The fighting and eventual genocide all started in the 1950s because of desertification of the land in Darfur and the growing tensions by the division of the people there between “Arabs” and “Africans”. That, coupled with civil unrest in all of Sudan sinceits independence in 1956, with the exception of 10 years, has made this become brutal and destructive. Desertification occurs when it stops raining and all the land starts to dry up because of the lack of moisture. This occurred in only one part of the region, while in the other part it was thriving with plants and good soil. According to The University For Peace Abstract, "The erosion of clayand gardud soils and the depletion of productive lands in the greater region of Darfur and particularly in northern Darfur as a result of a relentless desertification process over the past several decades, compelled a forced ecological migration and mass population movement southward in search of better conditions for pasture and farming"(Environmental.., 12). The people that live in the Darfurregion of Sudan are a mix of both "African" and "Arab" descent, which are the two main ethnic groups. In total there are from 40 to 90 ethnic groups. They are all of the same religion, that being Muslim. While the people have intermarried with each other and there is no distinct difference between anyone anymore, there is still a sort of racial divide between the two.
According to A History Of Darfurfrom the New Internationalist,
"Darfur existed as an independent state for several hundred years. In the mid-17th century, the Keyra Fur Sultanate was established, and Darfur prospered. In its heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries the Fur Sultanate’s geographical location made it a thriving commercial hub, trading with the Mediterranean in slaves, ivory and ostrich feathers, raiding itsneighbours and fighting wars of conquest in the surrounding region"(A History Of, 1).
It shows that before they tried to colonize Darfur, they had a rich history and thrived without the help of anyone. They did well until they were granted independence from Britain, who in turn put a minority in political power. That caused the different ethnic groups to fight over political power until 1972, when apeace treaty was signed. After the peace treaty was signed, the fighting momentarily ceased and there was relative peace in Darfur. After a while though, the situation worsened, and that started a new wave of fighting. According to Cate Malek,
"This changed in the 1980s when the government replaced the tribal councils with government programs. Because Arabs dominated the government, it soon becameclear how any dispute between Arabs and Africans would be decided. At the same time, Darfur was hit by a severe drought. Disputes over resources increased and there was no legitimate system for resolving them. Skirmishes between the two groups became violent. The tribes grew more polarized"(Malek, 2).
The situation got rougher after that, and eventually,
"The breaking point came when a...