The Sudan is the largest country in Africa and it is split up into three separate parts; North Sudan, South Sudan, and West Sudan (Darfur). Throughout its history there have been two predominant ethnic groups in the Sudan; Africans and Arabs1. There has always been much tension between these two ethnic groups due to their history. Since its independence from Britain and Africa in 1956, the country has been under Arab rule2. In 2002 African rebels in South Sudan had become tired of being oppressed by the Arab government, they decided to rise up against the government and revolt with violence, their voices where heard3.
When rebels in Darfur had heard about this revolt they too decided to rise up using violence. In February of 2003 rebels in Darfur took over an army post using militia force4. The result of this was that the Sudanese government hired, armed and manned local militias to destroy entire African villages, specifically villages that were home to rebels. The most notable militia was the Jangaweed5. Since becoming independent in 19566 the Sudan has had two major civil wars, one of which began in early 2003, and ended in mid 2009.
The end result of this civil war was the death of approximately 200,000 Sudanese’s, the displacement of approximately 4 million Sudanese, 2. 5 million who have yet to be resettled and 248,000 refugees7. During this civil war the Government of Sudan and the local militias violated international law by committing many different war crimes such as, torture, genocide, waging an aggressive war and rape as well as violating human rights8. The United Nations (UN) was effective by following International Law to resolve the problems in Sudan specifically the human rights violations in the Darfur region.
The United Nations was successful through housing refugees, sending humanitarian aid, and assisting in ceasefires. The biggest problem in the Sudan civil war was the huge number of refugees and internally displaces people (IDPs) seeking refuge. The civil war in Sudan that started in 2003 left 428,000 refugees and 4 million people internally displaced9. In 2003 when the civil war first began thousands of Sudanese fled to neighbouring Chad102. The problem was there were not large enough facilities to help all these people, so the UN had to come in and assist.
The UN along with other international agencies helped to create 11 refugee camps in Chad, which still today currently hold 166,000 refugees11. The purpose of these camps was to be a safe place from the atrocities in Sudan. The UN is working on transforming eight of these refugee camps into fully self sustaining villages12. The hope is that one day the UN can leave Sudan and it will be able to sustain itself. The only way that these camps could be created was through the implementation of UN troops in Sudan.
The UN mission in Sudan would only have been made successful by having troops on the ground in the areas, where the human rights violations and war crimes were being committed. This is exactly what the UN did. In late 2007 the UN deployed two different Support packages for Sudan; The Light Support Package (LSP) and The Heavy Support Package (HSP)13. The LSP consist of 105 military staff officers, 34 police advisers, 48 civilians, material and equipment i. e. medical equipment, 36 armoured vehicles etc14.
This light UN force is meant only as a brief starting point for the UN’s role in Sudan. The HSP deploys 2,250 military, 721 police and 1,136 civilians at a cost of US $287. 9 million to be funded by the UN15. The purpose of these support packages was to get not only troops on the ground but medical personal, police, medical equipment and other necessary tools to help secure and rebuild Sudan16. While UN troops were working in Sudan other areas of the UN were negotiating cease fires between rebel groups. The UN has done many things to help stop the genocide in Sudan.
One of the most important things that they helped to do was to help form peace treaties and cease fires between rebel groups and the government. For example in January 2005 the Sudan Government and southern rebels sign a peace deal, the agreement includes a permanent ceasefire and accords on wealth and power sharing17. In October of 2005 an autonomous government is formed from this peace deal18. In May of 2006 another peace deal is signed by the main rebel faction in Darfur and the Sudan Liberation Movement. However two smaller rebel groups refuse to sign and the fighting continues19.
June of 2008 is a huge step for the Sudan and its participation in the international community, this is because President Bashir and southern3 leader Salva Kiir agree to seek international arbitration to resolve the dispute over oil rich Abyei. The result of this is that most of the area is given to the north20. This is such a huge step for Sudan because it is showing that they are willing to listen and respect international law. A huge leap form 2005 when they would only let a small UN force into the country.
After the war ends in 2009 the most notable peace deal of all is signed and that is in February 2010 when the main Darfur rebels sign a peace accord with the government, prompting President Bashir to declare the Darfur war over21. 4 The civil war in Sudan lasted from 2003 to 2009, it a mast a total of 248,000 refugees 4 million displaced people, 2. 5 million who have yet to have been resettled and the death of 200,000 Sudanese22. While this was going on the government was committing gross war crimes, and human rights violations.
Some of these violations of international law included; rape, genocide, waging an aggressive war and torture23. However, these atrocities began to slow down in 2008 when the UN officially took of the Sudan crisis24. The United Nations was effective by following International Law to resolve the problems in Sudan specifically the human rights violations in the Darfur region. The United Nations was successful through housing refugees, sending humanitarian aid, and assisting in ceasefires. The Sudan is very important in the history of international law and the UN.
This is because it showed the international community that through sanctions, peace treaties and troops that genocides can be stopped, and many lives can be saved. It proves to the international community that there truly needs to be an international governing power that can apply the rule of law to all situations. It also shows that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. The country of Sudan was willing to give up their sovereignty (their need) and have a 3rd party (the UN) come in and help solve their problem. Overall the UN was very successful in their mission in Sudan.