roots of conflict in darfur

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While the death toll and social devastation in Darfur has been labeled and presented as genocide, the underlying issues dive into broader issues of climate change, racism, and globalism. Genocide is defined as “killing with intent to eliminate an entire group” , but the internal conflicts of Darfur result from a much more complicated web of events. From a civil war based on land, to British colonization, to the politics following Sudan becoming an independent state, the lines of identity and race have been blurred to the point that the narrow intent of genocide cannot be used to accurately describe the situation in Darfur. The Civil War of 1987 to 1989 is directly related to regional climate change within the Sahel region during the 1970s and 1980s. A drought impacted large areas of land was previously fit for agriculture and it pushed nomads, namely the Abbala moving to Baggara territories in South Darfur. Although the environmental conditions directly played a role in the mortality rates during that time, the political response was to blame. In 1976 an agreement was reached that severely limited use of Baggara land and caused conflict to emerge between the tribes. This is comparable to the collapsed Maya civilization of South America which remained in small kingdoms and remained at war with each other over a shortage of food and land due to declining environmental status . Also like the Mayas, Darfur experienced both deforestation and soil erosion due to human use such as farming and overgrazing. The simple battle for quality land between nomads and those with a homeland, or “dar”, took on a racial overtone as they partnered with powerful political figures and pushed the conflict forward as Arab vs non-Arab. The difference ... ... middle of paper ... ...mpt at “civilizing” the Darfur using the European social model. They created plantations, health and school systems, and tried to make allies with local leaders. Like many other attempts in colonies by Britain and France, this endeavor failed in Darfur due to their authoritarian approach. Forcing outside political influence led to the first local revolts against the British from 1902 to 1915. The story of Darfur is one of continuing violence and it is related to the same historical dilemmas that lead to many of other contemporary issues around the globe. There is simply too much backround involved to simply call it “genocide”. Military aid is being offered, but it is not enough to halt the repercussions from decades of uncontrollable climate change, racial circumstance, and outside influence that have contributed to the struggle between Arab and non-Arab in Darfur.

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