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Sudan | Atrocities Continue, Even as the International Community Pushes for Peace
- Sudan Main Page
- A Brief Respite From Civil War
- Humanitarian Disaster in Darfur
- Atrocities Continue, Even as the International Community Pushes for Peace
- Bashir Wins Election in a Landslide
- Historic Vote in Southern Sudan
- North and South on the Brink of War
- Oil Pipeline Deal Achieved
- ICC Halts Darfur Investigation; President Bashir Re-Elected
Atrocities Continue, Even as the International Community Pushes for Peace
In October 2007, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) quit the national unity government, leaving the peace agreement signed in 2005 on the brink of collapse. The SPLA claimed that the governing party, the National Congress Party, had ignored its concerns over boundary between the north and south and how to divide the country's oil wealth.
Sudan faced international criticism once again in January 2008, when Musa Hilal, a Janjaweed leader, was appointed to a top government position as an adviser to the minister of federal affairs. Human Rights Watch called Hilal "the poster child for Janjaweed atrocities in Darfur."
Government forces and the janjaweed resumed their attacks in the Darfur region in February 2008, forcing as many as 45,000 people to flee their homes. The government claimed it was targeting the Justice and Equality Movement, a rebel group that has become increasingly powerful and is believed to be linked to the government of Chad. Civilians in the region, however, say the attacks have continued after the rebels escape. The Justice and Equality Movement launched a bold attack in May, coming within a few miles of Khartoum before being repulsed by government troops. It was the first time that the conflict in Darfur has threatened to spill over into Khartoum.
In July 2008, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), indicted Bashir with genocide for planning and executing the decimation of Darfur's three main ethnic tribes: the Fur, the Masalit, and the Zaghawa. Moreno-Ocampo also said Bashir "purposefully targeted civilians" and used "rapes, hunger, and fear" to terrorize civilians. Many observers feared that Bashir would respond to the charges with further violence. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in March 2009, charging him with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region. An indictment for genocide was rejected by the court, and Moreno-Ocampo appealed the decision. Bashir responded by shutting down the 13 aid agencies that operate relief camps in Sudan and assist millions of people in Darfur. The UN said that as a result, 1.1 million people will be left without food, 1.1 million without health care, and another 1 million without water. In February 2010, Moreno-Ocampo won his appeal and the ICC was ordered to review the evidence to determine if Bashir should be tried for genocide. The court formally charged him with three counts of genocide in July. It was the first time the court has charged a person with genocide.
In July 2009, an international tribunal at The Hague redefined the border of Sudan's oil-rich Abyei region, giving the North rights to the lucrative Heglig oil field, and the South retained rights to other large oil fields in Abyei.