Friday, May 24, 2013
Be The Change Project: Darfur
In Social Studies these past few months, my grade has been working on a Human Rights project called Be The Change. We each had to pick our own topic, and I decided to do my project on the Darfur region in Sudan, a county in conflict. For our project, there are 3 components, research, social action, and a report. For my social action component, I want to raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur by writing about it on my blog. Please read this and share it with others so I can reach lots of people! Thanks for reading and for caring!
Darfur is a region in the country of Sudan that was home to 6 million people pre-conflict. The conflict began in 2003 when 2 rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) rose up against the Sudanese government, accusing them of favouring the Arab Darfuris oven the African farmers. The government was quick to try to crush the rebel groups by sending out armed militia called Janjaweed. Janjaweed is Arabic for "evil men on horseback". The Janjaweed are blamed for many killings, rape, and abductions. Refugees describe them as gun-wielding men riding camels or horses who burn villages and steal whatever they can carry. The fighting between the government and rebel movements is rooted in the government's exploitative leadership and an unequal distribution of power and wealth.
- an estimated 400, 000 civilians have been killed due to war related violence, disease and starvation
- about 2.7 million civilians are internally displaced, and about 250, 000 live as refugees in neighboring countries
- 4.7 million conflict affected people live in desperate need of aid just for daily survival
The Sudanese government has obstructed UN peacekeeping forces, refused to prosecute people charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, blocked international aid, used aerial bombing and ground assault against civilians, and extended its attacks beyond Darfur. Some attacks have even targeted international humanitarian aid workers.
The August 26th 2008 attack of a Kalma refugee camp is just one of the many similar attacks on refugee camps. These 90,000 people in the Kalma camp already had escaped the government militia that burned their villages and killed their families, and even though they had escaped, the danger was still present.
In 2010, the Sudanese government and JEM signed a peace deal, including a ceasefire. However, accusations have been made that say the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the agreement.
Only 7, 000 African Union troops have been sent to try and keep peace, and those troops lack what they need to protect those at risk of death.
There seems to be no end in Darfur's horrible conflict, murder, rape, assaults on displaces persons camps, or village destruction. This started in 2003 and has not stopped. There are still millions of people living in terrible conditions in refugee camps. The crisis in Darfur is still continuing, but the media is not reporting it any longer. We need to raise awareness and concern about the genocide in Darfur so more people will try to bring about peace, and so the senseless suffering of millions innocent people will stop.