The conflict in Darfur, Sudan began in February 2003, when the SLM or Sudan Liberation Movement and JEM, or the Justice and Equality Movement, rebelled against the Sudanese Government who they saw as favoring the Arab population in Sudan. The military, police and militant groups in support of the Government’s stance struck back, creating civil war. The main militant group, the Janjaweed, were not officially endorsed by the government but were thought to be receiving funds and ammunition from them nonetheless. They regularly conducted fatal attacks on civilians as well as the SLM & JEM.
Casualty estimates from the conflict, which officially lasted until February 2010, are estimated anywhere from 20,000 to many hundreds of thousands. Direct casualties were never properly accounted for, and further to this, many more have suffered and died due to the indirect effects of civil war: poverty, disease and starvation. Many international groups consider this violence and neglect of the Sudanese people at the hands of their government to be genocide.
Since the official ceasefire and commencement of peace negotiations, the Government have been accused of unprovoked raids against a civilian village, prompting a breakdown in negotiations. Whether this will result in outright civil war again remains to be seen. Meanwhile, millions of civilians continue to suffer from violence, displacement, and famine caused by the poor management of otherwise fertile land.