enough Project founder John Prendergast
John Prendergast
John Prendergast is an American human rights activist, author, and former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. He is the co-founder of the Enough Project, a non profit human rights organization affiliated with the Center for American Progress...

, Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning author Samantha Power
Samantha Power
Samantha Power is an Irish American academic, governmental official and writer. She is currently a Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and runs the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights as Senior Director of Multilateral Affairs on the Staff of the National Security Council...

, photographers Ryan Spencer Reed
Ryan Spencer Reed
Ryan Spencer Reed is an American social documentary photographer. He has worked in central and east Africa in the capacity of a photojournalist covering the Sudanese Diaspora since 2002. After returning from covering the War in Darfur, in late summer 2004, he and his work have moved about North...

, former Marine Brian Steidle
Brian Steidle
Brian Steidle is a former Marine Captain, military and security operations expert, and author who had worked on publicizing the Darfur conflict in Sudan...

, actress Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow is an American actress, singer, humanitarian, and fashion model.Farrow first gained wide acclaim for her role as Allison Mackenzie in the soap opera Peyton Place, and for her subsequent short-lived marriage to Frank Sinatra...

 and her son Ronan Farrow, Olympian Joey Cheek
Joey Cheek
+William Joseph Cheek is an American speed skater and former inline speed skater...

, actress Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is an American actress. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Jolie is noted for promoting humanitarian causes as a Goodwill Ambassador for the...

, actors George Clooney
George Clooney
George Timothy Clooney is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter. For his work as an actor, he has received two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award...

, and Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle
Donald Frank "Don" Cheadle, Jr. is an American film actor and producer. Cheadle rose to prominence in the late 1990s and the early 2000s for his supporting roles in the Steven Soderbergh-directed films Out of Sight, Traffic, and Ocean's Eleven...

, actor Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill Feldstein , known professionally as Jonah Hill, is an American actor, producer, screenwriter, and comedian. Hill is best known roles for his roles in Superbad, Knocked Up, and Get Him to the Greek. He made his theatrical debut in I Heart Huckabees, alongside Jason Schwartzman and Dustin...

, actress Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek
Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez de Pinault is a Mexican film actress, director and producer. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role as Frida Kahlo in the film Frida.-Early life:...

, Save Darfur Coalition
Save Darfur Coalition
The Save Darfur Coalition is an advocacy group calling for international intervention in the Darfur genocide in the Eastern African state of Sudan...

's David Rubenstein, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

n humanitarian Tomo Kriznar, and all of those involved with the Genocide Intervention Network
Genocide Intervention Network
thumb|right|300px|Genocide Intervention Network logoThe Genocide Intervention Network is a non-profit organization that "envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities...

. A movement advocating for humanitarian intervention
Humanitarian intervention
Humanitarian intervention "refers to a state using military force against another state when the chief publicly declared aim of that military action is ending human-rights violations being perpetrated by the state against which it is directed."...

 has emerged in several countries.

International Criminal Court


In March 2005, the Security Council formally referred the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, taking into account the report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1564
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564, adopted on September 18, 2004, after recalling resolutions 1502 , 1547 and 1556 , the Council threatened the imposition of sanctions against Sudan if it failed to comply with its obligations on Darfur, and an internaional inquiry was established to...

 of 2004, but without mentioning any specific crimes. Two permanent members of the Security Council, the United States and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, abstained from the vote on the referral resolution.

In April 2007, the Judges of the ICC issued arrest warrants against the former Minister of State for the Interior, Ahmed Haroun
Ahmed Haroun
Ahmed Mohammed Haroun is one of three Sudanese men wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur...

, and a Janjaweed leader, Ali Kushayb
Ali Kushayb
Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, commonly known as Ali Kushayb, is a former senior Janjaweed commander supporting the Sudanese government against Darfur rebel groups, and currently is sought under an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He was known as aqid al oqada ...

, for crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Sudan Government said that the ICC had no jurisdiction to try Sudanese citizens and that it would not hand the two men over to authorities in the Hague.

On 14 July 2008, the Prosecutor filed ten charges of war crimes against Sudan's incumbent President Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

, three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. The Prosecutor has claimed that Mr. al-Bashir "masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part" three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity. Leaders from three Darfur tribes are suing ICC prosecutor Luis-Moreno Ocampo for libel, defamation, and igniting hatred and tribalism.

