j) War in Darfur

Just as the long north-south civil war was reaching a resolution, some clashes occurred in the Muslim western region of Darfur in the early 1970s between the pastoral tribes. The rebels accused the central government of neglecting the Darfur region economically. Both the government and the rebels have been accused of atrocities in this war, although most of the blame has fallen on Arabic speaking nomads militias known as theJanjaweed, which are armed men appointed by the Al Saddiq Al Mahdi administration to stop the longstanding chaotic disputes between Darfur tribes. According to declarations by the U.S. government, these militias have been engaging in genocide, the United Nations and African Union does not agree with the genocide label; the fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, many of them seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad. The government claimed victory over the rebels after capturing a town on the border with Chad in early 1994. However, the fighting resumed in 2003.

On 9 September 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell termed the Darfur conflict a genocide, claiming it as the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.[65] There have been reports that the Janjaweed has been launching raids, bombings, and attacks on villages, killing civilians based on ethnicity, raping women, stealing land, goods, and herds of livestock. So far, over 2.5 million civilians have been displaced and the death toll is variously estimated from 200,000[40] to 400,000 killed.[66] These figures have remained stagnant since initial UN reports of the conflict hinted at genocide in 2003/2004. Genocide has been considered a criminal offense under international humanitarian law since the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.[67]

On 5 May 2006, the Sudanese government and Darfur’s largest rebel group, the SLM (Sudanese Liberation Movement), signed the Darfur Peace Agreement, which aimed at ending the three-year-long conflict.[68] The agreement specified the disarmament of the Janjaweed and the disbandment of the rebel forces, and aimed at establishing a temporal government in which the rebels could take part.[69] The agreement, which was brokered by the African Union, however, was not signed by all of the rebel groups.[69] Only one rebel group, the SLA, led by Minni Arko Minnawi, signed the agreement.[70]

Since the agreement was signed, however, there have been reports of widespread violence throughout the region. A new rebel group has emerged called the National Redemption Front, which is made up of the four main rebel groups that refused to sign the May peace agreement.[71] Recently,[when?] both the Sudanese government and government-sponsored militias have launched large offensives against the rebel groups, resulting in more deaths and more displacements. Clashes among the rebel groups have also contributed to the violence.[71] Recent[when?] fighting along the Chad border has left hundreds of soldiers and rebel forces dead and nearly a quarter of a million refugees cut off from aid.[72] In addition, villages have been bombed and more civilians have been killed. UNICEF recently[when?] reported that around eighty infants die each day in Darfur as a result of malnutrition. The hunger in the Darfur region is still concerning many developed countries in the world.

The people in Darfur are predominantly non-Arabized members of the Darfur tribe who adhere to Islam. While the Janjaweed/Baggara militia is made up of Arabized indigenous Africans and few Arab Bedouin; the majority of other Arab groups in Darfur remain uninvolved in the conflict.[73]

On April 27, 2007, the International Criminal Court warrant for the arrest of Ahmad Muhammad Harun, charging him with 20 counts of crimes against humanity and 22 counts of war crimes. Harun is accused of recruiting, funding and arming the Janjaweed militia. Haurn is currently the governor of South Kordofan, which borders South Sudan, where a brutal counterinsurgency campaign is raging, most severely in the Nuba mountains. Additionally, on the same day, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, one of the most senior leaders in the Janjaweed militia and a member of the Popular Defence Force. He is charged with 22 counts of crimes against humanity and 28 counts of war crimes. Ali Kushayb is accused of issuing orders to the Janjaweed militia and the armed forces including mass rape, killings, torture, inhumane acts, pillaging and looting of residences and marketplaces, and the displacement of the resident community.[74]

On March 1, 2012, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, who is one of Bashir’s closest allies and currently serves as the Minister of National Defense of the Sudanese Government. Reports indicate that Hussein has recruited, armed and funded police forces and the Janjaweed militia in Darfur. [74]

Info from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudan

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