Darfur (Arabic: دار فورDār Fūr, English: "Realm of the Fur") is a region in western Sudan. Dar is an Arabic word meaning home of - the region was named Dardaju (Arabic: دار داجو‎) while ruled by the Daju, who migrated from Meroë c. 350 AD, and it was then renamed Dartunjur (Arabic: دار تنجر‎) when the Tunjur ruled the area. Darfur was an independent sultanate for several hundred years,[1] incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into five federal states: Central Darfur, East Darfur, North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur. Because of the war in Darfur between Sudanese government forces and the indigenous population, the region has been in a state of humanitarian emergency since 2003.

The First historical mention of the word 'Fur' occurs in 1664 in the account by J. M. Vansleb, a traveler, of a visit to Egypt (Petermann (1862-3). Mittheilungen, Erganzungsband II). It is claimed that, like sudan, fur means "blacks", and was the name given by the early light-colored Berber sultans of Darfur to the original inhabitants of the country such as the Binga, Banda, etc. Those original inhabitants agreed to become muslims and submit to the sultan's rule, the alternative being to be attacked and either killed or enslaved. As the historic dynasty's physical appearance became more "Africanized" from intermarriage with black wives and concubines, the appearance of the sultans darkened correspondingly and they became known by the appellation of their black subjects, Fur.[2]


دار فور
Location of Darfur
Official languagesArabic, Fur
Demonym(s)Darfuri, Darfurian and Darfurese
• Total
493,180 km2 (190,420 sq mi)
• 2017 estimate
• Density
18.7/km2 (48.4/sq mi)
CurrencySudanese pound
Time zoneUTC+2:00 (EAT)


Darfur covers an area of 493,180 square kilometers (190,420 sq mi),[3] approximately the size of mainland Spain.[4][5][6] It is largely an arid plateau with the Marrah Mountains (Jebel Marra), a range of volcanic peaks rising up to 3,042 meters (9,980 ft) of topographic prominence,[7] in the center of the region. The region's main towns are Al Fashir and Nyala.

There are four main features of its physical geography. The whole eastern half of Darfur is covered with plains and low hills of sandy soils, known as goz, and sandstone hills. In many places the goz is waterless and can only be inhabited where there are water reservoirs or deep boreholes. While dry, goz may also support rich pasture and arable land. To the north the goz is overtaken by the desert sands of the Sahara. A second feature are the wadis, which range from seasonal watercourses that flood only occasionally during the wet season to large wadis that flood for most of the rains and flow from western Darfur hundreds of kilometres west to Lake Chad. Many wadis have pans of alluvium with rich heavy soil that are also difficult to cultivate. Western Darfur is dominated by the third feature, basement rock, sometimes covered with a thin layer of sandy soil. Basement rock is too infertile to be farmed, but provides sporadic forest cover that can be grazed by animals. The fourth and final feature are the Marrah Mountains and Daju Hills, volcanic plugs created by a massif, that rise up to a peak at Deriba crater where there is a small area of temperate climate, high rainfall and permanent springs of water.

Sudan Jebel Marra Deriba Lakes edited
Deriba Crater is at the highest point of the Marrah Mountains

Remote sensing has detected the imprint of a vast underground lake under Darfur. The potential water deposits are estimated at 49,500 km2 (19,110 sq mi). The lake, during epochs when the region was more humid, would have contained about 2,500 km3 (600 cubic miles) of water.[8] It may have dried up thousands of years ago.[9]


Some conjectures include the area of Darfur as part of the Proto-Afro-Asiatic Urheimat in distant prehistoric times (c. 10,000 BC), though numerous other theories exclude Darfur.


