There have been many conflicts in different regions of the world, causing a lot of effects to the humanity and the natural environment, which has always remained a silent victim. Many people have been killed because of these conflicts, while causing lot of devastating effects to the environment. During the war, a lot of pollutants are released to the environment which ends up affecting human beings and the natural resources.
Other resources are depleted in the ensuing conflicts. The major concerns on the current issues about conflicts, both internal and regional are found in the developing countries. These countries do not have the economic capacity to deal with the conflict situation, hence making the problems even worse (IRIN, 2007).
Africa has had along time history of civil war from the colonial times, and many are still evidenced today. Most of the African nations fight over borders, which were mostly demarcated by the colonialists. These are regional conflicts, while internal conflicts arises due to the people fighting for scarce natural resources, for instance fertile farming land, and water.
The Sudanese president is a wanted man on the list of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in the conflict that has been taking place in the country for almost 20 years, leaving hundreds of thousands of people dead (Goldberg, 2009).
Causes and Effects of War in Sudan
There has been a long civil war in Southern Sudan that has led to the international community through the United Nations and the African union to try and broker peace. The war witnessed in the region is considered as a fight between the different ethnic and tribal groups (IRIN, 2007). The mostly known conflicting groups are the government side and the Janjaweed rebel group. There is however other smaller rebel groups that have complicated the matter further.
The major cause of the war in Sudan has been attributed to fighting for water between the Baggara nomads who moved to the South (an area occupied by the farming community), in search of water. This conflict has led to many deaths in the region, despite the presence of the peace forces.
There are other reasons that have been cited as having contributed to the conflict, although the major reason has been the increase in population which the natural resources are not able to hold, hence making the groups to fight over the scarce resources. On the other hand, there have been claims that the Arab dominants, who are Muslims, have been fighting the Black Africans, who are mostly Christians to wipe them from the region. This is what has led to the US declaring this to be a form of genocide, which has taken place under the watch of President Al Bashir who the ICC wants arrested for the crimes (Goldberg, 2009).
As already mentioned, the war was triggered by fighting for scarce resources, which was water. However, considering the continued fights, the environment is even endangered more, making it more impossible to support the population. This on the other hand aggravates the situation when the natural resources are not able to support them.
The conflict over resources in Sudan started at a local level in Darfur region, but developed into becoming a national issue whereby economic and political marginalization has been heightened. The situation has been made worse because of ethnicity differences. Therefore, despite economic and political and religious factors contributing to the conflict in Darfur Sudan, the major problem has surrounded the environment.
The Sudanese Arabs who are nomads moved southwards in search of greener pastures and water for their animals and entered the territory of the Black farmers, leading to the two groups to conflict. The Black farmers complained to the Khartoum government, but on realizing that the government was not keen on solving the problem, the Black farmers rebelled against the government. This rebellion led to fighting between the people, destroying a lot of property, both manmade and naturally (Borger, 2007).
The two groups fighting each other have distinct life styles, hence through their fights; each tries to destroy the strategic areas that the other depends on, as a way of weakening them. For instance, the nomads usually would graze their animals on the crops of the farmers, destroying their source of livelihood. On the other hand, the farmers set the grazing land for the nomads on fire so that they lack animal feeds. Furthermore, as the nomads are known of moving from one region o another in search of greener pastures, the farmers have blocked their migration paths, forcing them to overgraze in one region, hence also affecting their source of livelihood. Such actions from both camps have made the situation to be worse as the conflict continues.
Many of the refugees from Sudan have fled to the neighboring countries like Chad. The asylums in the neighboring countries have not made the refugees completely safe, but have even put the lives of the residents of the host country in danger. This is because the Janjaweed rebels have been following the refugees to their camps, and attacking them from there. This has made the residents in the host country who live near the refugee camps to move away from them to areas that are more secure. In essence, the citizens have been made insecure in their own land. This on the other hand might thus cause conflict between the refugees and the citizens of the host country, which again might rise to the national level (Gouroukoun, 2006).
The major effect of the Sudan’s conflict has been on the number of the people who have been killed. This is basically a major concern to everybody, including the humanitarian groups that are mostly found in Sudan, and the international community. However, it has to be understood that since the Sudan conflict is directly linked to the natural resources, which is an environmental, issue, the conflict has continued to affect the environment even to higher magnitude.
The Arab Sudanese have always been cutting trees which the farmers have planted in their farms, as well as grazing on the farmers’ crops. On the other hand, the farmers have been burning the grazing land for the nomads. All these actions have got detrimental effects to the environment. The nomads moved southwards in search of greener pastures, yet they are cutting the trees that are important in rain formation, then it is obvious that a dry spell would be in the region for a long time.
On the other hand, as the Black farmers burn the grazing ground, this also affects their farming activities since important macro organisms are killed. Therefore, all these environmental impacts would make the conflict to remain for a long time as long the involved bodies are only concerned with solving the immediate humanitarian crisis, rather than looking at the root cause of the problem, and how to avert it occurring in future.
Borger, Julian (2007). Darfur conflict heralds era of wars triggered by climate change, UN report warns. Retrieved on March 24, 2009 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/jun/23/sudan.climatechange.
Goldberg, M. L. (2009). The President of Sudan to be a Wanted War Criminal, retrieved on March 24, 2009 from http://www.undispatch.com/node/7698.
Gouroukoun (2006). Chadians Increasingly Feel Impact of Darfur Conflict, Retrieved on March 24, 2009, from http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-04/2006-04-21-voa44.cfm.
IRIN. (2007). Sudan: Climate change – only one cause among many for Darfur conflict, retrieved on March 24, 2009 from http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2007/06/mil-070628-irin03.htm.
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