Only recently have Americans heard much about the country of Sudan in far away Africa. We get a few images on nightly news about the horrible conditions in the refugee camps where Darfurians have fled from their burned villages and where they are continually attacked raped and starved.
But during the civil war in that country (1983-2005) the coverage was near nil. In 1990 during the First Gulf War, Sudan was totally blocked out. Their government did not back the U.S.
During that first civil war, atrocities beyond belief were happening while most of the rest of the world went merrily shopping and keeping up with their favorite sports teams. Over 2 million died and thousands more were displaced.
In a nutshell, the Black, Christian and Animist South rebelled against the Arabic, Muslim government’s oppression in the North out of the capitol in Khartoum. They sought to restrict religious freedom, enforce Islamic sharia laws, deny education, refuse to share the wealth, and even attempt to move the North/South dividing line to place the newly discovered oil fields into the North.
To help move southern Sudanese off this oil rich land, the government enlisted the help of the Darfurians (Baggara tribes) who were black like the Southerners, but Muslim like the Arabic Northerners. They armed them with guns, tanks and horses. “You don’t want to be ruled over by infidels, do you?” they were told.