Flag of Darfur
Flag of the rebel Darfur Liberation Front

Most of the region consists of a semi-arid plain and thus appears unsuitable for developing a large and complex civilization. But the Marrah Mountains offer plentiful water, and by the 12th century the Daju people, succeeding the semi-legendary Tora culture, created the first historical attestable kingdom. They were centered in the Marrah Mountains and left records of valuable rock engravings, stone architecture and a (orally preserved) list of kings. The Tunjur replaced the Daju in the fourteenth century and the Daju established new headquarters in Abyei, Denga, Darsila and Mongo in the current Chad. The Tunjur sultans intermarried with the Fur and sultan Musa Sulayman (reigned c.1667 to c.1695) is considered the founder of the Keira dynasty. Darfur became a great power of the Sahel under the Keira dynasty, expanding its borders as far east as the Atbarah River and attracting immigrants from Bornu and Bagirmi. During the mid-18th century conflict between rival factions wracked the country, and external war pitted Darfur against Sennar and Wadai. In 1875, the weakened kingdom was destroyed by the Egyptian ruler set up in Khartoum,[1] largely through the machinations of Sebehr Rahma, a slave-trader, who was competing with the dar over access to ivory in Bahr el Ghazal to the south of Darfur.

The Darfuris were restive under Egyptian rule, but were no more predisposed to accept the rule of the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, when in 1882 his Emir of Darfur, who came from the Southern Darfur Arab Rizeigat tribe led by Sheikh Madibbo, defeated the Ottoman forces led by Slatin Pasha (that had just invaded Egypt earlier that year) in Darfur. When Ahmad's successor, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, himself an Arab of Southern Darfur from the Ta’isha tribe, demanded that the pastoralist tribes provide soldiers, several tribes rose up in revolt. Following the overthrow of Abdallahi at Omdurman in 1899 by the Anglo-Egyptian forces, the new Anglo-Egyptian government recognized Ali Dinar as the sultan of Darfur and largely left the Dar to its own affairs except for a nominal annual tribute. In 1916 the British, concerned that the sultanate might fall under the influence of the Ottoman Empire, invaded and incorporated Darfur into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Colonial rule directed financial and administrative resources to the tribes of central Sudan near Khartoum - to the detriment of the outlying regions such as Darfur.[1]

Under Sudanese rule

Darfur IDPs 1 camp
Camp of Darfuris internally displaced by the ongoing War in Darfur.
A village in South Darfur

A pattern of skewed economic development continued after Sudan achieved political independence in 1956. The proxy wars between Sudan, Libya and Chad added an element of political instability. Darfurians, mainly those who self-identified as "Arab" and "African" people, began to respond to the ideology of Arab supremacy propagated by Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi (in power 1969-2011). A famine in the mid-1980s disrupted many societal structures and led to the first significant modern fighting amongst Darfuris. A low-level conflict continued for the next fifteen years, with the government co-opting and arming Arab Janjaweed militias against its enemies.[1] The fighting reached a peak in 2003 with the beginning of the Darfur conflict, in which the resistance coalesced into a roughly cohesive rebel movement. Human-rights groups and the UN, March, 2004,[10] came to regard the conflict as one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world.[10] The insurgency and counter-insurgency have led to 480,000 deaths (the Khartoum government disputes the numbers)."By 2010 about 300,000 had died, according to the UN best estimate and about 3,000,000 were forced into refugee camps"[11] Over 2.8 million people have become displaced since 2003, many of whom were children (see Lost Boys of Sudan). Many of these refugees have gone into camps where emergency aid has created conditions that, although extremely basic, are better than in the villages, which offer no protection against the various militias that operate in the region.[1]

While nearly two-thirds of the population continues to struggle to survive in remote villages, the international community has largely overlooked their needs, and in the face of soaring inflation in Sudan many families face serious difficulties. Virtually no foreigners visit the region because of the fear of kidnapping, and only some non-governmental organizations continue to provide long-term grass-roots assistance. As of 2015 the United Nations is in discussion with the Government of Sudan over the withdrawal of UNAMID, the peacekeeping force, which is the largest in the world.[12] Its prospective withdrawal and that of other UN agencies (such as the WFP) which are already working on their exit strategies from the region is likely to impact on the already beleaguered communities.

During the existence of the Calais Jungle refugee camp, Darfur was listed as a major source of the camp's inhabitants.[13]

Peace process

Darfur Peace Agreement (also known as Doha Agreement)

The Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi signed a Darfur Peace Agreement in 2006. Only one rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement, subscribed to the agreement; the Justice and Equality Movement rejected it, resulting in a continuation of the conflict. The agreement includes provisions for wealth sharing and power sharing, and established a Transitional Darfur Regional Authority to help administer Darfur until a referendum could take place on the future of the region. The leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Minni Minnawi, was appointed Senior Assistant to the President of Sudan and Chairman of the transitional authority in 2007.

