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Darfur conflict

Updated: Thu, 31 Jul 2014

At A GlanceBack to top

The United Nations has described Sudan's western Darfur region as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

More than 2.3 million people have been displaced, most of them living in squalid camps in Darfur and neighbouring Chad. Peacekeepers and aid workers have restricted access to those in need.

The conflict flared in 2003 when rebels in Darfur took up arms, accusing the government of neglecting the region. The government responded with a counter-insurgency campaign.

Since then, civilians have come under attack from government troops, pro-government militia and rebel groups. Arab militias are also fighting each other, and there are frequent clashes between tribes.

Levels of violence fell after 2005, but have risen since the start of 2013. Nearly 400,000 people were displaced in the first half of 2014 alone.

In DetailBack to top

The conflict in west Sudan's Darfur region flared in 2003 when two rebel groups rose up against the government, accusing it of wilful neglect.

Khartoum moved swiftly to crush the revolt by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA).

The conflict spilt over into neighbouring Chad and Central African Republic.

The Sudanese government is widely accused of arming militias drawn from Arab tribes who have used scorched-earth tactics against the rebels' communities. Khartoum has denied the accusations.

In March 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, describing the Janjaweed as allies of the Sudanese armed forces. Bashir has dismissed the charges.

Soon afterwards the government expelled 13 international agencies from Sudan and three local agencies from Darfur.

In 2009, the outgoing military commander of U.N. peacekeepers said the conflict was effectively over, and isolated attacks and banditry were the region's main problems.

But fighting escalated in 2010, forcing tens of thousands more to flee their homes.

In 2010, the ICC issued a second arrest warrant for Bashir, this time for charges of genocide.

The number of people killed in the conflict in Darfur is hard to determine. The United Nations says as many as 300,000 may have died since 2003 – Khartoum  puts the figure closer to 10,000.

Many villages have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people have fled the violence and are in squalid camps in Darfur and neighbouring Chad.

Some 2 million people are still displaced, having fled their homes at the height of the conflict between 2003 and 2005.

International Crisis Group says the removal of so many people from their homes has been part of a government policy of ethnic cleansing, in a bid to cripple support for the rebel movements.

The displaced are mostly African farmers from the Fur, Zaghawa and Massaleit tribes. A growing number of people from Arab tribes are also being displaced. The Janjaweed come from Arabic-speaking pastoralist communities, which herd camels in northern Darfur and cattle in southern Darfur. Some who fought for pro-government militia have since joined the rebels.

Both the farmers and the pastoralists are Muslim, and have inter-married for centuries.

The Zaghawa are also camel herders and have strong ties to Chad.

Struggle for resourcesBack to top

Darfur's population of about 7.5 million is scattered over an area the size of France.

The region, historically separate and long neglected by Khartoum, lacks basic infrastructure and social services. Experts say the motives for the rebellion are exclusion from political power, lack of roads, schools and water infrastructure.

The Darfur rebels' grievances are similar to those of armed groups in the south of the country and elsewhere.

Land used to belong to tribes – Darfur means 'the place of the Fur people'. There are at least 36 main tribes in the region.

Some of the Arab people felt left out of a system that gave more "dars" (districts) to non-Arab communities.

Traditionally, conflicts were settled with little or no violence by respected local councils. These were abolished by the Khartoum government after it came to power in a coup in 1989, leaving no mechanisms for resolving disputes peacefully.

The disbanding of the councils coincided with droughts and the encroachment of the expanding Sahara Desert, which forced Arab herders from the north into competition over land with farmers based in villages.

To make matters worse, ethnic differences between the two groups – who used to co-exist peacefully in the main – were exaggerated by local leaders in the battle over resources.

Khartoum’s retaliation against Darfur's rebels lit a powder keg.

Khartoum is accused of recruiting Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, who are blamed for killings, widespread rape and abductions. Refugees describe them as ferocious gun-wielding men riding camels or horses who burn villages and steal whatever they can carry.

Khartoum repeatedly denied any links to the Janjaweed, dismissing them as outlaws.

