Genocide in Darfur
Darfur is the western region of the African country of Sudan. Currently, the people of Darfur have been continually attacked by the Sudanese army and by proxy-militia controlled by the Sudanese government. Families are being uprooted and starved, children tormented and murdered by the thousands and women raped without punishment. Innocent civilians in Darfur continue to be victims of unthinkable brutality. Many people have become homeless and seek protection in refugee camps in Chad. Yet despite its outward appearance, Darfur has a vast ethnic diversity and a complex, ancient system of resolving conflict. Genocide has occurred in several places around the world, but in Darfur there are certain reasons why it happens. The civil war, corruption of the government, geography and Darfur’s history all affect the current crisis.
Historians have said that geography is destiny, meaning that the natural boundaries of a place help form the culture that develops there. This thought is especially clear in Darfur. Sudan’s geography and its 41 million citizens are in the same way varied. If you follow the Nile River from Sudan’s northern border with Egypt to its southern border with Uganda and you travel from scorching deserts to swamps and rain forests. The people along the way are equally diverse. Only about 5 percent of Sudanese are Christian, 70 percent are Muslim and the rest hold fast to traditional belief systems. Nearly 40 percent of Sudanese are Arabs and over 50 percent express themselves as black or African. However, the people of Darfur have a great deal in common regardless of whether they are Arab or African, their Islamic faith and use of Arabic language unite them together. Nonetheless, outside forces in recent years have been trying to cause conflict between the two groups. The reason for this is that a divided Darfur is less of a threat to other opposing regions.
Furthermore, the region of Darfur is about the size of Texas. Its enormity is one of the sources of the current conflict because most of Darfur is not easily accessible. Traveling in and out of the secluded areas is very tough. There are an unfortunately small amount of all-weather roads. The attackers can travel the terrain much more easily, making it even more difficult for the villagers. The isolated areas make it hard for journalists and humanitarian workers to learn about the activity in the region. This makes it also not easy to gauge the actual number of people affected by the desolation of famine and warfare.
In addition, Darfur’s terrain can be classified into four individual sections: mountains, basement rock, watercourses, and sand. In Darfur a large amount of the arable land consists of goz (soil sediment where vegetation grows). Goz can be useful for farming but primarily offers land for grazing herds. Then, through a process the land around the watercourses and the goz makes the land fertile. Each year the land...