Additional countries, such as Argentina, Czech Republic, Chile, Slovak Republic, Spain, Balearic Islands and the Vatican made a Holodomor declaration. Russia continues to be complete denial and is utilizing it political influence to refute that this event ever happened and that it was a deliberate act. In fact, in Russia it has been made illegal to commemorate this event. Stalin's Soviet communist success of relying food as a weapon to assume power over a specific people and eliminate them was a first. Since then, this has become a much-used vehicle in the arsenal of communist regimes, such as China, North Korea, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Zimbabwe, to follow suit and do the same to their people (Weitz, 2003)
Some people may not consider this a true "genocide," but what is happening in Darfur cannot be anything but an annihilation of a people. What is worse, it did not happen decades ago, but now. Approximately the same size as the state of Texas, the Darfur region of Sudan includes racially mixed tribes of settled peasants, who identify themselves as Muslim African nomadic herders. In February 2003, encouraged by tremendous poverty and neglect, two Darfurian rebel groups launched an uprising against the Khartoum government. The government enlisted the help of a militia of Arab nomadic tribes in the region against the innocent civilians of Darfur and counteracted with a scorched-earth campaign. Since then, the Sudanese government in Khartoum as well as the government-supported Janjaweed militia has used rape, displacement, organized starvation, personal and physical threats against aid workers and mass murder. Violence, disease, and displacement continue to kill thousands of innocent Darfurians every month.
As the genocide continues, the African farmers as well as others in Darfur are being methodically displaced and slaughtered by the Janjaweed, a government-supported militia recruited from local Arab tribes. Thus far, according to the Darfur Scores Organization, it is believed that the genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people. Over a hundred individuals continue to die every day, 5,000 every month. The inaction and disregard of the government has resulted in people throughout the Sudan poor and powerless, as well as conflict nationwide.
According to Straus (2005), the crisis in western Sudan has developed from several separate but intersecting conflicts. The first crisis is a civil war that is taking place between the Islamist and Khartoum-based national government and two rebel groups, Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement in Darfur. The rebels are irate due to Darfur's political and economic marginalization by Khartoum that started in February 2003. Yet the government, did not launch a major counteroffensive until three months later, following the rebels incredible attack on a military airfield, which destroyed a number of aircraft and kidnapped an air force general. Khartoum armed its irregular militia forces and gave them the direction to eradicate the rebellion. The militias followed these directions by a mass violence against civilians.
Secondly, explains Straus (2005), the present-day Darfur crisis is related to a civil war in southern Sudan, which is decades old between the northern, Arab-dominated government and Christian and animist black southerners. This infighting in one way or another has afflicted Sudan since 1956 when the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom. There have been two million lives lost just since 1983. More recently, the government and the main southern rebel movement have attempted to enter into peace negotiations named after the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the mediator of the process. In June 2004, following many rounds of talks, the two sides seemed to be nearing a final agreement. Many people across the world hoped that Sudan's long-running war would finally come to an end. Darfur, however, was never represented in the these discussions, and the Darfur rebels decided to strike partly to avoid being left out of any new political settlement.
The third Darfur crisis consists of a local lineage. The six million people in Darfur consists of several dozen different tribes. The region is divided between two main groups of those who claim black "African" descent and primarily follow sedentary agriculture methods and those who claim "Arab" descent and are mostly seminomadic livestock herders. As in many ethnic confrontations, the division between these two groups is clear cut. Many farmers also raise animals and many times there is not a distinct separation between the African and Arab designation. All Sudanese are technically African, Darfurians are mostly Muslim, but generations of intermarriage have blurred obvious physical distinctions that supposedly are to exist between "Arabs" and black "Africans." Normally, land disputes in dry seasons between farmers and herders were resolved peacefully. However, an severe drought and the ever-drawing-near desert over the last two decades have made water and arable land much more scarce. From the 1980s on, Khartoum governments have incited the situation by supporting and arming the Arab tribes, partly to keep the southern rebels from gaining a toehold in the region. This led to a number of clashes in the late 1980s and 1990s when Arab militias burned African villages and killed thousands. Africans reacted by forming self-defense groups whose members eventually became the first Darfur insurgents to appear in 2003.
The true genocide began in the middle of this year as once again the Arabs were equipped and became a militia that called itself the janjaweed, or "evil men on horseback" to inspire fear. The militia, which included convicted felons, quickly succeeded in their mission by Sudan's President Omar to "eliminate the rebellion" (Lippman, 2007: 201). A major campaign of violence erupted, which especially targeted black African civilians, most notably those coming from same tribes as the core rebel recruits. Khartoum continually denied direct involvement in the attacks against civilians and both the Arab League and the African Union have downplayed the gross violations of human rights. In October 2004, a world health organization estimated that 70,000 displaced persons had died in the previous six months from malnutrition and disease directly due to displacement, which did not include the number dying from violent deaths.
In 2004, the media began using the word "genocide" in connection to what was taking place in this country. Kristof of the New York Times published several articles making the charge with blatant photographs and commentary on his Op Ed pieces. The archive also includes an extraordinary document seized from a janjaweed official that apparently outlines genocidal policies. Dated last August, the document calls for the "execution of all directives from the president of the republic" and is directed to regional commanders and security officials. He reported a document that stated: "Change the demography of Darfur and make it void of African tribes." Kristof said "It encourages 'killing, burning villages and farms, terrorizing people, confiscating property from members of African tribes and forcing them from Darfur'" (Op Ed, 2005)
This began to rally others to become more cognizant of what was taking place in this country, including Jewish-American, African-American, liberal, and religious-conservative constituencies. In July 2004, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., issued a "genocide emergency" for the first time ever. MoveOn.org called on General Powell to use the "genocide" label for Darfur, as did the Congressional Black Caucus, African-American civil rights groups, and some international human rights organizations. Major newspapers, such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Boston Globe echoed the appeals. Traditionally concerned with the persecution of black Christian populations in southern Sudan, American evangelicals also called for a formal recognition of genocide and for U.S. action, despite that the Darfur victims were Muslim. Those who favored using the "genocide" label emphasized that the events in Sudan met a general standard for genocide, or the violence that especially targets an ethnic group for destruction, is systematic and intentional, and is state supported. These proponents also said that under the Genocide Convention, using the term would lead to an international intervention to halt the violence. Colgan and Booker from Africa Action wrote in The Nation, "We should have learned from Rwanda that to stop genocide, Washington must first say the word" (Straus, 2005)
During the Rwandan genocide, a decade previously, the State Department spokespersons in were instructed not to use this "g" word, since as noted internal government memorandum, publicly acknowledging "genocide" might commit the American government to act at a time when President Clinton's administration was entirely unwilling. As a result, adds Straus (2005), the U.S. And the rest of the world did nothing as an extermination campaign murdered at least half a million civilian lives in three months. After this massacre, many agreed that a critical first step the next time this happened would be to openly call a genocide "genocide."
Since then, there have been numerous peacekeeping interventions and peace treaties that are made and broken. The Darfur genocide is now into its seventh year, and over 400,000 people have been killed, 3 million people are displaced, and about 4.5 million people are in great…