Global Issues in Crime and Justice
The war and genocide in Darfur (Sudan) (2003-2010)
The conflict in Darfur officially started in February of 2003 when a rebel group launched an attack on Golo. This rebel group refers to themselves as Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). Not long after, another Darfur rebel group arose, identifying itself as the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The uprisings from the rebel groups, however, did not draw immediate reaction from the Sudanese Government. The turning point for the conflict which led to a war was the raid on al Fashir air base by both the Sudan Liberation Army and Justice and Equality Movement. According to Daly, 2010, military planes and helicopter gunships were destroyed, vehicles and weapons were seized, soldiers were killed and the base commander was captured. The SLA and JEM continued their attacks in Tine, Kutum and Mellit in May 2003. After the attack, the Sudanese government carried out a counter-insurgency campaign by coordinating a ‘special task force’ , composed of Arab militia men named Janjaweed. The Janjaweed militia was backed by government troops. Their task was to attack the Africans in Darfur and destroy their villages. The bombing of villages, rape and mass killing became the means to destroy the Africans in Darfur. Those who survived were displaced from their homes and moved into displacement camps in Sudan. However, assistance provided to the African survivors were minimal, the humanitarian aid workers were aggressively pressured and it was difficult to bring food and medicine supply into the camps. According to Hagan and Rymond-Richmond in 2009, more than 200, 000 displaced persons were pushed over the border into refugee camps in Chad. On the other side, the amount of deaths in Darfur varied. In fall of 2004, World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 70,000 deaths within seven months since the beginning of the war. However, this estimate is likely to only involve people who died in and around camps. On the other hand, the State Department’s Atrocities Document Survey (ADS) provided data on people who died in the attack but does not include people who died in the camps. To obtain a more accurate picture, Hagan and McCarty (2009) combined the WHO and ADS data. The result is at least 200, 000 people had died in Darfur and the amount could have reached to 400, 000. There were many parties involved in the war and genocide in Darfur but there were definitely only two sides. The first side is the rebel groups, they are Sudan Liberation Army and Justice and Equality Movement. The other side of the conflict is the Janjaweed and the government of Sudan and its troops. The Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) was first formed in 2002 by an alliance of Fur and Zaghawa with Abdel Wahid as its first chairman and Abdalla Abaker as its chief of staff. The SLA consisted of Zaghawa and Fur but their relation was sour. The inexperience leadership, disorganized infrastructure and tension and conflict within the SLA only made matters worse. By mid-2003, there were no longer communications made betwen the Zaghawa and the Fur resulting to division of the movement into two groups. After the death of Abdalla Abaker, Minnawi announced himself as the secretary general. There were then two factions of SLA – the SLA under Abdel Wahid and the SLA under Minnawi. The second group that entered the conflict in Darfur in 2003 was the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Its origin can be traced back to the mid-1990s. Having been marginalized, the Darfurians felt disappointed towards Islamist leaders in Sudan. The group consisted of mainly rebellious members of National Islamic Front in 1989. The JEM was formed in 2001 with Khalil Ibrahim as the leader holding the position of the chairman of the JEM. In response to the rebellion, the Sudanese government created a military force named Janjaweed which consisted of both Arab and Non-Arab groups. The Janjaweed became a ‘state...
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