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265688203_Political Science.doc

265688203_Political Science.doc - Running head POLITICAL...

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Running head: POLITICAL SCIENCE 1 Political Geography: The Sudan and Darfur Crises Name Institution
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POLITICAL SCIENCE 2 Introduction Darfur is a region in Sudan – a country located in the northeastern portion of the African continent. Darfur is being wracked by a crisis due to the conflict between the government and some rebel forces. The Darfur crises in Sudan had been going on for more than two decades, but its origin and causes had historical underpinnings. Some rebel groups had declared their opposition to the government because of the alleged systematic marginalization of non-Arab ethnic groups, while favoring the Arab groups and militias. A closer look into the crises, however, would show that the political geography of Sudan and Darfur had assisted much of the current crises being experienced in the region of Darfur. The proximity of the region to the Arab countries and to the great colonizer of the 19 th century – the British Empire – had planted the roots of the crisis presently disturbing the region even then. Sudan had been invaded and occupied by both the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire and their influences and the traditions they left behind Sudan and Darfur had shaped much of the crisis in that region. The Arab-non-Arab Divide and the marginalization of Darfur that continues to keep the region in the throes of poverty had its roots in those occupations. The Sudan and Darfur Crises In 2003, the government of Sudan headed by the National Congress Party faced a crisis when two rebel groups challenged its authority. These two groups – the Sudanese Liberation Army or SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement or JEM – believed that the government has been acting unfairly against non-Arab Muslims while favoring the Arab ethnic groups. The rebel groups also charged the government of systematically directing actions adverse to the interest of non-Arab ethnic groups in Darfur. The government simply ignored the groups’ charges by labeling them as terrorists. In an effort to put down the rebellion, the government and militias
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POLITICAL SCIENCE 3 conducted extensive campaigns to destroy the foundation of the rebellion. Instead of directly going after the rebel groups, the government terrorized civilians to weaken the rebellion. Nonetheless, the rebel groups had the backing of internal and external forces and succeeded in unnerving the NCP-led government. To undermine the rebellion, the government stealthily created a rebel group called the National Movement for Reform and Development or NMRD to stage a ceasefire agreement and end the rebellion. The result was the fragmentation of the rebel groups that led to clashes and conflicts between them. Subsequently, however, splinter from the original rebel groups joined together to form the National Redemption Front (Dagne 2010).
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