Forgetting Darfur?

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This posting is part of the Sudan Referendum Watch series

Lately, there’s been no shortage of news about Sudan. On January 9th, the people of South Sudan will vote in a referendum that will determine whether or not South Sudan becomes independent. Thousands of southern Sudanese who have been living in the north for decades are making their way back to South Sudan to participate in what is sure to a historic event.

But as we wait with impatience for the referendum and as we plan ahead for what is likely to be an independent South Sudan, let’s not forget about Darfur.

Civilians in Darfur continue to be faced with violence and are subjected to human rights violations on a regular basis. Humanitarian aid organizations struggle to reach the people who rely on the aid. Armed groups and militias continue to attack villages, leading to more death and more displacement. Human rights defenders are still being systematically targeted.

And these are just some examples of the ways in which the situation has been deteriorating over the past year. Just two days ago, rebel officials in Darfur announced that it was highly unlikely that a peace deal between the government of Sudan and the Darfuri rebel group the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), would be signed on December 19, as originally planned. While the international community focuses on the referendum and on the North-South dialogue, peace efforts in Darfur are  going nowhere.

So as we prepare ourselves for what might come next, let’s make sure that we remember the people of Darfur.

  1. Read our Sudan Referendum Briefing (pdf)
  2. Follow this weekly blogging series. For daily updates and breaking news, follow me or Amnesty on Twitter
  3. Look out for new materials, such as more maps and a resource guide, in the weeks running up to the referendum on January 9. New content will be posted on this blog or on our Sudan Country Page