Presentation on theme: "Sudan 101: The Basics. Geographical Area Largest African Country at 2.3 million sq. km Surrounded by nine other countries: Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central."— Presentation transcript:
Sudan 101: The Basics
Geographical Area Largest African Country at 2.3 million sq. km Surrounded by nine other countries: Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, Eritrea Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nile runs through center –Important to the economics Provides means of transportation through country Source of irrigation for all the agricultural work in middle of country Controls the headwaters of the Blue Nilewhich gives Sudan power over Ethiopia
Geographical Area Desert in the north Mostly flat plains throughout country Mountains in west, northeast and far south, more rainfall 39 % of population “Arab” –live mostly in the North 52 % “Black” –Christians mostly live in the South –Genocide cannot be simplified to one of either race or religion 70% of population Muslim, 5% Christian Farming in South/Central regions –Central: for market cotton, sorghum, groundnuts, sugarcane, wheat, sesame. –Southern: subsistence (traditional) sorghum, millet, sesame, groundnuts –Subsistence fishing along Red Sea Drought in 1980’s-1990’s hurt economy terribly –Widespread famine –Livestock herders from the North were forced South into Agricultural areas
The Drought Terrible and widespread drought during the 1980’s and 90’s –Famine Between 1983 and 1998, about 1.5 million people died as a result of starvation and war –Animal herders from north were forced south into agricultural areas The genocide is an economic one, and it started here Agriculture remains the largest part of GDP at 39% and employs 80% of workforce Drought affected all those in the agriculture industry which was a large majority of the population Fight for land has escalated, and combined with the factors or Arabization, oil discoveries and a destabilized region, time was right for the genocide to begin Common foods, such as dried okra and other grains, that were consumed during the drought and famine
Geopolitical Surroundings Kenya/ Uganda have tried to act as mediators in the genocide –Hypocritical on Uganda’s part, as they have admitted to funding the rebels in Sudan –Kenya is now dealing with massive amounts of Sudanese refugees Eritrea accused by Sudan of funding rebels Very porous border with Ethiopia –Both of these issues are a repercussions from the Ethiopia/Eritrea war Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993 In the next five years fought over currency/trade Sudan supported Ethiopia during their war Both sides have supported Sudanese rebels Ethiopia has left the US sponsored alliance of Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudanese rebel groups to re-establish friendly relations with the Khartoum regime This will only worsen the genocide, and potentially destabilize entire region Border almost non-existent with Chad –Chad has been accused of funding rebels as well, because Sudan supported their rebels (same situation as Uganda) –Sudanese refugee camps now on Chadian side of border –Violence has followed them, with the Janjaweed now making forays into Chad New elections in Democratic Republic of Congo –It remains to be seen how this will affect the African Union, which in turn could change troop numbers in Sudan
Committers of Genocide: The Janjaweed Janjaweed translates into “Evil Horsemen” or “Horse and Gun” They are Arab speaking Black Africans with Radical Islamic beliefs Recruited mainly from Baggara (Cattle Herder) and Abbala (Camel Herder) people. These forces are backed by the government of Sudan, though Khartoum denies such a connection. Much of the Janjaweed has largely been immersed into the Sudanese Armed Forces The Sudanese Armed Forces are the Sudanese Government, currently lead by President Bashir “Don’t you people understand what a tribal leader does? I answered my government’s appeal, and I called my people to arms. I didn’t take up arms personally. A tribal leader doesn’t take up arms. I am a sheikh. I am not a soldier.” ~ Musa Hilal A member of the Janjaweed on horseback. The US State Department has accused Musa Hilal, an Arab tribal leader, of being a Janjaweed leader and has openly accused him of genocide.
Resistant Groups: SLA Sudan Liberation Army /Movement (SLA/M) Also known as Haraka Tahrir Sudan The SLM is not to be mistaken as the SPLA/M (The Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army – the Southern Rebel Group) Loose association of resistance groups fighting in the Darfur region against the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed Largest faction led by Minni Minnawi Ahmed Abdulshafi Bassey is another of its leaders For a while the group was known as the Darfur Liberation Front Currently the Darfur Liberation Front faction has a secessionist stance while the SLM remains dedicated to overthrowing Bashir in Khartoum The Arabic on the truck reads: Sudanese Liberation Army - The acts of genocide are being committed primarily against the Fur (Largest Non- Arab Sedentary Group) the Masalit (Sedentary Non-Arab), and the Zaghawa (Nomadic Tribes – Non-Arab). All of these tribes have Islamic ties.