Doha peace forum

In December 2010, representatives of the Liberation and Justice Movement, an umbrella organisation of ten rebel groups, formed in February of that year,[14] started a fresh round of talks with the Sudanese Government in Doha, Qatar. A new rebel group, the Sudanese Alliance Resistance Forces in Darfur, was formed and the Justice and Equality Movement planned further talks.[15] The talks ended on December 19 without a new peace agreement, but participants agreed on basic principles, including a regional authority and a referendum on autonomy for Darfur. The possibility of a Darfuri Vice-President was also discussed.[16][17]

In January 2011, the leader of the Liberation and Justice Movement, Dr. Tijani Sese, stated that the movement had accepted the core proposals of the Darfur peace document proposed by the joint-mediators in Doha; the proposals included a $300,000,000 compensation package for victims of atrocities in Darfur and special courts to conduct trials of persons accused of human-rights violations. Proposals for a new Darfur Regional Authority were also included; this authority would have an executive council of 18 ministers and would remain in place for five years. The current three Darfur states and state governments would also continue to exist during this period.[18][19] In February 2011 the Sudanese Government rejected the idea of a single region headed by a vice-president from the region.[20]

On 29 January, the leaders of the Liberation and Justice Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement issued a joint statement affirming their commitment to the Doha negotiations and agreement to attend the Doha forum on 5 February. The Sudanese government had not yet agreed to attend the forum on that date and instead favoured an internal peace process without the involvement of rebel groups.[21] Later in February, the Sudanese Government agreed to return to the Doha peace forum with a view to complete a new peace agreement by the end of that month.[22] On 25 February, both the Liberation and Justice Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement announced that they had rejected the peace document proposed by the mediators in Doha. The main sticking points were the issues of a Darfuri vice-president and compensation for victims. The Sudanese government had not commented on the peace document.[23]

At the Doha Peace Forum in June, the Joint Mediators proposed a new Darfur Peace Agreement, which would supersede the Abuja Agreement of 2005 and if signed, would halt preparations for a Darfur status referendum.[24] The proposal included provisions for a Darfuri Vice-President and an administrative structure that includes both the three states and a strategic regional authority, the Darfur Regional Authority, to oversee Darfur as a whole.[25] The new agreement was signed by the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement on 14 July.[26] The Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement did not sign the new document at that time but had three months in which to do so if they wished.


Languages of Darfur include Arabic, Daju, Erenga, Fongoro, Fulbe, Fur (thus the name of the region), Masalit, Sinyar, Tama, Midob, and Zaghawa.

Other than Arabic, the following languages are spoken in Darfur according to Ethnologue.[27]


The region is now divided into five federal states: Central Darfur, East Darfur, North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur. The Darfur Peace Agreement of 2006 established a Transitional Darfur Regional Authority as an interim authority for the region.[28] The agreement stated that a referendum on the status of Darfur should be held no later than 2011.[28] Minni Minnawi was the first chair of this authority, holding that office from April 2007 until December 2010, when he was succeeded by Shartai Jaafar Abdel Hakam. The peace agreement that was signed in July 2011 saw the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority reconstituted as the Darfur Regional Authority with executive and legislative functions. The chairperson of the Darfur Regional Authority, Tijani Sese, assumed the post on 20 September 2011. The regional authority was dissolved in July 2016 following a referendum, on the status of the Darfur region within Sudan.

