Reasons behind the Darfur Crisis
Human rights violation in Darfur is as a result of racial and ethnical disputes between Africans and Arabs. People live in fear of abuse, death, rape, continual threat of being attacked and being displaced. On the other hand, there have been violence and political repression in Sudan for the last three decades. After the grabbing of power by the military coup in 1989, the National Islamic Front (NIF) started the process of removing the judiciary, army, civil service, and security forces. They also banned all the political parties, social associations, cultural, and imposed nationwide state of emergency. After the coup, the created government carried out immense and systematic violations of human rights. In 1997, the United States pursued isolation policy and imposed wide economic sanctions because of the human rights violations committed in the last 22 years of the civil war in the South Sudan (Tsai 8).
After a decade, the U.S. imposed more sanctions that included ones that were targeting people who committed atrocities in Darfur. However, the human rights violation failed to improve. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces continued to attack civilians in Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and Blue Nile (Bellamy, Alex, and Paul 144). Moreover, the national security agents started engaging various oppression targeting human rights activists, students harassment, torture, human society leaders, arbitrary detentions, restricting independent media and civil society organizations.
Violated Human Rights
When the United Nations secretary-general sent the high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, and his advisor on the prevention of genocide, Juan Mendes to investigate the deteriorating human violation in Darfur, they reported serious violations (Bellamy, Alex and Paul 148). The report showed that there were serious violations of the international humanitarian law and human rights committed by the government. In the report, they concluded that the government failed to pursue genocide policy, its forces and the associated militias have been involved in indiscriminate attacks such as killing of civilians, enforced disappearance, rape, village destructions, forced displacement, torture, pillaging, and various forms of sexual violence among others.
Consequently, the human rights defenders, especially the UN personnel have been working under insecure and life threatening conditions. The humanitarian have been faced with continual violence and increase of attacks of their convoys. For example, in 2008, over 200 humanitarian vehicles were reported to have been stolen or hijacked (Shoeb). Moreover, there were over 30 convoy attacks, ten workers killed, and over 140 humanitarian homes broken into. As a result of continual attack on the humanitarians, they resorted to the use of helicopter missions to be able to visit the inaccessible areas for short period of time just to deliver the basic needs such as food, water, and medicine to the displaced persons. The UNICEF officials said that violence against women and children has been increasing instead of decreasing (Massoud 4). They said that children are suffering deprivation and diseases due to what they have witnessed and have become victims of the ferocious terror. Further, Jan Pronk, the special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Darfur, reported that the numbers of the attacks on NGOs has increased after the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement (Mulaj 30).
The Role of the NGOs
The NGOs such as UN and its allies have been providing essential relief operation in Darfur. They have been reporting those who violate human rights and perform various abuses. Additionally, they had been pushing for the signing of peace deal, and in 2006 they succeeded when the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was signed (Mulaj 28). The peace deal was signed in the presence of African Union (Lusk 170).
In spite the attacks on the humanitarians, the UN and its affiliate partners have continued to safeguard the most defenseless Darfurians by trying to stabilize the situation (Lusk 173). In 2008, they started providing clean water to almost 76 percent of those who were affected by the war. Besides water, they have also been proving access to health services in the major camps such as the gigantic Kalmah, which is located in the Southern Sudan. The NGOs have also supported the primary school enrolment, which has really increased. Their involvement has also led to tremendous decrease of mortality rate due to relief efforts like immunization. They have been using all means to ensure that they reach the majority of the children, especially the ones in the inaccessible regions of Darfur.
Bellamy, Alex J. and Paul D. Williams. "The UN Security Council and the Question of Humanitarian Intervention in Darfur." Journal of Military Ethics, vol. 5, no. 2, June 2006, pp. 144-160.
Lusk, Gill. "False Premise and False Response to the Darfur Crisis." Peace Review, vol. 20, no. 2, Apr-Jun2008, pp. 166-174.
Massoud, Mark F. "Rights in a Failed State: Internally Displaced Women in Sudan and Their Lawyers." Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, vol. 21, May 2006, pp. 2-12.
Mulaj, Klejda. "Forced Displacement in Darfur, Sudan: Dilemmas of Classifying the Crimes." International Migration, vol. 46, no. 2, May 2008, pp. 27-48.
Shoeb, Omar. "Human Rights Lost In Darfur". Aljazeera.Com, 2009, www.aljazeera.com/focus/humanrightsun/2008/12/200812810113311766.html. Accessed 30 Aug 2018.
Tsai, Alexander C., et al. "Medical Evidence of Human Rights Violations against Non- Arabic-Speaking Civilians in Darfur: A Cross-Sectional Study." Plos Medicine, vol. 9, no. 4, Apr. 2012, pp. 1-10.