Some of the Janjaweed have now been integrated into the Sudanese military, or have changed sides and joined the rebels, or are fighting each other. Some still fight in militia groups – despite a 2004 U.N. Security Council resolution ordering their disarmament.

One of these militia groups, the Rapid Support Forces, was deployed early this year in Darfur, where it attacked non-Arab communities accused of supporting the rebels, International Crisis Group (ICG) says. The group raped, looted, burned houses and displaced tens of thousands of people, according to the United Nations.

ICG says many of those integrated into an official border patrol guard in fact answer only to tribal warlords and fight each other.

Many Arab groups felt betrayed by a 2006 peace deal – the Darfur Peace Agreement - because it did not address their concerns, and started opposing the government as a result. Some Arab communities were said to believe they had been used by the government to fight its battles, scapegoated for atrocities and then excluded from the political process.

Large gold deposits were discovered in North Darfur’s Jebel Amir hills, in 2012, leading to fighting between tribes for control of the land.

The existence of oil in Darfur, revealed in 2005 when Sudan's Advanced Petroleum Company (APCO) began drilling, has led some analysts to wonder how far oil could be guiding Khartoum's actions in the region.

Many commentators say the conflict in Darfur has been exploited in the struggle for power within Sudan's Islamist movement.

The fighting is not just between government forces and rebel groups, but is also between rebel groups, and between Arab militia groups.

Frequent tribal clashes over access to land, conflicts between pastoralists and farming communities, and attacks by criminal gangs add to the region's insecurity, according to the United Nations.

Peace agreementsBack to top

The African Union, United Nations and Qatar, representing the Arab League, have been mediating peace talks. But rebel divisions and continued military action mean the so-called Doha peace process has so far failed to secure a truce.

The most powerful active rebel groups are JEM and two Sudan Liberation Army factions, one led by Abdel Wahed Mohammed al-Nur (SLA-AW) and one led by Minni Arcua Minnawi (SLA-MM).

In July 2011, the government signed a peace deal – the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur – with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), an umbrella organisation of small rebel groups. JEM, SLA-MM and SLA-W refused to join.

The LJM now has ministers in the federal government and a strong presence in the Darfur Regional Authority, tasked with implementing the peace deal.

Darfur rebels are divided over the peace talks, and over whether to fight for changes in Darfur or for a broader national agenda.

Former members of the LJM have joined JEM. And in 2011, the former deputy chair and lead negotiator for JEM, Mohamed Bahr Ali Hamdeen, formed a breakaway faction willing to negotiate with the government. But he has since become impatient with a lack of progress and talked of joining the SRF alliance, the Small Arms Survey said. A splinter group of JEM led by Mohamed Basher (JEM-MB), signed the Doha peace agreement in April 2013. The splinter group was renamed JEM-Sudan after Basher was killed in clashes with JEM forces in 2013.

In November 2011, JEM, SLA-MM and SLA-W joined with Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, which is active in Sudan's states bordering South Sudan, to form the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of rebel groups with the stated aim of overthrowing the national government by all possible means.

TURNING POINT

A peace deal signed in 2006 – the Darfur Peace Agreement – was a turning point in Darfur's lengthy conflict. It was signed between the government and SLA-MM, which later abandoned it. It was rejected by both JEM and al-Nur's SLA-AW faction.

Al-Nur argued the deal did not address key demands of the Darfur people, including greater compensation for war victims, more political posts for the SLA, and greater SLA involvement in the protection of returning displaced people and disarmament of pro-government militias. Refugees rioted against the agreement in several camps and students protested in Khartoum.

After the 2006 peace deal, the fighting shifted from a mainly two-way conflict between central government and rebels to a more complex war also involving heavy fighting between various rebel factions. Arab groups also began fighting the government for the first time, angry that their concerns had not been properly addressed in the peace agreement.

Originally, the SLA united supporters from the Fur, Zaghawa and Massaleit tribes but, after the 2006 accord, it split increasingly along tribal lines.