After an arrest warrant was issued for the Sudanese president in March 2009, the Prosecutor appealed to have the genocide charges added. However, the Pre-Trial Chamber found that there was no reasonable ground to support the contention that he had a specific intent to commit genocide (dolus specialis), which is an intention to destroy, in whole or in part, a protected group. The definition adopted by the Pre-Trial Chamber is the definition of the Genocide Convention, the Rome Statute, and some ICTY cases. On February 3, 2010 the Appeals Chamber of the ICC found that the Pre-Trial Chamber had applied "an erroneous standard of proof when evaluating the evidence submitted by the Prosecutor" and that the Prosecutor's application for a warrant of arrest on the genocide charges should be sent back to the Pre-Trial Chamber to review based on the correct legal standard. In July, 2010, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

's president Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

 was finally charged by Hague for orchestrating Darfur genocide, three counts of genocide in Darfur by the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

.
Mr. al-Bashir is now the first incumbent head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 charged with crimes in the Rome Statute. Bashir has rejected the charges and said, "Whoever has visited Darfur, met officials and discovered their ethnicities and tribes ... will know that all of these things are lies."

It is expected that al-Bashir will not face trial in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 until he is apprehended in a nation which accepts the ICC's jurisdiction, as Sudan is not a state party to the Rome Statute which it signed but didn't ratify. Payam Akhavan, a professor of international law at McGill University
McGill University
Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

 in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and a former war crimes prosecutor, says although he may not go to trial, "He will effectively be in prison within the Sudan itself...Al-Bashir now is not going to be able to leave the Sudan without facing arrest." The Prosecutor has publicly warned that authorities could arrest the President if he enters international airspace. The Sudanese government has announced the Presidential plane will be accompanied by jet fighters. However, the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 has announced its solidarity with al-Bashir. Since the warrant, he has visited Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Both countries have refused to arrest him. The African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 also condemned the arrest warrant.

Some analysts think that the ICC indictment is counterproductive and harms the peace process. Only days after the ICC indictment, al-Bashir expelled 13 international aid organizations from Darfur and disbanded three domestic aid organizations. In the aftermath of the expulsions, conditions in the displaced camps deteriorated, and women were particularly affected. Darfur rebels who were in a peace process with the Sudanese government declared there is no need to engage in a peace agreement because the ICC recognized the Sudanese president as a criminal. Most of the important rebel groups refused to sign the peace agreement and the government decided to allow the Janjaweed to continue brutalising them. Previous ICC indictments, such as the arrest warrants of the LRA leadership in the ongoing war at northern Uganda, were also accused of harming peace processes by criminalizing one side of a war. Some believe that the arrest warrant against al-Bashir will hinder the efforts to establish peace in Darfur, and will undermine any effort to boost stability in Sudan.

Russian and Chinese undermining of sanctions


Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 issued a report accusing Russia and the People's Republic of China of supplying arms, ammunition and related equipment to Sudan. This hardware has been transferred to Darfur for use by the government and the Janjaweed militias and thus violating a UN arms embargo against Darfur. In its report it showed a photo of Chinese-made Fantan fighters
Nanchang Q-5
The Nanchang Q-5 , also known as the A-5 in its export versions, is a Chinese-built jet ground-attack aircraft based on the Soviet MiG-19. Its main role is close air support.-Design and development:...

 that have been seen at Nyala
Nyala, Sudan
Nyala is the capital of South Darfur state in the western part of the Sudan. Nyala is located at elevation 2,208 feet in the Darfur historical region.- History :...

, Darfur and a Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 Antonov-26 aircraft (painted white). The report provided evidence (including eyewitness testimony) that the Sudan Air Force has been conducting a pattern of indiscriminate aerial bombings of villages in Darfur and eastern Chad using ground attack jet fighters and Antonov planes. The report contained an image of a Russian made Mi-24 attack helicopter (reg. n° 928) at Nyala airport in Darfur in March 2007. For several years the Sudan Air Force has used this type of attack helicopter for operations during Janjaweed attacks on villages in Darfur. The report also showed evidence that the government has been camouflaging military aircraft and helicopters by painting them white and in doing so, tried to cover up their military use by claiming that they were civilian in nature. The white Antonov-26 aircraft was reported to have been used in Darfur in bombing missions. Recently it has been confirmed by Airforces Monthly Magazine for June 2007, that China and Iran have financed and delivered "newer" aircraft for Sudan. The most recent additions have been 15-20 A-5 Fantan ground attack aircraft. Also confirmed by Airforces Monthly is the use of Mil Mi-24 Hind gunships and Mil Mi-171Assault Helicopters. They have been photographed painted in UN markings and white color for disguised use in illegal attack missions into the Darfur Region. The base in which they have been seen is at Nyala Airport in the Darfur Region. 8 Hinds have been confirmed operating in the Darfur region. One An-26 transport has been also confirmed delivered from a Russian civil aviation corporation. This aircraft is modified with bomb racks, and painted in U.N. white for illegal bombing missions into Darfur. The aircraft serial 7705 is used, but actually confirmed as 26563. Training for Sudanese crew has recently been confirmed to have been conducted and ongoing at Dezful-Ardestani Air Base in southern Iran. China and Russia denied they had broken UN sanctions. China has a close relationship with Sudan and increased its military co-operation with the government in early 2007. Because of Sudan's plentiful supply of oil, China considers good relations with Sudan to be a strategic necessity that is needed to fuel its booming economy. China also has direct commercial interests in Sudan's oil. China’s state-owned company CNPC controls between 60 and 70 percent of Sudan’s total oil production. Additionally, it owns the largest single share (40 percent) of Sudan’s national oil company, Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company. China has also consistently opposed economic and non-military sanctions on Sudan.
Recently, however, a Small Arms Survey research paper suggested that China may be changing its stance on Darfur due to international pressure.