Demographics and economy

In 2008, Darfur's population was 7.5 million.[29] This in an increase by nearly six times from 1973 (1.3 million).[29] 52% are aged 16 years or younger.[29]

Darfur's budget was US $286 million in 2008.[29]


  • Arkell, A. J., "A History of Darfur. Part II: The Tunjur etc", Sudan Notes and Records, 32, 2 (1951), 207–238.
  • Asher, M.J.,"In Search of the Forty Days Road" Penguin. 1984
  • Daly, M.W., Darfur's Sorrow: A History of Destruction and Genocide, Cambridge 2010.
  • Elliesie, Hatem, "Sudan under the Constraints of (International) Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law: The Case of Darfur", in Hatem Elliesie (ed.), Islam and Human Rights / al-islam wa-huquq al-insan, Frankfurt, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Vienna 2010, pp. 193–217 ISBN 978-3-631-57848-3
  • Elliesie, Hatem et al., "Different Approaches to Genocide Trials under National Jurisdiction on the African Continent: The Rwandan, Ethiopian and Sudanese Cases", in Recht in Afrika, Cologne 2009, 12/1, pp. 21–67. ISBN 978-3-89645-804-9
  • Nachtigal, G. transl. H. Fisher, Sahara and Sudan, vol. IV (vol. III, 1889), London 1971.
  • O'Fahey, R. S., The Darfur Sultanate: A History, London 2008.
  • Young, Osman, Abusin, Asher, Egemi "Livelihoods, Power, and Choice: The Vulnerability of the Northern Rizaygat, Darfur, Sudan" Feinstein Centre for Marginalized Peoples. Tufts University January 2009

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Richard Cockett Sudan: Darfur and the failure of an African state. 2010. Hobbs the Printers Ltd., Totten, Hampshire. ISBN 978-0-300-16273-8
  2. ^ Arkell, A.J. (1955). A history of the Sudan from the earliest times to 1821. London: University of London the Athlone Press. P.214.
  3. ^ "Sudan's Geography". Globaldreamers.org. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  4. ^ R. S. O'Fahey (2004-05-15). "Darfur: A complex ethnic reality with a long history". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  5. ^ "Congressional Reps Give Update on Troubled Darfur Region of Sudan". Pbs.org. 2005-02-17. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  6. ^ "Quick guide: Darfur - BBC News, 2006-09-06". BBC News. 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  7. ^ "Africa Ultra-Prominences". Peaklist.org. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  8. ^ "Underground lake may bring Darfur peace: scientist" by Tanzina Vega, Reuters, July 18, 2007
  9. ^ Ancient Darfur lake 'is dried up', BBC, July 20, 2007
  10. ^ a b Un.org
  11. ^ Richard Cockett Sudan: Darfur and the failure of an African state. 2010. p, 191. Hobbs the Printers Ltd., Totten, Hampshire. ISBN 978-0-300-16273-8
  12. ^ Un.org
  13. ^ "Calais 'Jungle': Migrants hit dead end in journey to UK". .. among those fleeing Darfur, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and other zones of conflict or poverty.
  14. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Darfur new rebel group announces formation of its structure - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Sudan Tribune. Archived from the original on 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  15. ^ "Sudan Peace Watch-December 21, 2010 | Enough". Enoughproject.org. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  16. ^ "Sudanese government, LJM rebels to sign a peace accord on 19 December - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Sudan Tribune. Archived from the original on 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  17. ^ "Mediators propose Darfur Authority, announce major diplomatic effort | Radio Dabanga". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  18. ^ "DOHA: Darfur peace proposals accepted by LJM rebel coalition | Radio Dabanga". 2011-07-09. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  19. ^ "Alliance of rebel factions agrees to Darfur peace deal". Monsters and Critics. 2011-01-03. Archived from the original on 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  20. ^ "Sudan Human Rights Information Gateway (SHRIG) - Office of VP must meet National standards, says El Haj Adam". SHRIG. 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  21. ^ Stephen Kinzer (2010-01-24). "End human rights imperialism now". Sudanjem.com. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  22. ^ "Sudan government to return chief negotiator to Doha | Radio Dabanga". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  23. ^ "Darfur movements reject Doha peace proposal | Radio dabanga". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  24. ^ "Under peace deal, Sudan would halt prep for Darfur Referendum". Radio Dabanga. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  25. ^ Sudantribune.com
  26. ^ "Darfur peace agreement to be signed on 14 July - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Sudan Tribune. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  27. ^ Languages of Sudan. Ethnologue, 22nd edition.
  28. ^ a b "Sudan Tribune". Sudan Tribune. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  29. ^ a b c d "Beyond Emergency Relief: Longer-term trends and priorities for UN agencies in Darfur" (PDF). United Nations Environment Programme. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-04-26. Retrieved 11 January 2014.