Minnawi is a Zaghawa, an ethnic group accounting for about 8 percent of Darfur's population. They took up arms less to oppose the government in Khartoum than to fight the Janjaweed, their rivals in the lucrative camel trade in North Darfur, the Small Arms Survey says. Al-Nur is a Fur, which is the largest ethnic group in Darfur, comprising 30 percent of the population.

JEM is mostly Zaghawa, but it also splintered into many factions.

Peace negotiations between the government and Darfur rebels were left in ruins after JEM's May 2008 attack on the city of Omdurman where parliament sits, near the capital Khartoum. JEM is the only Darfur rebel group to have attacked the political heartland.

Then in October 2008, President Bashir launched a national initiative for peace with a forum to discuss the conflict, which was attended by AU representatives, as well as Egypt, Libya and Qatar, Sudanese political parties and civic groups. Rebel groups refused to attend, saying they would not negotiate with Khartoum unless the government stopped its violence against civilians.

JEM and Khartoum signed a ceasefire in February 2010 in Qatar, brokered by Chad.

JEM claimed to be both the sole representative of Darfurians and the most powerful rebel group, and threatened to leave the peace process if the government signed a peace deal with any other rebel group. Despite this, the government signed a deal in March 2010 with the Liberation and Justice Movement, and JEM later withdrew from the Doha process.

In 2010, Minnawi abandoned the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement and rejoined the rebellion, triggering a new cycle of violence. The local government launched an offensive against the SLA-MM and the Zaghawa population. Khartoum also armed and encouraged non-Zaghawa ethnic groups living with the Zaghawa to expel them. Many of the displaced of fighting age joined the SLA-MM rather than move to displacement camps, the Small Arms Survey said.

All the armed movements insisted there could be no agreement with Khartoum unless Darfur is reorganized as a single region. It was divided into three states in 1994 – North, South and West Darfur – in what many Darfurians see as an attempt to divide and weaken them.

The rebels were angered when in March 2011 the government announced a plan to create two additional states – Central Darfur and Eastern Darfur – saying it was a bid to divide Darfur further along tribal lines and break up its ethnic powerbases.

The new Central Darfur and Eastern Darfur states were established in January 2012.

Wrangling over peacekeepersBack to top

A hybrid United Nations-African Union force (UNAMID) of more than 18,000 troops and police is charged with protecting civilians and aid operations.

The peacekeepers face government restrictions on movement and access, including access to camps for the displaced, according to the U.N. secretary-general's April 2014 report to the Security Council. The troops also lack equipment, including helicopters and lorries.

UNAMID (United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur) took over from a 7,000-strong AU peacekeeping force in 2007. The AU force had been massively overstretched and unable to quell the violence or protect civilians.

The deployment of UNAMID followed lengthy wrangling. China took credit for eventually persuading Sudan to accept the additional peacekeepers. As a major buyer of Sudanese oil and supplier of arms, China is highly influential in Sudan and came under international pressure to do more to stop the violence.

Insecurity spills across bordersBack to top

The Darfur conflict spilled over Sudan's western borders into Chad and Central African Republic (CAR), with several armed groups forcing people to flee their homes in all three countries.

Sudan and Chad accused each other of helping rebel movements in one another's countries. Chad was accused of supporting JEM.

Chad said Khartoum supported Janjaweed militias that attacked African farming tribes inside its borders.

Chadian President Idriss Deby is from the Zaghawa tribe whose members live on both sides of the border and are among rebels fighting against Khartoum.

Tens of thousands of people fled to U.N.-run camps in Chad, while a few thousand Chadian refugees sought shelter in Darfur.

The CAR accused Sudan of arming a rebel coalition (the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity) who opposed then President Francois Bozize and, in 2006, captured several towns in the northeast. Khartoum denied any involvement.

Deby and Bashir agreed in January 2010 to stop supporting each other's rebels, and the U.N. Panel of Experts said this allegedly resulted in JEM relocating from Chad to Darfur.

