The purpose of this essay is to adequately depict the current conflict in Darfur and discuss the effects that the Darfur Conflict has had on the neighboring countries, the Horn of Africa region and U.S. interest. In addition, this essay will explore how Darfur Conflict affects global concerns.
Background: Darfur is Islamic Sultanate located in the Western Region of Sudan; which is often referred to as the Horn of Africa. It’s reported to be covering one fifth of the country, and has a populous between four and six million. Darfur’s geographic make up is composed of traditional Muslim Arabs located in the Northern portion of Darfur, with the southern portion consisting of “white Arabs” and Furs (People of Darfur or peasant farmers). Darfur is bordered by Libya in the North, with Chad to the west, and the Central African Republic in the south west Kordofar and the Bahr El-Gazal region borders the eastern and southern parts of Darfur. In essence Fur is the major ethnic group, hence the name Darfur. (DAR equals Abode, DAFUR meaning the abode of Fur. The rest of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic herders. Most of the farmers live close to a subsistence level. Meaning they have the minimal requirements to meet physical needs such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care in the event of an emergency. “The Fur, largely peasant farmers, occupy the central belt of the region, including the Jebel Marra massif.” There is also the non-Arab Masalit, Berti, Bargu, Bergid, Tama and Tunjur people who are sedentary farmers-farmers which usually remain in the same location. In the northernmost zone is Dar Zaghawa, part of the Libyan Sahara, and some “camel nomads” primarily Bedeyat and Zaghawa who are non-Arab in origin, and the Arab Mahariya, Irayqat, Beni Hussein and Mahamid. “Cattle rather than camels are herded by the Arab nomads of the eastern and southern zone of Darfur, who comprise the Rezeigat, Habbaniya, Beni Halba, Taaisha and Maaliyya.”
Interesting Historically facts, North Darfur and parts of west and south Darfur have experienced reoccurring droughts. The crop returns have remained relatively low and unpredictable because of pest infestation, lack of agricultural inputs, and mainly due the erratic rainfall. The water scarcity and lack of pasture has caused the livestock to dwindle tremendously. Many of the laborers working there migrated leaving behind the elderly, women and children, in search of employment. Over the years these attributing factors impacted coping capacity throughout the communities.
The Sudanese government maintains the thought that The Darfur conflict is primarily a tribal war which began early in 2003 with fighting between the Government of Sudan, and their two opposition groups; the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLMA) who were backed by Eritrea and the Justice and Equality Movement, JEM-a faction within the SLMA. The JEM faction or the minority of a larger group didn’t share the same interests or...