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Genocide: The Threat in Sudan
ADL Darfur Resource Center
Background to the Crisis in Darfur:
Sudan Map Showing Darfur RegionA major humanitarian crisis has been intensifying in the Darfur region of western Sudan, where the government-backed militia has carried out atrocities against the local population, including the destruction of hundreds of villages, the murder of thousands of people and the rape and assault of thousands of women and girls. The United States has recognized these acts as genocide.

Since early 2003, in an effort to counter rebel groups in the region (the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement), the Government-backed Janjaweed militia has deliberately attacked and victimized the civilians in Darfur. The Janjaweed (primarily of Arab, nomadic ancestry) have attacked civilian populations (considered of Black African ancestry) which primarily support the rebel groups. Both the Janjaweed and their Darfurian victims are Muslims.

refugee familyTo date, as many as 400,000 people have been killed, over two million have been displaced from their homes. In addition to the constant danger of attack (including the brutal raping of women and girls, the destruction of goods supplies) from the Janjaweed, the refugees and those who remain in the villages in Darfur must deal with rampant hunger and disease, as well as the threat of seasonal rains. The World Health organization, the United Nations, and other humanitarian agencies estimate that 3.5 million people afflicted by the crisis are suffering from hunger. Regional destabilization has prevented aid workers from reaching and assisting those who need help most. The violence has also spilled over into neighboring Chad where many Darfurian refugees have fled resulting in tens of thousands of Chadians fleeing their homes.

In 2004, the United States charged Sudan with genocide the first time a government has made such an accusation at another government since the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was adopted in 1948.

While a ceasefire was negotiated between the Government of Sudan and one of the rebel groups in May 2006 in the so-called Darfur Peace Agreement little has changed on the ground. Violence, displacement, and atrocities by the Janjaweed continue. In addition, increasing fighting between the rebel groups has further destabilized the area. The understaffed and underfunded African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur has been unable to do much to protect the civilian population. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706 (passed August 31, 2006) authorizing an international peacekeeping force in Darfur has been stymied by the Sudanese Government.

For more background on the crisis in Darfur see:
Burning animals dead from lack of water, forage    sheeting cover shelters in refugee camp
ADL Resources on Darfur:

What You Can Do:

  • Make a contribution to the Jewish Coalition for Sudan Relief, providing on-the-ground assistance to refugees in Chad and Sudan.

  • Write President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and your Member of Congress and urge them to:

    1. seek immediate international action to protect the people on the ground in Darfur.

    2. pressure the Government of Sudan to allow humanitarian relief to reach all affected people in Darfur

    3. ensure the international community holds accountable those responsible for genocidal atrocities in Darfur

  • Contact your local newspaper and television statements. Welcome coverage so far and stress the importance of keeping the spotlight on this region as the story unfolds. Ask for more coverage about Darfur. Write letters to the editor expressing concern about the situation.

  • Coalition Efforts. Consider organizing letters to officials, letters to the editor and op-eds jointly with key coalition partners.

  • Invite humanitarian experts who have visited/working in the region to speak at your local synagogue, church or community event.

More information

Photos and Map Courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Darfur: ADL Resources
Darfur: What You
Can Do
ADL Action on Darfur
Where is Europe's Voice Against Genocide?
ADL op-ed in The International Herald Tribune, 3/21/06
ADL Welcomes Israel's Decision to Grant Citizenship to Darfur Refugees  9/5/07
ADL Supports Darfur Divestment Bill in Massachusetts State House 3/29/07
ADL Supports Darfur Divestment Bill Before Texas Legislature 3/12/07
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