Resistance Groups: SPLA Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Started in 1983 by John Garang de Mabior, Salva Kiir Mayardit, William Nyuon Bany and Kerubino Kuanyin Bol Based in Southern Sudan, they are primarily non-Muslim and non-Arab They have fought a civil war against three different Sudanese Presidents, Gaafar Nimeiry, Sadiq al-Mahdi and President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir Their struggle against the government has been based on secessionist, religious, ethnic and economic (oil) desires. The Political Party wing of the group is called Al-Harakat Ash-Shaabia Le Tahreer As-Sudan The SPLA split into 3 main factions in the 1990s: –SPLA-Torit led by John Garang –SPLA Bahr-al-Ghazal led by Carabino Kuany Bol –SPLA-United led by Riek Machar and Lam Akol –These factions have hampered SPLA’s efforts to negotiate with the Sudanese government. In April 1997 the South Sudan Independence Movement, a faction of the SPLA-United, created the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF), by signing an agreement with the Sudanese government in Khartoum.
Resistance Groups: JEM Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Rebel group fighting in the Darfur against the Janjaweed and the Sudanese government Has radical Islamic roots. Founded on the principles written in the Black Book, written in 2000 about the regional, economic, and racial inequality present in Sudan, including among Islamist groups The Sudanese government claims that Hassan al-Turabi, (Once allied with President Bashir) is a leader of the JEM (al-Turabi denies this claim) On January 20, 2006 JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement joined to create the Alliance of Revolutionary Forces of West Sudan “There can be no doubt that the current dictatorship has been pernicious for the human development of the regions outside of the North and Khartoum. There can be no question that the data support the claims made in the Black Book that the Sudan has been governed to benefit those regions disproportionately at the expense of all others.” -Alex Cobham, a scholar at Oxford University studied the Black Book’s claims and came to the above conclusion. Click here to see his article: Causes of Conflict in Sudan: Testing the Black BookCauses of Conflict in Sudan: Testing the Black Book
Other Actors History –Colonialism – British and Egyptian influences had an impact on the North/South divide in Sudan –The Civil War that has been waged for 20+ years has devastated the entire region and hindered the acceptance of the term “Genocide” because political figures choose to call the conflict a Civil War which infers the rules of sovereignty, use of the term “Genocide” might require international intervention The United States –Colin Powell visited the region and on September 2004 declared that Genocide was occurring in Darfur –No further official US action has been taken to intervene or resolve the conflict “When we reviewed the evidence compiled by our team, and then put it beside other information available to the State Department and widely known throughout the international community, widely reported upon by the media and by others, we concluded, I concluded, that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Jingaweit bear responsibility -- and that genocide may still be occurring.” - Colin Powell to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 9, 2004. See the transcript of his testimony.See the transcript of his testimony.
Other Actors United Nations –Resolution 1556 - Demands that Sudan disarm the Janjaweed –Resolution 1706 - Authorized a Peace Keeping Force (nothing has come of this) (will be discussed in further detail later on) African Union –The AU has troops on the ground in Darfur, but their mandate is weak. The mandate was set to expire on December 31, 2006 but it has been extended for 6 additional months. Other State Actors –The Sudanese struggle spills over and effects most of the region. Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Chad, Uganda, and Eritrea are just a few countries which are involved in the conflict –Due to the influence of oil, many non-regional states (China, Russia, India, and the US) have a lot of interest in Sudan and Darfur specifically Non State Actors –Amnesty, UNICEF, Religious Based Groups, Human Rights Watch, Media Groups –Very few media organizations have taken up the cause for peace
Building Tension... Beginning in the 1980's the Sudanese government became run increasingly by Northern, elite Sudanese Arabs from the Nile Basin People in Darfur felt marginalized by the “Arabization” that was taking place – Felt that their region was economically and politically neglected by the government in Khartoum Due to these feelings of malcontent, the SLA was formed An armed member of the SLA.