It also helped to improve security in western Darfur, near the border with Chad, resulting in thousands of people returning home in the area.

In January 2012, Chad President Idriss Deby married the daughter of an alleged Janjaweed militia leader, Musa Hilal. President Bashir was one of the guests, as was the then U.N./African Union joint representative for UNAMID, Ibrahim Gambari.

The United Nations has said South Sudan is hosting JEM on its soil, a charge Juba has denied. 

Darfur's humanitarian crisisBack to top

Under the Doha peace agreement signed in July 2011, donors and the Sudanese government agreed a multi-billion-dollar plan for reconstruction and development in Darfur. However, ongoing fighting and lack of promised funds have affected the plan’s implementation.

In 2014, some 3.5 million people in Darfur – about half the population – need some kind of aid, according to the United Nations. About 3.1 million rely on food aid, the U.N. says. More than two thirds of children are stunted by hunger.

Although the majority of displaced have stayed in camps in Darfur, many have fled to Chad and, to a lesser extent, Central African Republic.

An unknown number of displaced people are sheltering with host families and villages in Darfur.

Aid workers face attacks and harassment by militia, rebels, bandits and police. Some have complained that Khartoum has kept them under surveillance and hampered their work with a host of administrative obstacles. Aid workers have been arrested and senior U.N. officials prevented from visiting the region.

U.N. agencies say rebel groups and militias have stolen humanitarian trucks for use in combat.

Conditions are extremely difficult for those who have fled the fighting, some of them several times. Their camps are raided by armed groups, and collecting firewood is dangerous – men are killed and women raped. Malnutrition rates are very high and hygiene in camps is poor.

Many of the aid agencies with experience of managing the camps have stopped operating in Darfur, either because of a lack of funding or because of government restrictions, the U.N. says.

The number of aid workers in Darfur more than halved between 2009 and the end of 2013.

Until March 2009, some 16,370 aid workers were providing relief to more than 4.7 million people in Darfur, according to U.N. figures.

Sudan expelled a number of large agencies after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Bashir, who is charged with atrocities in Darfur.

The government accused them of passing information to the ICC – allegations they denied.

Thirteen international agencies and three local groups were told to stop working in Darfur and other parts of northern and eastern Sudan.

Those who had their operating licences cancelled included Oxfam, Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, CARE, International Rescue Committee, Medecins Sans Frontieres Holland and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

At the end of 2013, there were 6,850 aid workers in Darfur, almost all of them Sudanese.

The U.N. says the aid agency expulsions contributed to increasing malnutrition levels, particularly in rural areas, where relief assistance is stretched beyond capacity.

The U.N. Panel of Experts on Sudan – which monitors the situation on the ground – has been denied access to some areas. Former panel members have accused it of lack of neutrality.

Other independent monitoring mechanisms for the international community have been disbanded or reorganised as joint mechanisms with the Sudanese government.

Human rights abusesBack to top

Human rights groups have accused Khartoum of torture and severe repression of political opposition and religious freedoms.

Washington has called the Darfur crisis "genocide", a term Khartoum and many other governments reject.

A U.N.-appointed commission concluded in 2005 that no genocide had taken place, but said there had been heinous war crimes no less serious than genocide. It also said individuals may have acted with genocidal intent.

In 2008, the ICC's chief prosecutor took the momentous step of charging Bashir with masterminding genocide in Darfur, killing 35,000 people and persecuting hundreds of thousands more, and an arrest warrant was issued in March 2009.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo also said 2.5 million people were subjected to a campaign of "rape, hunger and fear" in refugee camps.

The court initially indicted Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity, but in July 2010 it issued another arrest warrant for Bashir for genocide.

Bashir is the first head of state charged by an international court since Liberia's Charles Taylor and the former Yugoslavia's Slobodan Milosevic.

The U.N. Security Council has referred dozens of other Sudanese war crimes suspects to the ICC.

ICC prosecutors want to try a junior humanitarian affairs minister, Ahmed Haroun, and militia commander Ali Muhammed Ali Abd-al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb.

