Genocide = The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group
The last 100 years have seen more killings of more people than any other known killings before combined.
The Darfur genocide has killed more than 400,000 civilians and displaced 2.5 million people from their homes. About the size of Texas, the Darfur region of Sudan is home to racially mixed Muslim tribes. In February 2003, frustrated by poverty and neglect, two Darfurian rebel groups launched an uprising against the Khartoum government (Capital of Sudan). The government responded with a scorched-earth campaign, arming and bankrolling militias against the innocent civilians of Darfur. A small peacekeeping force run by the African Union is in place, but it is largely unsupported by the rest of the world. Civilian protection is desperately needed to stop the violence and end the genocide.
The people of Darfur, Sudan, have been victims of a genocide there since 2003. The government-recruited Janjaweed militia has been systemically raping and killing non-Arab civilians in that region, and looting and destroying homes. 1 in 5 children under age 5 suffer from severe malnutrition, and more are malnourished. This is a problem similar to that in Niger, because children at that age run the risk for developmental disorders, from which they'll never recover. It's possible for children over the age of 5 to recover fully from malnutrition.
After attending the conference, it was brought to my attention how vital resources are in Sudan. Since the divide between North Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, there has been a lot of violence over oil (one of Sudan's main exports.) Water, food and oil is scarce.
The government and militias use resources as a weapon against tribes like the Fur and Kush. World Food trucks aren't allowed in parts of Sudan to ensure that tribes aren't receiving the nutrition they need.
Because of the bombing and violence that has been targeted towards the north border of South Sudan (reportedly from the capital Khartoum) the U.N refuses to grant any money towards a refugee camp on the border until it relocates. Resources are becoming more and more scarce and more and more vital.
Government officials are also blocking the road into the Nuba Mountains. The Nuba Mountains are located between Darfer and the Border of South Sudan. Because of the recent bombings, they have no houses. 40 to 50 people are living in one cave each. Sometimes all they have to treat their wounds are salt and water and there's no food or water now that it's dry season. Now the road is blocked so no humanatarians or trucks of supplies can enter. I spoke to a man here in denver from Nuba and he told me,
"The mountains have become our mother. They protect us."
A church of Sudaneese refugees in Denver has come togeather to bring Nuba supplies. Read here for more.
After two civil wars and genocide, south Sudan claims independence.
The citizens of Sudan came togeather and voted for secession. The republic of South Sudan became it's own country on July 9, 2011, after 99% of voters voted for independance. Salva Kiir was inagurated as president.
"We shall never, never surrender!" crowds shouted after learning that the Republic of South Sudan had become it's own country.Their decleration of independance claims to be friendly and peaceful towards all countries, even North sudan. President Salva Kiir offeres Amnesty to Northern Sudan militias and promises to create peace along the border. He said,
"I want to assure the people of Abeyi, Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, we have not forgotten you."
Despite the good news of the split between north and south Sudan, violence has found it's way between the two countries. South Sudan contains 60& of the original countries oil, (a main export.) And after two civil wars, drawing a line between the north and south won't stop Omar Al-Bashir (president of the north) from ethnic clensing. You can read above under resources about some of the recent violence that's gone on between the two countries.
Religion and Language
Children are forced to speak Arabic and learn and follow the Islamic religion. A refugee that had been forced to learn Arabic as a child told me,
"To be a Muslim is one thing. To be an Arab is another. But the government is forcing native people into the Arab religion. You can't be forced. You choose your identity. What faith you follow is your choice, not to be forced upon. My family has many different religions. But harmony is the most important thing. Why should I give up my God given identity to become a Sudanese. That makes me subservient."
People lining up to vote for independence.