16 March 2016
The Darfur Genocide
It is said that nothing like the Holocaust could ever happen again in the modern world,
but it has happened in countless countries, and is still happening in Darfur, Sudan. Seeing that
Darfur has been part of a genocide since 2003, there have been mass casualties and inhumane
acts amongst the people of Darfur. What is occurring in Sudan, was described by the United
Nations as “The World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis” (Sikainga). The Darfur genocide, which
started in 2003 and is still currently happening this very minute, has taken over 400,000 lives and
displaced an estimated 2,500,000.
To be able to fully comprehend what is going on in Darfur, how it all started must be
understood first. Darfur has had a history of government instability, dating back to the 19th
century when the Fur Kingdom was destroyed. Since then, Darfur has had numerous different
political parties and regions conquer them, until 1956, when they became independent from the
Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. Sudan had two Civil Wars, weakening their economy and
political stability even more. The first war, lasting from 1955 until 1975, was between the
Sudanese government, and southern rebels, fighting to self-govern themselves. The second Civil
war lasted from 1983 until 2005. This war started due to The Sharia law that the president had
passed, restricting their most basic rights and also making trivial crimes punishable by death.
Throughout these wars, over two million people have died, and over four million were relocated.
There were always high tensions between Arabs, and non-arab tribes. The Arab tribes
were located in the northern regions, and the non-arab ethnic tribes in the south. In the North,
they survived by cattle-herding, and in the south, they farmed. During these wars, there was
fierce competition for scarce resources, causing the North and South to fight amongst each other
again. The Arabs, desperate to feed their animals, attacked farmers to get to the crops. The
farmers fought back, resulting in years of fighting between the tribes. The government did not
intervene at all. In 2003, there were two more rebellions, in which they were accusing the
government of neglect. The government released the Janjaweed, which were arab militias to
attack towns. Innocent civilians, that were the same ethnic group as the rebels, were attacked
because they were considered a potential danger to the government. These are some of the main
events, leading to what is considered the most horrific modern genocide of all time.
Now that the beginning is understood, the odious acts against the people can be
described. The Janjaweed raided hundreds of towns, brutally murdering and raping the civilians.
According to the account of Halima Bashir, who is a survivor of the genocide. She was injured in
a hospital when three soldiers took her and threw her into the back of their van. "My heart was