Tuesday, July 04, 2006

some sudanese history

the latest in darfur brings more news of the janjaweed moving into to chad, and the chad government reports that they have avoided attack in the city of ade.

i finally did a little research, as i truly feel that 99% of people have no idea what the darfur conflict is about. it is really part of a second civil war, the first war starting early on after being given free rule by britian and egypt 1956. most governmental power and resource was given to the northern sudenese, which was primarily arabic.

in 1958, a military coup overthrew the government and by 1962, two rebel groups from southern sudan (which was primarily african and christian), JEM (justice and equality movment)and SPLM (sudanese people's liberation movement) were strong in the civil war and demanding the right to self govern southern sudan.

in 1969, another coup placed a man named numeiri in control, and in 1972 the addis ababa accord was signed, leaving southern sudan with self-rule

then in 1978, oil was found in southern sudan (oh, AHA!)

then in 1983, numeiri instilled shari'a law over not just islamic northern sudan, but also on southern sudan and once again, civil war broke out led by the splm.

then, in 1985, there was another coup (i am so grateful that we dont have coup's here), and this time a semi-democratic government was put in power led by sadiq al-mahdi. al-mahdi removed shari'a law and was once again working with the rebels, trying to create another agreement in addis ababa.

unfortunately, al-mahdi was a weak leader and was never able to have good control. in 1989, Al-bashir (the current governmantal leader) was a major player in yet another coup. he created a highly religious dictatorship, and once again, jem and splm(which eventually becomes the presently talked about rebel faction SLA)became active and combined. unfortunatly due to intenal conflict, strife left three factions that spend a number of years fighting against themselves.

jump up to the '90s: sudan is now exporting oil (and keep in mind, the oil is found in the south, but the north controls the government and therefor the oil)

there was a famine in 2000
there was a peace agreement in 2002...almost- really, the peace agreement movement was being encouraged by uganda as they were suffereing due to the sudanese conflict

then in 2003, two local miltias from the darfur region begin to rebel against governmental neglect and suppression (guess that shari'a finally reached them)...

from this point out, you are probably familiar with the story- the use of the janjaweed because there was a lack of military presence in darfur, of the refugees, the movement towards chad (might it have something to do with their lake?)...i did leave alot out, and you will find, if you do your own research,many more interesting and political connections, but this is enough of a history lesson for today

as for the present: from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5144154.stm

"The US accuses the government of backing Arab militias who have carried out a genocide against the region's black African residents.
The government denies backing the Janjaweed militias and blames the violence on the rebels, who took up arms, accusing the authorities of ignoring the region"

biblio: http://crawfurd.dk/africa/sudan_timeline.htm

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