External links

Coordinates: 13°00′N 25°00′E / 13.000°N 25.000°E

African Union Mission in Sudan

The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) was an African Union (AU) peacekeeping force operating primarily in the country's western region of Darfur with the aim of performing peacekeeping operations related to the Darfur conflict. It was founded in 2004, with a force of 150 troops. By mid-2005, its numbers were increased to about 7,000. Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564, AMIS was to "closely and continuously liaise and coordinate ... at all levels" its work with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). AMIS was the only external military force in Sudan's Darfur region until UNAMID was established. It was not able to effectively contain the violence in Darfur. A more sizable, better equipped UN peacekeeping force was originally proposed for September 2006, but due to Sudanese government opposition, it was not implemented at that time. AMIS' mandate was extended repeatedly throughout 2006, while the situation in Darfur continued to escalate, until AMIS was replaced by UNAMID on December 31, 2007.

Anglo-Egyptian Darfur Expedition

The Anglo-Egyptian Darfur Expedition of 1916 was a military operation by British Empire and the Sultanate of Egypt, launched as a preemptive invasion of the Sultanate of Darfur.

The sultan of Darfur Ali Dinar had been reinstated by the British after their victory in the Mahdist War but during the First World War he grew restive, refusing his customary tribute to the Sudanese government and showing partiality to the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Sirdar Reginald Wingate then organized a force of around 2,000 men; under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Philip James Vandeleur Kelly, the force entered Darfur in March 1916 and decisively defeated the Fur Army at Beringia and occupied the capital El Fasher in May. Ali Dinar had already fled to the mountains and his attempts to negotiate a surrender were eventually broken off by the British. His location becoming known, a small force was sent after him and the sultan was killed in action in November 1916. Subsequently, Darfur was fully annexed to the British administration of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and remained part of Sudan upon its independence.

Darfur genocide

The Darfur genocide refers to the systematic killing of Darfuri men, women, and children which occurred during the ongoing conflict in Western Sudan. It has become known as the first genocide of the 21st century. The genocide, which is being carried out against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa tribes, has led the International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict several people for crimes against humanity, rape, forced transfer and torture. According to Eric Reeves, more than one million children have been "killed, raped, wounded, displaced, traumatized, or endured the loss of parents and families".The crisis and ongoing conflict in Sudan’s Western Darfur Region have developed from several separate events. The first is a civil war that occurred between the Khartoum national governments and two rebel groups in Darfur: the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army. Initially, the rebel groups were formed in February of 2003 due to Darfur’s “political and economic marginalization by Khartoum”. However, in April of 2003, when the rebel groups attacked the military airfield and kidnapped an air force general, the government launched a counterattack. It led to a response from the Khartoum government where they armed militia forces to eliminate the rebellion. This resulted in mass violence against the citizens in Darfur. The second is a civil war that has occurred between the Christians, the animist black southerners, and the Arab dominated government since the country’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1956. The violence that took place for about 11 years left more than a million people displaced by the hostilities: fleeing to other places around Sudan or across the border to Chad.

Finally, the ethnic conflict in Darfur has been persistent. It is home to six million people and several dozen tribes. The region is split into two: “those who claim black 'African' descent and primarily practice sedentary agriculture, and those who claim 'Arab' descent and are mostly semi nomadic livestock herders”. In 2013 the United Nations (UN) estimated that up to 300,000 people had been killed during the genocide, in response the Sudanese government claimed that the number of deaths was "grossly inflated". By 2015, it was estimated that the death toll stood between 100,000 and 400,000.The violence continued into 2016 where the government allegedly used chemical weapons against the local population in Darfur. This led to millions being displaced due to the hostile environment. Over 3 million lives are heavily impacted by the conflict.


