This module was created by Walid Javed. Northern Virginia Community College, HIS 135.

War Crimes and Genocide


An elderly Sudanese man sitting in a displacement camp (

The war in Darfur lasted six years and cost hundreds of thousands of lives, displaced millions, and created complete chaos in the western region of Sudan. During the war, the Sudanese government allowed heinous crimes against humanity to occur. President Bashir allowed the Janjaweed, an Arab-ethnic tribe in Darfur, to systematically wipe out thousands of African-ethnic tribes beginning in 2004. Furthermore, in 2008 the government refused to allow humanitarian aid to reach Darfur and allowed mass hunger and disease to spread. Countless crimes against humanity occurred during the war in Darfur, and this module explains the hardships that were forced upon not only the people in Darfur, but the people in Sudan and neighboring Chad as well.

As stated previously, over 400,000 people in Darfur have perished at the hands of the Sudanese Government and the militia group known as the Janjaweed. The Janjaweed are instructed to enter African-Sudanese villages and destroy everything in their path; homes are burned to the ground, children are either physically mutilated or murdered, and women are gang-raped by a multitude of men. Men typically do not survive these raids as they are brutally murdered in front of their families. Women and children are forced to flee their ruined villages and often end up in displacement camps. The Janjaweed specifically target the darker skinned African tribes and view all African-Sudanese tribes as rebels of the pro-Islamic government.

Women and children usually end up suffering the most. Children's parents and family members are often murdered. Children have no choice but to abandon their destroyed villages and resort to living in displacement camps. The displacement camps are overcrowded and lack serious food and medical supplies. Disease runs rampant and children die of hunger every day. Women face a great amount of social stigma within Darfur. Most women who have been gang raped end up pregnant. Women become social outcasts, and are frequently jailed for either having pre-martial sex or extra-martial sex. There have been reports of women being whipped while pregnant because they cannot afford to pay the fine. When a raped woman gives birth to her child, the child is a social outcast and not accepted into normal society. It is normally quite easy to tell which child is illegitimate because they generally have a lighter skin tone than the African-Sudanese people.

A village in Darfur that was set in fire (

President Omar Bashir has several warrants issued for his arrest against crimes against humanity and failing to protect his country from genocide. The first warrant was issued in the summer of 2008. The lead prosecutor for the International Criminal Court stated that President Bashir was committing war crimes by supporting the Janjaweed militia. Sudan rejected these arrest warrants. A few months later, in November, President Bashir attempted a ceasefire pact with rebels. However, the majority of the rebel ethnic groups refuse to stop fighting. They demand that the government share more power and provide more wealth in the war-torn region of Sudan. In 2009, The ICC once again issued an arrest warrant and had actual evidence against President Bashir and his war crimes. Once again, Sudan rejected the warrants. In retaliation, the government kicked out all humanitarian aid a few months later.

In conclusion, the Janjaweed, with the aid of the Sudanese government, committed mass systematic killings against the darker skinned African-Sudanese people in Darfur. The government never denied that they supported the Janjaweed. The Sudanese government also claimed that rebel groups in Darfur were attempting to target important oil caches in southern Sudan. Though the war is considered to be over, the Janjaweed still attack villages in Darfur, though not as frequently or as violently. President Bashir continues to rule over Sudan and has yet to be arrested.