Building Tension… Tension had previously existed between the “African” and “Arab” groups before...but these ethnic labels are socially constructed and their meanings have changed over time –Africans were traditionally farmers –Arabs traditionally cattle herders –Competed for limited land and resources (water, fertile ground, space, etc.) –Created the basis for a conflict that would continue to escalate
Conflict The SLA was composed of “Africans”, blacks, the farmers, who were fed up with having their issues ignored by the government. The Khartoum government called upon “Arab” militias to fight the rebel force after the SLA began attacking police posts and other government property Members of the government supported “Arab” militias.
A One Sided War Against Civilians… The “Arab” militias (Janjaweed) began raiding towns in Darfur and continue to do so at present. They loot and burn the towns, while driving out the citizens who live there –Many women are taken captive and raped repeatedly –Men are generally murdered
Why? In A Nutshell A civil war was taking place however the government-backed Janjaweed has gone as far as to displace, rape, and massacre civilians of the Darfur region in mass numbers. They are attacked because they are “African”
Some Insights from Rwanda Prior to the Rwandan genocide and throughout it, the government was engaged in a civil war with the RPF (Rwandan People’s Front) a group lead by exiled Tutsis Due to their attack, the Hutu Power (in government) labeled all Tutsis as accomplices to the RPF and they were therefore targeted and murdered in mass numbers This was not the only reason for the genocide in Rwanda however it was a legitimization
Targets Compared With Rwanda The SLA is labeled as being an “African” rebel group from the Darfur region. –Like the Tutsis in Rwanda, the “Africans” in the Darfur region, even if they are civilians, are targeted by the opposite side for being connected to the SLA –The civilians are of a similar class and therefore they are believed to support the rebels and must be dealt with accordingly...
Summary Those labeled as “Africans” are targeted by the Janjaweed They are: –Displaced from homes –Raped –Killed –Forced into refugee camps and left to starve in these areas A Sudanese refugee camp
The Role of the UN in the Genocide U.N. has not declared Darfur as a genocide, merely “acts of genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” July and August 2006 – The U.N. approved Resolution 1706 -It was a resolution passed August 31, 2006. -12 in favor France, United Kingdom, United States, Argentina, Congo, Denmark, Ghana, Greece, Japan, Peru, Slovakia, Tanzania -3 abstentions China, Qatar, Russia
Resolution 1706 The resolution concluded that AU forces aren’t enough, but their mandate has been extended repeatedly through 2006 although the situation continues to escalate What does Resolution 1706 do? -Resolution calls for 22,500 UN troops and police officers to support the AU force -Sudan has refused to participate in the UNSC session and has strongly rejected the resolution -22,500 UN troops have never materialized because of this AU soldier in Darfur
The role of the African Union in the Genocide Peacekeeping force originally founded in 2004 with a force of 150 troops By April 2005, had increased to 7,000 Problems: -They do not have the mandate, funds, or adequate amount of troops to be effective -The troops come from nations including Rwanda, and are actually preferred by the genocidal Sudanese government due to their weaknesses (which is not really their fault) -Force with less advanced training UN troops posses, insufficient to effectively contain the violence On September 5 2006, the AU announced it will be withdrawing its forces when its peacekeeping mandate on September 30 when it expires, this was later postponed to December 31, 2006.
Is the West Responsible for Darfur? Historically, no. The Darfurian conflict originated in Sudan between the tribes of Abbala and the non-Bagarra people. Internationally? Yes. -The US had capacities to protect civilians in the region -The US has recognized this as a genocide -Many feel this recognition is nothing more than filler, since the U.S. has taken little action to stop the genocide
How are the Arab Nations Responsible for the Genocide? Traditionally? –Khartoum's position has usually been backed and the Arab Nations have harshly spoken out against military intervention in Darfur. Recently? –In early 2006 The Arab League backed Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir’s refusal of a UN peace keeping force in Darfur –Recently, however, in October 2006, Arab countries have launched a new effort to push Sudan toward a compromise over U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur –Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania are African-Arab nations that already have small contingents operating in Darfur in coalition with the African Union Peacekeepers. –Promised to contribute extra food to the region, although food has been the least of the nations problems in recent time. Omar al-Bashir
How Do These Actions Qualify Darfur as a Genocide? Genocide is... –The attack on a group of people with the intent to eradicate them by... Killing- The Janjaweed and Sudanese government have this pretty well covered Enforcing conditions that will lead to the destruction of the group-the forcing of the citizens into refugee camps where they cannot leave to find more food, water, or fuel without risking their lives as the Janjaweed circle and plan to kill