The Janjaweed (Arabic: جنجويد‎, translit. Janjawīd; also transliterated Janjawid) (English: a man with a gun on a horse.") are a militia that operate in western Sudan and eastern Chad. Using the United Nations definition, the Janjaweed comprised Sudanese Arab tribes, the core of whom are from the Abbala (camel herder) background with significant recruitment from the Baggara (cattle herder) people. This UN definition may not necessarily be accurate, as instances of members from other tribes have been noted.In the past, they were at odds with Darfur's sedentary population over natural grazing grounds and farmland, as rainfall dwindled and water became scarce. They are currently in conflict with Darfur rebel groups—the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. Since 2003 they have been one of the main players in the Darfur conflict, which has pitted the largely nomadic tribes against the sedentary population of the region in a battle over resource and land allocation.

North Darfur

North Darfur State (Arabic: ولاية شمال دارفور‎ Wilāyat Šamāl Dārfūr; Shamal Darfor) is one of the wilayat or states of Sudan. It is one of the five states composing the Darfur region. It has an area of 296,420 km² and an estimated population of approximately 1,583,000 (2006). Al-Fashir is the capital of the state. Other significant towns include Ailliet, Kebkabiya, Kutum, Mellit (Malit), Tawilah and Umm Keddada (Umm Kadadah).

Nyala language (Sudan)

Nyala, also known as Dar Fur, Darfur Daju, Daju Darfur, Beke, Dagu, Daju Ferne and Fininga, is an Eastern Sudanic language of Darfur, Sudan, one of three closely related languages in the area called "Daju" (the other two being the Daju Mongo language and the Sila language). It is spoken near Nyala, the capital of South Darfur province by the Dar Fur Daju people. There are two divergent dialects: Nyala and Lagowa.

Omar al-Bashir

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir (Arabic: عمر حسن أحمد البشير‎, pronounced [ba'ʃiːr]; born 1 January 1944) is a Sudanese politician who served as the seventh President of Sudan from 1989 to 2019 and founder of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when, as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, he led a group of officers in a military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi after it began negotiations with rebels in the south. Since then, he has been elected three times as President in elections that have been under scrutiny for electoral fraud. In March 2009, al-Bashir became the first sitting president to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur.In October 2005, al-Bashir's government negotiated an end to the Second Sudanese Civil War, leading to a referendum in the South, resulting in the separation of the south as the country of South Sudan. In the Darfur region, he oversaw the war in Darfur that has resulted in death tolls that are about 10,000 according to the Sudanese Government, but most sources suggest between 200,000 and 400,000. During his presidency, there have been several violent struggles between the Janjaweed militia and rebel groups such as the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in the form of guerrilla warfare in the Darfur region. The civil war has displaced over 2.5 million people out of a total population of 6.2 million in Darfur and has created a crisis in the diplomatic relations between Sudan and Chad. The rebels in Darfur lost the support from Libya after the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the collapse of his regime in 2011.In July 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, accused al-Bashir of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur. The court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on 4 March 2009 on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him for genocide. However, on 12 July 2010, the Court issued a second warrant containing three separate counts of genocide. The new warrant, like the first, was delivered to the Sudanese government, which did not recognize either the warrant or the ICC. The indictments do not allege that Bashir personally took part in such activities; instead, they say that he is "suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect co-perpetrator". Some international experts think it is unlikely that Ocampo has enough evidence to prove the allegations. The court's decision is opposed by the African Union, League of Arab States and Non-Aligned Movement as well as the governments of Russia and China.From December 2018 onwards, Bashir faced large-scale protests which demanded his removal from power. On 11 April 2019, Bashir was ousted in a military coup d'état. This was confirmed by the Sudanese Armed Forces in an "important announcement" on state television.

South Darfur

South Darfur State (Arabic: ولاية جنوب دارفور‎ Wilāyat Ǧanūb Dārfūr; Janob Darfor) is one of the wilayat or states of Sudan. It is one of the five states that compose the region of Darfur in western Sudan.

States of Sudan

Below is a list of the 18 states of Sudan, organized by their original provinces during the period of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Arabic language versions are, as appropriate, in parentheses. Prior to 9 July 2011, the Republic of Sudan was composed of 25 states. The ten southern states now form part of the independent country of South Sudan (which have since been further divided into 32 states). Two additional states were created in 2012 within the Darfur region, and one in 2013 in Kordofan, bringing the total to 18.