Haroun was state minister of the interior at the height of the conflict. Moreno-Ocampo said evidence showed Haroun funded the Janjaweed from an unlimited budget and he was seen delivering arms to the militia.

Kushayb was allegedly seen giving orders to the Janjaweed, inspecting naked women before they were raped by men in military uniforms, and participating in summary executions.

The ICC has also charged former JEM and SLA-Unity rebel leaders – Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus – with war crimes. Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus was killed in April 2013.

Frustrated at Khartoum's intransigence over Darfur, Washington tightened sanctions against Sudan. The measures are mostly aimed at companies owned or controlled by the government, including firms in oil and petroleum export-related businesses.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed an arms ban on all non-government groups, and sanctions on leaders of armed groups accused of abuses in Darfur. The Sudanese government has not enforced them, the U.N. Panel of Experts says.

The U.N. Panel of Experts has a mandate to monitor the sanctions and compliance with U.N. Security Council resolution 1591, passed in 2005. It produces regular reports for the Security Council.

Three of the experts resigned from the panel in 2011 citing lack of competence and neutrality on the panel, Africa Confidential reported. They produced their own report on Darfur soon after their resignation.

In 2005, the Council also called on Khartoum to end all aerial attacks in Darfur. The military continues to carry out aerial bombings.

LinksBack to top

To find out what the United Nations is up to in Darfur, check the UNAMID (African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur) website. It includes updates on U.N. support for the African Union peacekeeping mission.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has maps and information on aid operations.

Think-tank International Crisis Group has a useful section with background, analysis and information on the humanitarian situation.

Human Rights Watch has reports on human rights violations, political developments and justice.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing Sudan's president and others for war crimes in Darfur. Its website has documents and press releases.

For information on people displaced within Darfur and refugees sheltering along the Sudan/Chad border, the best place to start is the U.N. refugee agency website.

The Feinstein International Center at Tufts University has published several reports on Darfur and the effect of the conflict on livelihoods.

What can individuals do about the violence in Darfur? The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of mainly U.S.-based organisations campaigning for greater international effort to end the Darfur crisis.

One of the best no-holds-barred blogs on Sudan is written by Eric Reeves, a professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

U.S. advocacy group Enough Project has useful information on Darfur.

TimelineBack to top

2003

Feb - Two rebel groups rise up and attack government military installations, saying Khartoum neglects arid region and arms Arab militia against civilians

2004

Apr - U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland says scorched-earth tactics trigger "one of the world's worst humanitarian crises"

Government, Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels agree 45-day ceasefire

May - U.N. human rights report says Sudanese troops and militia may be guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity

Government, rebels agree to African, EU ceasefire monitors

International donors conference seeks $236 million

Jun - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir orders all groups in Darfur to be disarmed

Oct - Rwandan troops join Nigerian soldiers monitoring shaky ceasefire

Nov - Sudan signs two peace deals with rebels, banning military flights over Darfur and covering security and humanitarian access

Sudan says it has lifted all restrictions on aid workers and revoked a state of emergency in North Darfur state

Dec - Sudan agrees to stop military operations in Darfur and asks AU to request rebels do same. Save the Children pulls staff out of Darfur after four killed

2005

Mar - Sudan says has arrested military and security officials accused of rape, killing and burning villages

U.S. abstains as U.N. votes to refer war crimes suspects in Darfur to the International Criminal Court. ICC launches formal investigations in June

May - Donors pledge nearly $300 million to fund a bigger AU force

2006

Mar - Thousands protest in Khartoum against any deployment of U.N. troops to Darfur

Apr - Chad breaks off diplomatic relations, accusing Sudan of backing insurgents trying to overthrow Chad's president

U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on four Sudanese accused of abuses in Darfur

May - Sudan and an SLA faction sign peace deal. SLA rival faction and JEM reject deal

AU interpreter killed and Oxfam worker stabbed in demonstrations at camps in Darfur over peace accords and lack of protection

