What is Genocide?

Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; …Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article II
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948
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Sudan, once the largest country in Africa, is the location of two conflicts that have featured large levels of targeted violence against civilians. Since the firing of the first bullet in 1983, the re-appearance of war between Northern and Southern Sudan has been interpreted as an ethno-religious conflict or genocide deriving from differences between Muslims and Christians, or Arabs and Africans.

From 1983-2005, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of the South and the Sudanese Government of the North were at war in southern Sudan. The conflict claimed more than nearly 2 million lives and displaced millions more. Among these were at least 20,000 children, mostly boys, between 7 and 17 years of age who were separated from their families. These ‘Lost Boys’ of Sudan trekked enormous distances over a vast unforgiving wilderness, seeking refuge from the fighting. Hungry, frightened and weakened by sleeplessness and disease, they crossed from the Sudan into Ethiopia and back, with many dying along the way. The survivors are now in camps in Kenya, the Sudan and Uganda. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 finally ended the decades-long civil war between the North and South. South Sudan remains a flash point for conflict due to the recently concluded southern independence referendum.

Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition (GI-NET/SDC) is focused on ensuring the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan to ensure that there is no resumption of what had been Africa’s longest-running civil war.

Since 2003, the genocidal conflict in Darfur has devastated millions of non-combatant civilians and resulted in the death of more than 300,000 people. The Darfur conflict remains unresolved as Sudan continues to direct its troops and proxy Janjaweed militias to systematically destroy the livelihoods of Darfuris by bombing and burning villages, looting economic resources, and murdering, raping, and torturing unarmed civilians. Since only December 2010, approximately 100,000 Darfuris have been newly displaced due to direct violence by the Sudanese regime.

A proliferation of rebel groups in Darfur is also complicit in the recruitment of child soldiers and the commission of other acts of violence against civilians.

The Darfur conflict has displaced over 2.7 million people within Sudan, with an additional 250,000 crossing the border into Chad. The actions of the Sudanese government to hinder humanitarian aid, particularly the expulsion of 13 international aid groups in March 2009, continue to affect those who have sought safety in towns and displaced persons camps.

On July 9, 2011 South Sudan  seceded from the North and become the newest African country. Still there are many concerns for the sovereignty of South Sudan. Beginning in early 2009, incidents of inter-tribal violence across South Sudan have strained relations between North and South Sudan. The attacks, which increasingly target civilians, have led members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the governing party of South Sudan, to accuse the Khartoum government of delivering arms to the South. As the international community works to ensure that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 is fully implemented, these attacks cast a pall over the continued stability of Sudan and the hope for peaceful separation.

To find out more information on the current status of Sudan and South Sudan please visit
www.unitedtoendgenocide or www.theenoughproject.org  for the most up-to-date information you can visit www.blogfordarfur.org