Chaos by Design



Darfur - Aerial View

Darfur - Aerial View

Do we, as Black People, really understand what’s going on in Darfur? According to CIA estimates, 200,000 to 400,000 Sudanese have been slaughtered since the conflict began in 2003. Called by many the “worst humanitarian crisis in history,” two million more Sudanese have been displaced as a result of the violence. Let’s break a few things down:

  1. Sudan is the largest country in Africa–Egypt and Libya touch its northern border; Chad and Central African Republic are to the west; Dem. Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Kenya, the south; and Eritrea and Ethiopia, the east.
  2. The country endured two civil wars between northern Arab Muslims and southern non-Muslim Africans during the late 20th century.
  3. The country is 52% Black, 39% Arab, and 9% other. Black Sudanese mainly live in the tropical southern region and in the western region at the center of this current conflict in Darfur. Arabs live in the arid desert of the north.
  4. The government has been Arab-dominated since 1956. In fact, President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir has been in power since 1993.
  5. Two rebel armies, the Sudan Liberation Movement Army and the Justice & Equality Movement have been fighting to protect their tribes living in Darfur from the government-supported Arab militia made up of desert nomads, known as the Janjaweed, who handle the ground attacks–burning down Black tribal villages in Darfur and raping women and girls–while the Arab-dominated Sudanese government provides air cover (read: aerial bombing].
  6. The Arab-dominated Sudanese government has also been accused of blocking the efforts of humanitarian aid organizations in Darfur.
  7. Sudan has many natural resources desired throughout the world, among them, silver, gold, and petroleum…that is, OIL.

Are you putting the pieces together? The Black Sudanese are sitting on the oil…and the Arab nomads need more comfortable living conditions and fertile land. What better place to settle than in a tropical climate? Importantly, the government gains access to the oil without really getting its hands dirty by letting the Janjaweed do all the work.

Although there’s oil in the southern region of Sudan, it hasn’t been confirmed that there’s oil in Darfur (western region), but someone must think so. According to the BBC, the southern and northern regions are supposed to equally share oil revenues. Hmmm. 

According to Human Rights Watch, what appears to be anarchy is really “chaos by design.”

What are you going to do? Click on to learn more about the conflict and ways you can help. Start by writing your elected official.

Take action.

Speak your peace.

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