Since early 2003, Sudanese government forces and ethnic militia called “Janjaweed” have engaged in an armed conflict with two rebel groups called the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). As part of its operations against the rebels, government forces have waged a systematic campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the civilian population who are members of the same ethnic groups as the rebels. The count of those killed since 2003 is estimated at 300,000; total deaths since the beginning of this 2-decade conflict are unfathomable.
Between 2003 and 2005, the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militias burned and destroyed hundreds of rural villages, killed tens of thousands of people and raped and assaulted thousands of women and girls. As of 2006, some 1.8 million live in camps in Darfur and approximately 220,000 have fled into
Thousands of women and children have been abducted and/or raped and hundreds of villages destroyed and relatives still missing; yet, not one perpetrator of war crimes or crimes against humanity is known to have been brought to justice in
The Sudanese people therefore need the help of the international community.
In early 2005, the number of government attacks on civilians dropped, partly because the vast majority of rural villages were already destroyed and their inhabitants displaced from the rural areas. As of 2006, however, the situation has dramatically worsened and the fighting has increased. Janjaweed forces with Chadian rebels are conducting attacks over the border into
These people, who have been driven from their homes, now face death from starvation and disease as the Government and militias attempt to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching them. The same forces have destroyed the people of
The African Union mediated an April 2004 ceasefire and sent in a ceasefire monitoring team in May 2004. As violence against civilians continued in 2004, the African Union force (AMIS) expanded and received funding and equipment from the European Union, the United Kingodm, the United States and other partners. The African Union is also mediating negotiations in
The U.N. already has a peacekeeping mandate for southern
In the first few years of the conflict, the Sudanese government regularly described the situation in
The Arab League has been largely silent on the atrocities in
The UN Security Council is divided on
The majority of the displaced people in
People cannot return to their homes due to the continuing presence of government-backed militias in the rural areas. Those that do escape the camps and attempt the trek through the desert find themselves faced with the harshest conditions – extreme heat, no water, no food and falling prey to militia forces or animals seeking their own source of food.
The situation in