Criticism of international response


Omar Al Bashir has sought the assistance of numerous non western countries after the West, led by America, imposed sanctions against him, he said- "From the first day, our policy was clear: To look eastward, toward China, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and even Korea and Japan, even if the Western influence upon some [of these] countries is strong. We believe that the Chinese expansion was natural because it filled the space left by Western governments, the United States, and international funding agencies. The success of the Sudanese experiment in dealing with China without political conditions or pressures encouraged other African countries to look toward China."

Gérard Prunier
Gérard Prunier
Gérard Prunier is a French academic and historian specializing in the Horn of Africa and East Africa.Prunier received a PhD in African History in 1981 from the University of Paris. In 1984, he joined the CNRS scientific institution in Paris as a researcher. He later also became Director of the...

, a scholar specializing in African conflicts, argued that the world's most powerful countries have largely limited themselves in expressing concerns and demand for the United Nations to take action in solving the genocide in Darfur. The UN, lacking both the funding and military support of the wealthy countries, has left the African Union to deploy a token force (AMIS) without a mandate to protect civilians. In the lack of foreign political will to address the political and economic structures that underlie the conflict, the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 has defined the Darfur conflict in humanitarian assistance terms and debated the label of "genocide."

On 16 October 2006, Minority Rights Group
Minority Rights Group International
Minority Rights Group International is an organisation founded with the objective of promoting respect for the human rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples around the world...

 (MRG) published a critical report, challenging that the UN and the great power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

s could have prevented the deepening crisis in Darfur and that few lessons appear to have been drawn from their ineptitude during the Rwandan Genocide
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

. MRG's executive director, Mark Lattimer, stated that: "this level of crisis, the killings, rape and displacement could have been foreseen and avoided ... Darfur would just not be in this situation had the UN systems got its act together after Rwanda: their action was too little too late." On 20 October, 120 genocide survivors of The Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

, and the Cambodian and Rwandan Genocides, backed by six aid agencies, submitted an open letter to the European Union, calling on them to do more to end the atrocities in Darfur, with a UN peacekeeping force as "the only viable option." Aegis Trust
Aegis Trust
Aegis Trust, founded in 2000, is the leading British NGO which campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide. Based at the United Kingdom’s Holocaust Centre, which opened in 1995, the Aegis Trust coordinates the UK Genocide Prevention All-Party Parliamentary Group , funds the Genocide Prevention Group ...

 director, James Smith, stated that while "the African Union has worked very well in Darfur and done what it could, the rest of the world hasn't supported those efforts the way it should have done with sufficient funds and sufficient equipment."

Human Rights First
Human Rights First
Human Rights First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C....

 claimed that over 90% of the light weapons currently being imported by Sudan and used in the conflict are from China; however, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)'s "Arms Transfers Data for 2007", in 2003–2007, Sudan received 87 per cent of its major conventional weapons from Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and 8 per cent from China. Human rights advocates and opponents of the Sudanese government portray China's role in providing weapons and aircraft as a cynical attempt to obtain oil just as colonial powers once supplied African chieftains with the military means to maintain control as they extracted natural resources. According to China's critics, China has offered Sudan support threatening to use its veto on the U.N. Security Council to protect Khartoum from sanctions and has been able to water down every resolution on Darfur in order to protect its interests in Sudan. Accusations of the supply of weapons from China, violating the UN arms embargo
Arms embargo
An arms embargo is an embargo that applies to weaponry. It may also include "dual use" items. An arms embargo may serve one or more purposes:# to signal disapproval of behavior by a certain actor,# to maintain neutral standing in an ongoing conflict, or...

, continue to arise.

