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Crisis in Darfur
“Up to 400,000 (people) have been killed and millions displaced.” (Cheadle xii). The crisis in Darfur is not going to solve itself. Millions are being killed because members of different ethnic groups are known to support rebels. People are standing up against the murders, but with the more outcries the bigger the body count goes and increases. The crisis is getting worse, so with the help and voices of major political leaders, celebrities, and civilians, this crisis can change. This predicament has been going on for several years and little has been done to stop or even help the matter. Through these turbulent times organization such as the United Nations have tried to intervene in any way possible, especially with the use United Nations African Union Mission In Darfur (UNAMID)and the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). Even has though their efforts can't go unnoticed, they don't seem to be enough.
The mass murders in Darfur are caused by the Darfur rebel movements going against the Sudanese government. The Sudanese government has tried to make a peace treaty; however it has failed in the process. As a result, Mini-Minawi, a branch of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), signed a peace treaty. This, however, ended up with negative effects and caused confusion between the Mini-Minawi and the other branch of the SLM, the Abdel Wahid. To compound the problem, not only did the Abdel Wahid refuse to sign the treaty so did the Justice and the Equality Movement known as JEM. (savedarfur.org) Sudanese start a military action enforced by armed militia called the Janjaweed. They start raids and mass killing of the specific ethnic groups that are known to support the rebels. This has caused many civilian deaths and many are being forced to leave there homes. (savedarfur.org)
The damage is estimated, with the direct attacks and destroyed living conditions, that 300,000 people died because of this civil war in the country, in the years 2003 to 2005. George Bush called the crisis in Darfur a Genocide which caused a flood of support. Soon many celebrities, actors and civilians got into the fight for Darfur, George Clooney and Don Cheadle being just two examples of people who have decided to help (savedarfur.org). Don even wrote a book on the situation in Darfur Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond. The book talks about what has happened and what can be done. In his book he is very enraged, he says “Genocide is an exceptional crime” with a passion to the public (Cheadle 51). Many people may be familiar with the Save Darfur program, which has gained much popularity and funds for the suffering people of Darfur (savedarfur.org).
Darfur is in crisis and countless things are being said to be done to stop the horrific actions at this time. People are searching for things to be done in confronting the issue head on, with the U.S. taking more forceful actions, funding the protection of the people, and dealing with the allies of Sudan. (globalsolutions.org) There are major problems with some of these ideas and the biggest one of all is China. China is a major part in the crisis in Darfur, as China plays a major role with both the U.S.A and Sudan. China holds major oil investments in Sudan so ties are very close. China has been mostly unwilling to help in the arrest of the Sudan government leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir, or even in trying to encourage the end of the murder and conflict. China has been bashed in the media as not caring about what is happening. On a foreign policy website Morton Abramowitz and Jonathan Kolieb say that “Beijing may make tactical moves to pressure Sudan, but it will not choose human rights over oil”. China's investments are a multibillion dollar money maker and are more important to them then the human rights of Darfur. (globalsolutions.org)
The US is also being called to go toward the Darfur situation more forcefully. Some have called on the U. S. to put sanctions around Darfur, targeting disinvestment, and freezing the of accounts of Sudan Government officials. A solution brought up is that the US government should put up sanctions around Sudan, like a no fly zone above it, sanctions that would cause repercussions for those who obstruct justice and bring more violence to Darfur. It is also suggested that the U.S. should start to disinvest in certain companies doing businesses in Darfur, especially the petroleum sector. (foreignpolicy.com) If the U.S. was to engage Darfur or China on this issue it could cause extreme repercussions toward the U.S. If the U.S. was to take forceful actions on Darfur this would cause problems with China investments. China is one of the largest producer of goods for the U.S. and a major credit supplier. If America was to somehow upset China by causing problems with oil or pressuring China, this could cause worsening in Darfur and making new conflict between America and China. With America in a state of economic emergency, we could not afford this kind of conflict with one of our more essential allies. (foreignpolicy.com)
Many people believe a solution to this crisis is that Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the president of Sudan's Government, who has been accused of genocide and covering of mass graves, should be arrested. (foreignpolicy.com) There is a warrant out for his arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC). When he learned of this it only made things worse. He threw out aid groups after he learned of the warrant and he refused to comply with the warrant completely. He also threatened to expel more aid groups, peacekeepers, and major diplomats. When the warrant was issued he has caused more damage and made life harder for Darfurians. All people must be extremely careful in what they do, in case they unknowingly make things worse. (foreignpolicy.com)
The best solution for the Sudan conflict is to support the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) project by funding to support this no fire agreement. Major players should also agree to the extension of these groups' protection past the pre determined expiration date of funds. Supporting UNAMID is the best choice for the US because it helps stop the never ending violence in Darfur and yet also not starting conflicts with China. When the government supports the funding, that clears us of interfering with China's oil investments. This would be the smartest and the most beneficiary solution without causing more problems and making the situation in Darfur worse. “It takes a number of tools” says Don “including diplomacy, financial resources, and effective security tools”. (Cheadle xiii) By supporting UNAMID we would also be supporting the UN in finding homes for all that have been displaced by this tragedy (hrw.org).
The support was actually promised before, to the AMIS (African Union Mission in Sudan), with the funding supposed to come so that the AMIS peacekeepers would be in place until the UN sent in its own forces (hrw.org). The funding never came, with the UN troops coming months late, leaving the AMIS to deal with the violence on their own. They were still funded but fell short of agreed funding, by an estimated 1 billion dollars, leaving the American Government needing to go all out to support the UN troops to keep the peace. 1 billion dollar is a huge number, but nothing compared to the lost of human life. Over 2,000,000 people the UN has estimated to be have been displaced, and 300,000 civilians killed. A billion dollars should be given immediately if it meant the helping hundreds and thousands of people. (stopgenocidenow.org)
The people in Darfur are in need; they have been murdered, raped, and persecuted just because of their ethnic group. (Cheadle 78) Around the world, countries are speaking out, people's voices have been helping the world grow conscious of what is happening. The voices of the people cannot go without actions to back them up. The people of Darfur have seen their share of empty promises already. People must have support and tell the government to pass funding to the UNAMID, so they can protect human life. Oil or money should be nothing compared to one life, but thousands have been killed, lost, and raped. All people that have heard of this crisis should write to President Obama and major government leaders demanding the funding for Darfur because it's the most anyone can do for the people of Darfur and all who are affected by the crisis in there.(Cheadle Appendix)