The Darfur Crisis
Darfur conflict is an ethnic conflict in Sudan that has flown into an armed confrontation between the central government, informal pro-government Arab armed groups «Janjaweed and rebel groupsof the local Negroid population.
The Darfur crisis' prerequisites: Darfur region is inhabited by various nationalities which can be combined into two groups - black Africans and Arab tribes inhabiting the region since the XIII century. Both groups are Muslims but relations between the two ethnic groups for many centuries were not stable and have been leading to the regular armed clashes. Up until the XX century Darfur has been the center of the slave trade where black and Arab slave traders competed in carrying out the raids to neighboring Bahr el Ghazal to capture slaves and to subsequently resale them to the coastal areas of Africa.
There was also a conflict between the ethnic groups concerning the limited land and water resources. At the end of the twentieth century the desert began absorbing the previously fit to inhabit lands inhabited by nomadic Arabs and they began to migrate to the south. This fact has led to the aggravation of interethnic relations.
An agreement between the Khartoum and the Southern rebels concerning the distribution of Nigeria's oil revenue became the reason for the modern conflict. Black population of Darfur is of the view that the agreement does not take into account their economic interests. In 2003 two paramilitary groups: the «Darfur Liberation Front (that has later been renamed to the «Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)) and the «Movement for Justice and Equality (JEM) took the position against the Sudanese government.
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On February, 25 2003 the SLM units captured the district center Golo not far from the border with Chad. On March, 4 its troops tried to seize the El-Fasher but they have been repulsed by government troops. On September, 6 the government and SLM mediated by Chad have signed a ceasefire agreement contracting to start fully fledged negotiations to resolve the conflict. Soon, however, the SLM leaders have accused the government in the disruption of the agreements. The increase in the intensity of the conflict forced the government to throw large military reinforcements in Darfur. The military aviation has been included more widely and actively.
Back in 2004 the UN Secretary General (at the time, Kofi Annan) has warned the world about the real danger of genocide in Darfur. Observers compared the actions of the «Janjaweed to slaughter in Rwanda, and their methods - to the ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia. At the same time the remote location of the conflict zone makes it extremely difficult to deliver the humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of victims.
In July 2007 the UN Security Council has been proposed with a draft resolution on the establishment of the 26,000 contingent of UN troops to be sent to Darfur developed by France, Britain and Ghana. The contingent is proposed to be formed by the UN and the African Union (AU). There already is 7 thousand Corps of soldiers of the Joint African Mission in Sudan. China and Russiaexpressed the strong willingness to take part in the peacekeeping operations.