Amnesty International slammed Russia for breaking the UN arms embargo on Darfur, Russians sold weapons like Mi-24 helicopters, Anntonov 26 planes, Russian weapons sales to Sudan totaled 21 million dollars. It was reported these weapons were used to slaughter Darfur civilians. The report said Russia "cannot have been unaware of reports of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law by the Sudanese security forces, But they have nevertheless continued to allow military equipment to be sent to Sudan." Russia was reported to "have been or should have been aware, several types of military equipment, including aircraft, have been deployed by the Sudanese armed forces for direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks in Darfur". The Russian planes were disguised as UN Planes which violate the Geneva Conventions. The Janjaweed also used Russian small arms to murder and loot, these Russian weapons spread into neighboring Chad. In 2005 helicopters from Russia were sold to Sudan for 7 million pounds sterling. Photos show Russian helicopters in Darfur.

The U.S.-funded Civilian Protection Monitoring Team, which investigates attacks in southern Sudan concluded that "as the Government of Sudan sought to clear the way for oil exploration and to create a cordon sanitaire around the oil fields, vast tracts of the Western Upper Nile Region in southern Sudan became the focus of extensive military operations." However, experts say the Darfur region is unlikely to hold significant oil reserves. Sarah Wykes
Sarah Wykes
Sarah Wykes is a British human rights activist. She was accused of violating the national security of Angola and arrested on the morning of 18 February 2007 in Cabinda, the northern oil-rich exclave separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo.She was released on...

, a senior campaigner at Global Witness
Global Witness
Global Witness is an international NGO established in 1993 that works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide. The organisation has offices in London and Washington, D.C.. Global Witness states that it does not have...

, an NGO that campaigns for better natural resource governance, says: "Sudan has purchased about $100m in arms from China and has used these weapons against civilians in Darfur."

In March 2007, threats of boycotting the Olympic games came from French presidential candidate François Bayrou
François Bayrou
François Bayrou is a French centrist politician, president of Union for French Democracy since 1998 and was a candidate in the 2002 and 2007 French presidential elections. In the first round, he received 18.6% of the vote, finishing in 3rd place and therefore was eliminated from the race....

, in an effort to stop China's support to the Sudanese government in the war. There were also calls for boycotts from actor and UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II...

 Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow is an American actress, singer, humanitarian, and fashion model.Farrow first gained wide acclaim for her role as Allison Mackenzie in the soap opera Peyton Place, and for her subsequent short-lived marriage to Frank Sinatra...

, Genocide Intervention Network Representative Ronan Farrow, author and Sudan scholar Eric Reeves
Eric Reeves
Dr. Eric Reeves is professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he teaches courses in Shakespeare, Milton, and the history of literary theory and the history of literacy....

 and the Washington Post editorial board. Sudan divestment efforts have also concentrated on PetroChina
PetroChina
PetroChina Company Limited is a Chinese oil company and is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation , headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is China's biggest oil producer, and was the world's most valuable company by market value as of September 28th 2010...

, the national petroleum company with extensive investments in Sudan.

In May 2009 the Mandate Darfur was canceled because the "Sudanese government is obstructing the safe passage of Darfurian delegates from Sudan." The Mandate was a conference that would have brought together 300 representatives from different regions of the civil society of Darfur. The conference was planned to be held in Addis Ababa in early May.

See also

  • Aegis Students
    Aegis Students
    Aegis Students, a subsidiary of Aegis Trust, is an international student-based genocide prevention movement, committed to educating, campaigning and fundraising to end genocide and mass atrocities....

    , an international student-based genocide prevention movement
  • Banu Hilal
    Banu Hilal
    The Banu Hilal were a confederation of Arabian Bedouin tribes that migrated from Upper Egypt into North Africa in the 11th century, having been sent by the Fatimids to punish the Zirids for abandoning Shiism. Other authors suggest that the tribes left the grasslands on the upper Nile because of...

  • Breidjing Camp
    Breidjing Camp
    Breidjing Camp is a refugee camp in Chad created in May 2004 for Sudanese refugees from Darfur.- External links :* Briefing notes regarding opening of camp....

  • Chad-Sudan conflict
  • Command responsibility
    Command responsibility
    Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....

  • Genocides in history
    Genocides in history
    Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. It is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in...

  • History of Darfur
    History of Darfur
    The recorded history of Darfur begins with the reign of the Keira dynasty in the seventeenth century. In 1875, the Anglo-Egyptian Co-dominion in Khartoum ended the dynasty. The British allowed Darfur a measure of autonomy until formal annexation in 1916. However, the region remained...

    , for a broader view of the events that have caused the current conflict
  • List of civil wars
  • List of famines
  • List of wars 2003–current
  • List of wars and disasters by death toll
  • Slavery in Sudan
    Slavery in Sudan
    Slavery in Sudan began in ancient times, and has continued to the present day. During the Arab slave trade, many Black-Sudanese were purchased as slaves and brought for work in the Middle East....


External links