Jul - New SLA faction emerges. Chad starts trying to mend diplomatic relations with Khartoum. Relief International aid worker killed

Oct - U.N. Sudan mission head Jan Pronk expelled after saying army has suffered two major defeats at hands of rebels

Nov - U.N. says Sudan accepts the principle of allowing U.N. troops

Norwegian Refugee Council closes its Darfur operation, citing Sudanese government obstruction

Chad's prime minister calls for a "general mobilisation" to counter what he says are Sudanese military attacks in eastern Chad

Dec - President Bashir endorses a three-step U.N. proposal to strengthen AU force with small number of U.N. troops and police

Two major attacks targeted at aid agency compounds force hundreds of relief workers to relocate temporarily

2007

Jan - Sudanese Air Force bombs two villages in north Darfur, disrupting plans for a meeting of rebel commanders to provide impetus for renewed dialogue

EU threatens Sudan with sanctions if it refuses to allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur

Darfur police and security officials arrest 20 U.N., AU and aid agency staff at a social gathering. Five are beaten with rifles, and one accuses police of sexual assault

Feb - ICC chief prosecutor names Sudan's humanitarian affairs minister and a militia commander as first suspects he wants tried for war crimes

Mar - U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes, on his first trip to Darfur, is barred from visiting a camp

SLM warns its peace agreement with the government is in danger of collapsing following clashes

Sudan signs agreement with U.N. pledging to give humanitarian groups better access in Darfur

U.S. threatens new sanctions on Khartoum but later agrees to hold off to give U.N. time to negotiate

Apr - Khartoum agrees to let 3,000 U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur. Several aid agencies, including Oxfam, Save the Children Spain and Mercy Corps, temporarily suspend work in western Darfur because of violence

May - Sudan and Chad sign reconciliation deal. Washington tightens sanctions

Jul - Five rebel groups, including two SLA factions, unite to form the United Front for Liberation and Development (UFLD) ahead of possible peace talks

U.N. Security Council authorises up to 26,000 troops and police for a "hybrid" U.N.-African Union operation in Darfur and approves the use of force to protect civilians

Sept - AU soldiers killed after armed men launch an assault on the AU's Haskanita base in Darfur. The base is destroyed

Oct - Armed groups raze government-held Haskanita town. Rebels say attack was carried out by government forces and militia groups

Rebels say government troops and allied militia attack Muhajiriya, a town controlled by the SLA. Government forces deny attack

Armed men kill three World Food Programme drivers in South Darfur

Government-backed militias attack Kalma refugee camp, South Darfur

Government forces attack Hamidiya refugee camp, West Darfur

JEM attacks Sudan's Defra oil field in Kordofan, killing 20 government soldiers and taking two foreign hostages. It threatens more assaults on oil installations

Libya hosts peace talks between Khartoum, pro-government Arab militias and rebel forces, but key rebel factions stay away

2008

Jan - U.N.-AU peacekeeping force takes over from overstretched AU mission

Jan and Feb - Sudanese air and ground assaults near Chad border. U.N. report says 115 people killed and 30,000 driven from homes. It accuses army of raping and looting. Chad threatens to expel any more refugees arriving from Darfur

Mar - Sudan and Chad presidents sign non-aggression deal in effort to end cross-border rebel attacks

Apr - U.N. raises Darfur death toll estimate to 300,000 in five years, against previous estimate of 200,000. Khartoum gives figure of 10,000

May - JEM attacks city of Omdurman where parliament sits, near Khartoum

Jul - ICC chief prosecutor charges Sudan's president with masterminding genocide campaign, killing 35,000 people and persecuting 2.5 million. Khartoum dismisses charges

Bashir makes rare visit to Darfur

Aug - Bashir says he'll ask peacekeepers to leave if ICC issues warrant

Oct - Bashir launches national initiative for peace with a forum to discuss the conflict. Rebel groups refuse to attend

Nov - Bashir announces ceasefire

2009

Feb - JEM and Khartoum sign goodwill agreement paving the way for peace talks. The agreement stops short of a ceasefire, and hostilities between the two sides continue

