Sudan has been at war with itself for more than three quarters of its existence. Since independence, protracted conflict rooted in deep cultural and religious differences have slowed Sudan’s economic and political development and forced massive internal displacement of its people.
The conflict that is taking place in the Darfur has multiple interwoven causes. Tensions were exacerbated in the last two decades of the twentieth century by a combination of environmental calamity, political opportunism and regional geopolitics.
Conflict in Southern Sudan
Almost immediately following independence in 1956, Sudan became embroiled in a bitter civil war between the North and South that lasted decades. The war with the South killed an estimated 2 million civilians – most in a systematic scorched-earth campaign to destroy Christian populations living in oil-rich territories, considered Sudan’s first genocide.