Swift, Judith [faculty advisor, Departments of Communication and Theatre]
Darfur; Sudan; genocide; human rights
The conflict in Darfur has been described as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” by the United Nations, and the United States has condemned the war as genocide. But four years later, the death toll of 200,000 continues to rise. At least another 2.5 million have been displaced, and neighboring countries have declared a state of emergency. Unless something is done to stop the violence, the chaos will continue to spread. Frustrated with lack of representation in the government, rebel groups from Darfur – the western region of Africa’s largest country, Sudan – revolted against its national government in 2003. The Sudanese government responded by bombing African rebel headquarters, and then it turned on its own people. The military began bombing villages occupied by civilians of the same tribes as the rebels. The Arab-dominated government is also suspected of arming the janjaweed – Arab militias – to terrorize the population through tactics of murder, rape, larceny and destruction of natural resources. This project – a standing six-board display – seeks to inform the University of Rhode Island community about the genocide by examining the conflict’s origins and surrounding issues. Darfur’s geography, people and history are explored to understand the origins of war. The role of the international community and history of other genocides are studied to question why the bloodshed continues in Sudan.