Mar - ICC issues arrest warrant for Bashir over war crimes in Darfur. Government expels 13 foreign aid groups from Sudan, and closes three local aid agencies in Darfur

Aug - U.N. military commander says war in Darfur is mostly over

2010

Jan - Chad's Deby and Bashir agree to stop supporting each other's rebels

Feb - JEM and Khartoum sign ceasefire

ICC judges ordered to review their earlier decision not to charge Bashir with genocide

Mar - A donor meeting held in Cairo raises less than half the targeted $2 billion for development projects in Darfur after several countries refrain from pledging over security worries

Apr - Bashir wins national elections

May - Security deteriorates following April's flawed elections

Chad refuses entry to JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim. JEM ends peace talks with Khartoum citing ongoing army attacks

Jun - Fighting escalates between army and rebels. Darfur peace talks resume in Qatar without JEM. U.N. peacekeeping mission says rival Darfur tribes have signed peace deal

Jul - ICC issues second arrest warrant for Bashir, including charges of genocide in Darfur. U.N. Security Council renews U.N./African Union peacekeeping mandate until Jul. 31, 2011

Renewed fighting between government forces and JEM. Clashes break out in displacement camps between supporters of opposing groups in Doha peace talks. Thousands flee to peacekeeping base

Aug - In response to U.N. refusal to hand over 6 internally displaced people accused of instigating violence, Khartoum blocks humanitarian access to main Kalma camp in south Darfur, and threatens to expel joint U.N./African Union peacekeeping force

Dec – About 12,000 people flee clashes between rebel Sudan Liberation Movement and government forces in South Darfur. Joint ceasefire commission says there have been air attacks in Western Bahr al-Ghazal state bordering South Darfur. Bashir says will withdraw from Doha peace talks if no deal reached with Liberation and Justice Movement rebels

2011

Jan – United States criticises UNAMID for not being aggressive enough in protecting civilians from fighting

Feb – UNAMID says has stepped up patrols in a new push to protect civilians from fighting

Mar – United Nations says more than 70,000 people have fled fighting since Dec. 2010, many seeking shelter in Zam Zam camp. Khartoum announces plan to create two new states - Central Darfur and Eastern Darfur – and to hold referendum on whether to unify Darfur states into one region

Apr – JEM suspends peace talks in protest at Khartoum's plan to hold referendum on administrative make-up of Darfur

Jul - Khartoum signs a peace deal with the Liberation and Justice Movement, an umbrella organisation of small rebel groups.  JEM and two SLA factions refuse to join

Republic of South Sudan is formed

Nov - Former deputy chair and lead negotiator for JEM, Mohamed Bahr Ali Hamdeen, forms a breakaway faction willing to negotiate with the government

JEM joins the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, a coalition of rebel groups including SLA factions, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North and East Sudan’s Beja Congress

Dec - JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim is killed and his brother, Jibril Ibrahim, takes over

2012

Jan - Central Darfur and Eastern Darfur states are established

Feb - U.N. Security Council extends the mandate of Panel of Experts tasked with monitoring sanctions for another year. Bashir formally launches the Darfur Regional Authority, an interim governing body for the region tasked with implementing the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur

Jul - Darfur Regional Authority calls for improved security measures to protect internally displaced people following a surge in violence

2013

Jan - Fighting between two tribes over control of a Darfur goldmine displaces about 100,000 people

Apr -  Sudan signs a peace deal with JEM splinter group led by Mohammed Bashar. Soon afterwards, JEM-Bashar commander Saleh Mohammed Jerbo is killed in fighting between JEM and JEM-Bashar

May - UN says 300,000 newly displaced in 2013 alone

Nov - Khartoum announces a new offensive against the Sudanese Revolutionary Front in Darfur and other parts of Sudan

2014

Feb - Khartoum deploys the Rapid Support Force militia in Darfur. The militia attack villages displacing at least 30,000 people

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