About the Genocide

Genocide in Darfur, Sudan

About the size of Texas, the Darfur region of Sudan is home to acially mixed tribes of settled peasants, who identify as African, and nomadic herders, who identify as Arab. The majority of people in both groups are Muslim.

In the ongoing genocide, African farmers and others in Darfur are being systematically displaced and murdered at the hands of the Janjaweed, a government-supported militia recruited from local Arab tribes. The genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people continue to die each day; five thousand die every month.

Government neglect has left people throughout Sudan poor and voiceless and has caused conflict throughout the country. In February 2003, frustrated by poverty and neglect, two Darfurian rebel groups launched an uprising against the Khartoum government.

The government responded with a scorched-earth campaign, enlisting the help of a militia of Arab nomadic tribes in the region against the innocent civilians of Darfur.

Since February 2003, the Sudanese government in Khartoum and the government-sponsored Janjaweed militia have used rape, displacement, organized starvation, threats against aid workers and mass murder. Violence, disease, and displacement continue to kill thousands of innocent Darfurians every month.

Americans have a particularly important role to play in supporting peace in Darfur. The US government has been proactive in speaking out in support of the people of Darfur, but there is still much work that needs to be done. The United States and international governments have yet to take the actions needed to end this genocide.

Long-term peace in Darfur requires that the government of Sudan, the Janjaweed militia forces and the rebel groups of Darfur find a way to resolve their political and economic disputes. The international community managed to broker a peace deal in May 2006, but violence in Darfur actually increased in the wake of this deal.

Thousands of innocent civilians continue to die from murder, disease and starvation every month. Today, millions of displaced civilians living in refugee camps are in dire need of international support as the violence continues.

At this time, human security is the highest priority for the people of Darfur. The world has left the responsibility of providing security to the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur. As Sally Chin of Refugees International has noted, the world has given the African Union “the responsibility to protect, but not the power to protect.”

We must now work to ensure that the world fulfills its responsibility to protect the civilians of Darfur.

For the latest news from Darfur, check out the Genocide Intervention Network’s Darfur News Briefs.