The Ethnic Divisions In Sudan

Sudan is a country at the turn of two Africans: the Africa populated by Arabs of North Africa and the sub Saharan Africa, according to the old name -the Black Africa. This is the largest country on the continent (its area is about 2.5 million sq. km.) with an inhomogeneous racial composition of the population: in the north and center there are Arabs, on the outskirts of the south, west and east - mostly Africans, hundreds of ethnic groups, tribes, and linguistic groups. Taken together, the Africans make up just over half the population (52%).

For twenty one year, there has been a war between the central government of Sudan which is in the hands of Muslim Arabs and the Christian South. As a result of several years of negotiations, in 2005 a peace agreement was concluded.By its terms,the Southerners have got their share of harvested resources, especially oil, have got the autonomy for six year period and received the right to host in 2011 a referendum on independence.

Peace in the south is fragile and it is occasionally interrupted by new skirmishes. But now it is not the main conflict zone. Even before signing the agreement, a new war broke out in the west, in the former province of Darfur. Now it is divided into three states: North, West and South Darfur. Even at 70-90-ies there were clashes between the local African peoples and nomadic Arabs, but this time there was a full-scale revolt against the central government.

The date of the events in Darfur is well known.On February 25, 2003 the County Center Golo near the border with Chad was captured by a group called the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF). In late March the rebels had occupied another city. In battle the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)have proved themselves. The rebels operated mobile, using all-wheel drive Toyotas Land Cruiser in their attacks on army posts. The Sudanese army, mired in anti-partisan actions in the south and east, answered by the air strikes.

Later Khartoum has found the force to be supported by - the Janjaweed - militia of the Arab nomads. In contrast to the Christian south of Sudan, the indigenous African peoples are Muslims. Thus, their conflict with the Janjaweed is not the inter-religious, it is interethnic. Khartoum accuses the African rebel in the separatism.

Many experts consider that the main motive of the Darfur residents uprising is striving to achieve the same conditions as the Southern Sudan received by the peace agreement (especially autonomy and the division of oil revenues). But at the same time, there are other interpretations of the conflict along with the one that discussed earlier. Thus, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the first place highlights an environmental problem - unlike in our countries where we have no lack of drinkable water supplies, there is a water shortage in the region. It is understood that the nomadic Arabs, whose fighting force is the Janjaweed, are trying to move to the less arid lands in southern Darfur and push away the agricultural tribes living there.