The Darfur genocide is the first genocide of the twenty-first century. After the atrocity of the Jewish Holocaust, every man, woman, and child demanded “Never again.” Unfortunately, genocides such as the ones in Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda ensued. Today, nearly forty-two years later, we are facing yet another genocide in Darfur. Darfur is the largest region in Sudan, and it is located in the western regions. It encompasses approximately six-hundred ethnicities and religions, divided by never-ending acts of prejudice. Violent acts such as murdering and tormenting innocent civilians are carried out by the government.
The main thing that sets the Darfur genocide apart from the rest is that, these acts of inhumanity and barbarity are still going on to this day.
The northern region, centralized on the capital of Khartoum is predominantly made up of ethnically Arab muslims. Groups of christians and africans with ethnic differences in relation to the northerners inhabit the southern regions. The Khartoum government aims to create an islamic-based country.
The southerners opposed this idea, leading to large conflicts. The government exploits these different groups by attacking them. The killings against these groups with different beliefs began in 2003, disorder and brutality still go on today. These violent acts are implemented by a government-armed and funded Arab militia known as the Janaweed. Despite these orders coming from the government, the Janjaweed militia and the rebels are largely made up of ordinary citizens. Many normal citizens in Europe were also persistently involved in the Holocaust. The two main rebel groups who go against the government’s acts are, the Sudan Liberation Army, and the Justice and Equality Movement.
These rebel groups claim to represent all of the oppressed in Sudan.
The government and Janaweed militia not only murder and torture innocent civilian’s lives, but they also greatly aggravate the economy of the southern regions. Most of their raids begin with the government’s Air Force bombing villages. The Janaweed then enter the villages, setting them on fire. Prior to burning the villages, the Janaweed raid the whole village, looting all economic resources and food sources. Other methods used to murder villagers are disease and organized starvation. Once the raid has finished, they throw dead bodies into water sources and wells in order to contaminate the whole village’s water systems. Citizens who were not killed, were displaced or left without homes, food, water, clothes, or any necessities to live. As a result of these horrendous crimes, over five-hundred thousand people have died and over three-million have been injured, displaced, or affected otherwise.
While this issue has faded from the minds of many people, violence continues to displace, injure, and kill people every day. As of this year, in 2020, there have been attacks affecting over eighty-thousand people. The conflict in Darfur has also distressed many neighboring countries because hundreds of thousands of refugees travel there to escape the violence. Former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir was sentenced to jail for two years on the grounds of money laundering, corruption, and being responsible for the Darfur genocide. We know that President Bashir is the reason for genocide in Darfur, because he is the one fuelling it, just as Hitler and many of the other senior figures in the Nazi party during the Holocaust. The Khartoum government has interfered with any and all people and organizations that have tried to stop the Janaweed militia. Along with this, they have also attempted to cover up all military investigations negatively impacting the Janaweed. Close to all of the information is controlled by the Khartoum government, making it difficult for other countries and organizations to have a clear understanding of the ongoing events, and to provide adequate help. This was also an issue during the Holocaust, with the information being tightly controlled by the Nazis, beneficial help from other counties was very difficult to receive. Thirteen international humanitarian aid organizations have been expelled and have had all operations in the region suspended by the Khartoum government. At least three domestic organizations have also been stopped. As a result, millions of vulnerable people have been left without food, water, medicine, or protection.
Genocide occurs in many places and results in millions of lives being lost. The killing of innocent men, women, and children continue daily, and will not stop until our society and its people grow tired of the superfluous loss of winsome life and put in work to aid those n need. Darfurians are an ultimate example of what can happen when ones lives are not appreciated and respected because of the differences in beliefs. Maya Angelou once said, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” This quote should act as a blueprint for our future. We all know how terribly sad genocide is, but the past cannot be changed. What we can change is the future, by bringing awareness genocide, we can work together as a society to save the lives of millions of people.