If you ask anybody what they know about the Darfur conflict you will most likely hear "it is a genocide being waged by Arabs against Africans". The truth about what is happening in this country and the causes are much deeper and sometimes surprising. It is popular to denounce the genocide taking place there, due in part to the efforts of celebrities like Angelina Jolie who are raising awareness. Besides awareness, though, understanding of the entire is situation is needed if real change is to occur.
Darfur is a region in Sudan the size of France or Texas and has been home to many tribes, the biggest being the Fur tribe. This is where the name Darfur come comes from. Literally translated it means "the land of the Fur". This country is also inhabited by tribes such as the Massaleet, Ma'alihyah, Rezeigat, and the Zagawa. There have always been tensions between tribes over the land and grazing rights but these were worsened due to the water shortage which is thought to be caused by global warming.
These elements came together to provide multiple fuses which have ignited to form all-out genocide.
The conflict in this impoverished region caught the world's attention in 2003 after a rebellion against the Khartoum government broke out. These rebels were frustrated with years of unfair treatment by the government, and more-so by the neglect and oppression which they received. This group was not completely altruistic in its intentions though, some of their goals included obtaining wealth and power. What was not widely known in 2003 and still misunderstood is that low levels of fighting had been going on for years between rival tribes. What made this fighting erupt into all-out war was the water shortage the country faced.
Looking farther back, there was a peace...