Greater Darfur is located in the western part of Sudan.
It shares borders with Libya, Chad and Central African Republic. It is
comprised of three states: Northern Darfur State (Al Fashir is the Sate
Capital), Southern Darfur State (Nyala is the State Capital) and
Western Darfur State (Al Genena is the State Capital).
One fifth of the country’s total area-196 404 square miles.
Greater Darfur has a population of 6.8 million. It
consists of about 90 tribes and ethnic groups
Agriculture and pasture are the main activities in
Greater Darfur. The main crops include: Sorghum, millet, peanuts and
Roots of the conflict
Agriculture, animal herding and pasturing are the main
economic activities in Greater Darfur. Frictions often occur between
farming communities and animal herders who are always on the move in
search of water and pastures. Incidents between them used to be settled
through mediation of tribal leaders based on commonly known and
accepted traditional modalities. But the drought that hit the Sahel
zone across Africa in the last decades and the absence of tribe
leaders’ influence led to the escalation of the tension over the ever
scarce meadows and water resources.
This was further aggrevated by the proliferation of arms in
Darfur from some neighboring countries that experienced armed
conflicts. As a result a number of armed groups and rebel movements
e.g. SLM and JEM came into existence. The rebel groups were dominated
by certain tribes. Then tribes who were not well represented in these
groups reacted by forming their own militia for self-defense.
Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)
After lengthy and difficult negotiations between the
Sudan Government, SLM and JEM with AU and then President Olusegun
Obasanjo of Nigeria as mediators a detailed and comprehensive peace
agreement on Darfur was signed in Abuja on 6 May2006 by the Sudan
government and the main rebel group SLM, led by Mr. Manny Arkoy Mennawi
who is now the Chief Assistant to the President of the Republic and
head of the Darfur Interim Authority. The Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)
was welcomed by the AU, UN, EU, US government and many other
governments as a fair and comprehensive settlement to the conflict of
Darfur. Two small rebel groups however refused to sign the DPA.These
two factions and their splintered groups were responsible for most
attacks that targeted civilians, African forces and relief workers in
Cooperation with the UN
The government of Sudan has worked on various directions
and exerted great efforts to resolve the Darfur crisis. It has
cooperated with the United Nations and the following are the commitments
made by them:
The United Nations:
-Pledged to do its utmost best to help the humanitarian
needs of the affected people in Darfur and Sudanese refugees in Chad
consistent with its 90 day humanitarian plan.
-Assist in the quick deployment of African Union cease fire
-Stands ready to continue to help in the mediation process in
-Commits itself subsequent to Security Council resolutions to
assist in the implementation of agreements reached in South Sudan and
Darfur. To that end the UN shall continue the preparations it has
started for a possible peace keeping role when agreements have been
The Government of Sudan (GoS)
On humanitarian Issues
-Committed itself to facilitate all humanitarian work in
Darfur and remove any obstacles to humanitarian work including:
-Suspension of Visa restrictions for all humanitarian workers
and permit freedom of movement for aid workers throughout Darfur.
-Permit immediate temporary NGOs registration through a simple
notification process that HAC will offer to manage on behalf of
NGOs.Permanent registration shall be processed within 90 days.
- Suspension of all restrictions for the importation and use of
all humanitarian assistance materials, transport vehicles, aircrafts
and communication equipment.
On human rights
-Undertake concrete measures to end impunity
-Undertake immediate investigation of all cases of violations.
-Ensure that the independent investigation committee
established by presidential decree receives the necessary resources to
undertake its work and that its recommendations are fully implemented.
-Ensure that all individuals and groups accused of human rights
violations are brought to book without delay.
-Establish a fair system respectful of local traditions that
will allow abused women to bring charges against alleged perpetrators.
-Deploy a strong credible and respected police force in
all IDP areas as well as in areas susceptible to attacks
-Train all police units in human rights laws and hold them
responsible for upholding it.
-Ensure that no militias are present in all areas surrounding
-Immediately start to disarm all outlawed groups.
-Ensure that immediate action is taken to rebuild the
confidence of the vulnerable population and that any return of the
displaced to their homes is done in truly voluntary manner in line with
the current humanitarian Cease Fire Agreement.
On the Political settlement of the conflict in Darfur
-Resumption of political talks on Darfur at the earliest
possible time to reach a comprehensive solution acceptable to all
parties in the conflict.
-Since peace in Darfur is a requisite to peace in the South, the
international community’s role in assisting the implementation of an
eventual peace agreement in Darfur is much welcomed.
-The GoS and the UN agree to form a high level joint
implementation mechanism (JIM) for this agreement.
-The GoS and the UN delegates to the JIM will be led by the
Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Sudan and the (SRSG) for the UN and
-The JIM shall closely follow and evaluate development and
periodically report on progress of the implementation of this agreement
to the GoS and UN.
Security and Humanitarian protocols:
The government of the Sudan, Sudan Liberation
Movement/Army and JEM has signed two protocols on the improvement of
the security situation and on the enhancement of the security situation
in Darfur on 9 November 2004 in Abuja. Some important features of the
1- The two parties condemn all acts of violence and violations
of human rights and international humanitarian law.
2- Reiterate their commitment to cease fire agreement signed in
N’djamena Chad on 8 April 2004.
3- The two parties commit themselves to guarantee unimpeded and
unrestricted access for humanitarian workers and assistance to reach
all needy people throughout Darfur.
4- Reaffirming their commitment to the sovereignty, unity,
territorial integrity and independence of Sudan.
5-To cooperate with UN, AU and humanitarian organizations
(governmental and Non governmental)
6- Refrain from all hostilities and military actions.