In the 1990s there was a civil war in Darfur with violence over land and power. Members of the Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups started the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). They attacked a government airfield in April 2003. After that the Sudanese government responded by targeting the Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit groups with local militia known as the Janjaweed. In 2003 over 300,000 people were killed in the Darfur region of Sudan in what's known as the first genocide of the 21st century. Men, women, and children were slaughtered and many were also raped and over three million were displaced.
United to End Genocide
Abdul is a survivor of the Darfur genocide. The Janjaweed burned his village and he lost 21 family members all in one day. The Janjaweed also looted livestock and their valuables. He's had to live in Kalma displacement camp since 2003 after his village was attacked. The camp was also attacked in 2008; the ones who committed the attack have yet to be brought to justice. In the camps at least half don't have access to education; there aren't enough schools and the school fees are too expensive for some. Abdul often gives up meals so he can save money to send his kids to school.
United to End Genocide
Hawa is a survivor of the Darfur genocide. She recalls the day there was an attack near her village. Over the next few days she heard guns going off and that people were killed. The Janjaweed took over that village and some people from there came to her village; they were tired, scared, and crying. She left with her family to a camp by El Fasher. At the camp they also hear shooting and life is difficult because they worry their lives might be taken. Hawa mentions there was a lot of rape, but no one talks about it because of his or her fear of being killed; she says the government has control over the people. Hawa still lives in fear and worries for her family.
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In 2008 President Al-Bashir was accused of crimes humanity and war crimes for his involvement with the Darfur genocide. In 2009 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest that included 7 charges, but dismissed the charge for genocide ruling that there wasn't enough evidence to support it. In 2010 the case was resent to be looked at again and then a second arrest warrant was issued, this time with three charges of genocide. However, since then he has still not been arrested.
In 2010 there was an attack in the village of Tabarat. 39 people were killed and about 50 were injured. The Janjaweed militia targeted shot all of them in the head or the chest; some of them were tied with rope behind cars and dragged before killed. Those that survived by running away were shot in the legs and arms.
In 2010 the Sudanese government attacked civilians from August through October in the Jebel Marra region. They also attacked villages in November in the south of Soni. They used planes and helicopters to drop bombs and rockets, set fire to markets, and also looted properties. Five farmers were also beaten severely. Thousands of civilians fled their homes to try and survive and many have been displaced. The Sudanese government blocked the UN and humanitarian organizations from passing through the affected areas.
There has been much debate on whether the killings in Darfur are considered genocide. In 2004 the United States Congress declared the situation in Darfur as genocide and President Bush followed suit. In 2005 the United Nations said the violence did not amount to genocide. The Sudanese government continues to deny the attacks as genocide even though the violence still persists today.
In 2014 and 2015 the Rapid Support Forces (RSF; a Sudanese government force) attacked villages in South Darfur, North Darfur, and around Jebel Marra. Homes were looted, buildings were burned, and food stores and wells were destroyed. Livestock was taken and villagers were beaten, raped, and executed. Many survivors fled to camps for internally displaced persons. According to the United Nations Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), around 130,000 were displaced without access to humanitarian assistance and lack food, shelter, and medical care which leads to the risk of death from starvation or illness.
In 2016 the Sudan government was accused of using chemical weapons to kill civilians. According to a report by Amnesty International, about 32 villages were attacked and 250 people died from exposure to the chemical weapons in Jebel Marra. Amnesty International interviewed residents from Jebel Marra that gave testimonies to the alleged poisonous smoke between January and September 2016. Those interviewed were survivors or cared for victims. The Sudanese officials deny the claim that the Sudanese government has used chemical warfare.