Sudan or the Sudan (US: (listen), UK: ; Arabic: السودان‎ as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan (Arabic: جمهورية السودان‎ Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. It has a population of 39 million people (2016 estimate) and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres (728,215 square miles), making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and English. The capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of ongoing military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Sudan's history goes back to the Pharaonic period, witnessing the kingdom of Kerma (c. 2500 BC–1500 BC), the subsequent rule of the Egyptian New Kingdom (c. 1500 BC–1070 BC) and the rise of the kingdom of Kush (c. 785 BC–350 AD), which would in turn control Egypt itself for nearly a century. After the fall of Kush the Nubians formed the three Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia, with the latter two lasting until around 1500. Between the 14th and 15th centuries much of Sudan was settled by Arab nomads. From the 16th–19th centuries, central and eastern Sudan were dominated by the Funj sultanate, while Darfur ruled the west and the Ottomans the far north. This period saw extensive Islamization and Arabization.

From 1820 to 1874 the entirety of Sudan was conquered by the Muhammad Ali dynasty. Between 1881 and 1885 the harsh Egyptian reign was eventually met with a successful revolt led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad, resulting in the establishment of the Caliphate of Omdurman. This state was eventually destroyed in 1898 by the British, who would then govern Sudan together with Egypt.

The 20th century saw the growth of Sudanese nationalism and in 1953 Britain granted Sudan self-government. Independence was proclaimed on 1 January 1956. Since independence, Sudan has been ruled by a series of unstable parliamentary governments and military regimes. Under Gaafar Nimeiry, Sudan instituted Islamic law in 1983. This exacerbated the rift between the Islamic north, the seat of the government and the Animists and Christians in the south. Differences in language, religion, and political power erupted in a civil war between government forces, strongly influenced by the National Islamic Front (NIF) and the southern rebels, whose most influential faction was the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), eventually concluding in the independence of South Sudan in 2011. In April 2019, following contentious protests that faced fierce resistance from the Omar al-Bashir regime, the Sudanese military, under the command of Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, took control of the nation and established the Transitional Military Council. This move deposed al-Bashir and dissolved the constitution. A day after the establishment of the Transitional Military Council, Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf stepped down due to the continued protests against his decision not to extradite Bashir to the International Criminal Court.

Sudan Liberation Movement/Army

The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (Arabic: حركة تحرير السودان‎ Ḥarakat Taḥrīr Al-Sūdān; abbreviated SLM, SLA, or SLM/A) is a Sudanese rebel group active in Darfur, Sudan. It was founded as the Darfur Liberation Front by members of three indigenous ethnic groups in Darfur: the Fur, the Zaghawa, and the Masalit, among whom were the leaders Abdul Wahid al Nur of the Fur and Minni Minnawi of the Zaghawa.

Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile

The Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, also referred to by some media as the Third Sudanese Civil War, is an ongoing armed conflict in the Sudanese southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile between the Army of Sudan (SAF) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), a northern affiliate of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan. After some years of relative calm following the 2005 deal which ended the second Sudanese civil war between the Sudanese government and SPLM rebels, fighting broke out again in the lead-up to South Sudan independence on 9 July 2011, starting in South Kordofan on 5 June and spreading to the neighboring Blue Nile state in September. SPLM-N, splitting from newly-independent SPLM, took up arms against the inclusion of the two southern states in Sudan with no popular consultation and against the lack of democratic elections. The conflict is intertwined with the War in Darfur, since in November 2011 SPLM-N established a loose alliance with Darfuri rebels, called Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).As of October 2014, some two million people have been affected by the conflict, with more than 500,000 having been displaced and about 250,000 of them fleeing to South Sudan and Ethiopia. In January 2015, fighting intensified as Omar al-Bashir's government tried to regain control of rebel-held territory ahead of April 2015 general elections.

