Monday, October 5, 2009

DARFUR CRISIS-IMPORTANT POINTS







  • The Darfur Conflict refers to violence taking place in DarfurSudan.The conflict started in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Darfur took up arms, accusing the government of oppressing black Africans in favour of Arabs. There are various estimates on the number of human casualties. One side of the armed conflicts is composed mainly of the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed, a Sudanese militia group recruited mostly from the Afro-Arab Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat region in Sudan. These tribes are mainly camel-herding nomads. The other side is composed of rebel groups, notably the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslims.The Sudanese government, while publicly denying that it supports the Janjaweed, is accused of providing financial assistance to the militia, and of participating in joint attacks targeting civilians.

  • It can be described as a classic case of socio-economic,political and economic crisis which took the shape of humanitarian crisis because of the insensitivity of the international players and the unwillingness of a totalitarian regime misgoverning the nation.
  • While the United States government has described the conflict as genocide, the UN has not recognized the conflict as such.
  • On 31 August 2006, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1706 which called for a new 26,000-troop UNpeacekeeping force called UNAMID to supplant or supplement a poorly funded and ill-equipped 7,000-troop African Union Mission in Sudan peacekeeping force. Sudan strongly objected to the resolution and said that it would see the UN forces in the region as foreign invaders. The following day, the Sudanese military launched a major offensive in the region
  • The government-supported Janjaweed were accused of committing major human rights violations, including mass killing, looting, and systematic rape of the non-Arab population of Darfur. They have frequently burned down whole villages, driving the surviving inhabitants to flee to refugee camps, mainly in Darfur and Chad; many of the camps in Darfur are surrounded by Janjaweed forces. By the summer of 2004, 50,000 to 80,000 people had been killed and at least a million had been driven from their homes, causing a major humanitarian crisis in the region.
  • Major historical forces behind the present crisis- severe climatic condition prevailing in Sudan, forcing the people fight for possession of water and food.

  • Until now the efforts that have been made by the UN and the African Union to
    resolve the crisis have not borne any fruit. The threats of sanctions that were never
    imposed for fear of vetoes by China and Russia which have vital economic interests
    in Sudan, have done little to end the atrocities. China is the single largest investor
    in the oil industry in Sudan and Russia has interest in selling arms. This volatile
    mixture of oil and arms has actually prevented the UN from taking any meaningful
    action against the Khartoum government. The recent resolution secured a unanimous
    15-0 Security Council vote only by sidelining the Darfur crisis and emphasising
    upon north-south peace.

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