Sudanese nomadic conflicts

Sudanese nomadic conflicts are non-state conflicts between rival nomadic tribes taking place in the territory of Sudan and, since 2011, South Sudan. Conflict between nomadic tribes in Sudan is common, with fights breaking out over scarce resources, including grazing land, cattle and drinking water. Some of the tribes involved in these clashes have been the Messiria, Maalia, Rizeigat and Bani Hussein Arabic tribes inhabiting Darfur and West Kordofan, and the Dinka, Nuer and Murle African ethnic groups inhabiting South Sudan. Conflicts have been fueled by other major wars taking place in the same regions, in particular the Second Sudanese Civil War, the War in Darfur and the Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Over the years, clashes between rival ethnic militias have resulted in a large number of casualties and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. In recent years, particularly violent clashes broke out in 1993 between Jikany Nuer and Lou Nuer in Upper Nile, in 2009-2012 between Lou Nuer and Murle in Jonglei and in 2013-2014 between Maalia, Rizeigat, Messiria, Salamat and Bani Hussein in Darfur and West Kordofan.

Sultanate of Darfur

The Sultanate of Darfur was a pre-colonial state in present-day Sudan. It existed from 1603 to October 24, 1874, when it fell to the Sudanese warlord Rabih az-Zubayr and again from 1898 to 1916, when it was conquered by the British and integrated into Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. At its peak in the late 18th and early 19th century it stretched all the way from Darfur in the west to Kordofan and the western banks of the White Nile in the east, giving it the size of present-day Nigeria.

United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur

The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (known by its acronym UNAMID) is a joint African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission formally approved by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 on 31 July 2007, to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan while peace talks on a final settlement continue.Its initial 12-month mandate was extended to 31 July 2010. As of 2008, its budget was approximately US $106 million per month. Its force of about 26,000 personnel began to deploy to the region in October 2007. The 9,000-strong African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which was previously responsible for peacekeeping, had completely merged into this new force by 31 December 2007.The mandate is for a force of up to 19,555 military personnel and 3,772 police, along with a further "19 formed police units comprising up to 140 personnel each." The peacekeepers are allowed to use force to protect civilians and humanitarian operations. UNAMID is the first joint UN/AU force and the largest peacekeeping mission.

As of December 2008, it had deployed 15,136 total uniformed personnel, including 12,194 troops, 175 military observers, and 2,767 police officers, who were supported by 786 international civilian personnel, 1,405 local civilian staff, and 266 UN volunteers.

War in Darfur

The War in Darfur, also nicknamed the Land Cruiser War, is a major armed conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan that began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel groups began fighting the government of Sudan, which they accused of oppressing Darfur's non-Arab population. The government responded to attacks by carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Darfur's non-Arabs. This resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the indictment of Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.One side of the conflict is mainly composed of the Sudanese military, police and the Janjaweed, a Sudanese militia group whose members are mostly recruited among Arabized indigenous Africans and a small number of Bedouin of the northern Rizeigat; the majority of other Arab groups in Darfur remained uninvolved.

The other side is made up of rebel groups, notably the SLM/A and the JEM, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslim Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups. The African Union and the United Nations also have a joint peacekeeping mission in the region, named UNAMID. Although the Sudanese government publicly denies that it supported the Janjaweed, evidence supports claims that it provided financial assistance and weapons and coordinated joint attacks, many against civilians. Estimates of the number of human casualties range up to several hundred thousand dead, from either combat or starvation and disease. Mass displacements and coercive migrations forced millions into refugee camps or across the border, creating a humanitarian crisis. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell described the situation as a genocide or acts of genocide.The Sudanese government and the JEM signed a ceasefire agreement in February 2010, with a tentative agreement to pursue peace. The JEM has the most to gain from the talks and could see semi-autonomy much like South Sudan. However, talks were disrupted by accusations that the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the Tolu agreement. The JEM, the largest rebel group in Darfur, vowed to boycott negotiations.

West Darfur

West Darfur State (Arabic: ولاية غرب دارفور‎ Wilāyat Ḡarb Dārfūr; Gharb Darfor) is one of the states of Sudan, and one of five comprising the Darfur region. Prior to the creation of two new states in January 2012, it had an area of 79,460 km² and an estimated population of approximately 1,007,000 (2006). It borders North and Central Darfur to the east. The Chadian prefectures of Biltine and Ouaddaï lie to the west, while to the north is the prefecture of Bourkou-Ennedi-Tibesti. Al-Junaynah is the capital of the state. West Darfur has been the site of much of the ongoing Darfur conflict.

Regions of Africa
Central Africa
East Africa
North Africa
West Africa
Southern Africa

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