Introduction

Facts Versus Fiction is a campaign dedicated to providing factual information about the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Faced with a lack of media coverage, academic research, and investigations about Darfur the past two years, we took it upon ourselves to collect data about what is happening on the ground. Our team analyzed credible news publications and contacted trustworthy sources from villages and International Displacement Person (IDP) camps. With this information, we have been creating a series of reports that document violent incidents against civilians.

Our goal is to expose the lies that have been circulated since late 2016 by the Sudanese government and some American and international political leaders, who have stated that there is peace in Darfur. This misinformation is an attempt to water down the urgency of the situation and inhibit international intervention – from humanitarian assistance to bringing perpetrators to justice.

The facts show that the genocide in Darfur is still ongoing, entering now into its 14th year. There are over 4 million people still living in displacement or refugee camps. In the meantime, the mastermind behind the genocide, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, remains free in spite of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

We must act now to expose the FICTION and clarify the FACTS!

FACT VS. FICTION

Since the ousting of former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and the formation of a new transitional government, the violence in Sudan has ceased and war criminals have been brought to justice.

FICTION: The above statement is NOT TRUE.

Former Sudanese president, al-Bashir, was ousted from the government and a new transitional government was formed in 2019, but many high-ranking officials from al-Bashir’s regime remain in control and militia groups, affiliated with the former regime, continue to instigate violence towards Sudanese civilians. Wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), war criminals—including Bashir, Harun, and Hussein—remain at large and have yet to face trial for their crimes. A paramilitary force responsible for the killing, raping, and wounding thousands under al-Bashir, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has been integrated into the Sudanese national army and is now mandated to protect and serve the Sudanese population. However, daily reports of civilian deaths, injuries, and displacement caused by members of the RSF exhibit a blatant fact that they are unable to secure the protection of the Sudanese people and are a threat to their safety. Mass protests and demonstrations have grown rampant across Sudan throughout the year, demanding peace, security, and civilian representation in the government as well as proper accountability for perpetrators of violence and genocide. These protests have gone overlooked by the government and often result in dozens of deaths and injuries. The transitional government, led by current Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, has done little in the past year to address the violence from the militia and civilians. Meanwhile, the international community remains complacent with the new Sudanese crisis.

For 17 years, Darfur has been in a longstanding crisis under former president Omar al-Bashir’s regime.

FACT: The above statement is TRUE.

In 2002, the government of Sudan began a genocidal campaign against indigenous Africans in Darfur. Using militias, they killed innocent people, burned villages, looted properties, and destroyed food and water. Rape is used as a weapon of war and a method of terror against women, resulting in countless women and girls falling victim to sexual violence, left to suffer in silence due to the associated stigma. Over 300,000 civilians had been killed. Over 4 million have been impacted and over 3 million are still living in camps today, subject to constant attacks after 17 years and sadly, they have nowhere to return to today. The situation has been declared as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. To read more, click here.

Sudanese women have suffered disproportionately under and after al-Bashir’s regime, compared to men, due to Sudanese societal norms that enforce male supremacy and strict control over women.

FACT: The above statement is TRUE.

In Sudan, women generally face more challenges in regards to political inclusion, legal and social status, health issues, economic growth, and technological, educational, and health accessibility. Not only are Sudanese women expected to conform to specific inferior societal roles, but they are also targets of gender-based violence (GBV) and discrimination. Issues of rape, genital mutilation, sex trafficking, domestic violence, and other forms of GBV are widespread across Sudan and have gone unchecked without proper acknowledgment for decades. In terms of institutional practices, sharia law, harmonized with discriminatory secular laws, has degraded Sudanese women’s legal status. To read more, click here.

Now that Omar al-Bashir is not in power, there is no longer gender-based violence and female discrimination in Sudan.

FICTION: The above statement is NOT TRUE.

In the wake of Bashir’s downfall, Sudanese women are still restrained by cultural norms that render them susceptible to violence and discrimination and subject them to unequal economic opportunities and access to material resources. Despite women’s pivotal role in Sudan’s recent revolution, women continue to be sidelined in terms of political inclusion. The Bashir regime has had a lasting cultural effect in the aftermath of his overthrow, encouraging beliefs of male supremacy and female subordination, which increases risks of gender-based violence (GBV). In terms of institutional practices, sharia law, harmonized with discriminatory secular laws, has degraded Sudanese women’s legal status. Though the 2019 Constitutional Declaration improves the legal status of women on paper, little substantive change has been effectuated through action. To read more, click here.

There is no crisis in Sudan. The current Sudanese transitional government has actively brought peace, justice, and prosperity to the Sudanese people.

FICTION: The above statement is NOT TRUE.

Despite the ousting of the war criminal, al-Bashir, from the Sudanese government and the establishment of the current interim government, there still remains a crisis in Sudan. The current government has made efforts to attain peace and security for the people, but no effective action has eliminated the constant threats of violence and displacement in the country. Several million people in Sudan are still displaced after years of genocide and brutality. Daily reports of civilian deaths, injuries, and displacement prompted mass protests against the transitional government in the past year, calling for effective civilian protection and accountability for the crimes committed. Sudan is in dire need of international attention and action as war criminals remain at large and Sudanese civilians remain unprotected from violent militia groups.

The international community would be helping the Sudanese people by funding the Sudanese government.

FICTION: The above statement is NOT TRUE.

After the former president, Omar al-Bashir was cast from the Sudanese government, a new transitional interim government was formed. Though the threat of genocide may appear to have passed, many high-ranking officials from al-Bashir’s regime remain in the current Sudanese government. Under their control, violent militia groups—including the Janjaweed—have been integrated into the Sudanese national army and have caused thousands of deaths and injuries in the past year. By funding the current Sudanese government, the international community fails to comprehend the complexities of the Sudanese crisis. The people, desiring a civilian democratic government, remain at war with the corrupt officials leading them. Any aid provided to the current government will likely be used against the civilian population.

DWAG Reports

In October 2017, President Trump fully removed US sanctions on Sudan due to what he believed to be a decrease in the level of violence in Darfur. Additionally, US-Sudan relations have begun to thaw due to this misconception that violence in Darfur has ceased. This misconception has proved deadly for all those still in Darfur. Therefore, as part of our ongoing Fact vs. Fiction Campaign, DWAG has created a report to analyze the Sudanese Government’s claims regarding overall violence in Darfur.

DWAG has conducted a careful investigation of all available information, to provide fact-based analysis and to counter the deceitful rhetoric that has been promoted by the US and some members of the international community, and to call upon the United States Government to look closely at the actions of the Sudanese Government. The complacency of buying into Sudan’s new narrative has only served to embolden President al-Bashir’s regime and make the United States complicit in genocide, a direct violation of the human rights norms that the American people hold so dear to their hearts.

We hope that this report will provide greater insight and allow our readers to utilize our analysis to speak up and hold our leaders accountable for misinformation that will undermine a firm response to, and accountability for, the most horrific crimes committed in Darfur.

Throughout the year 2019, we will be publishing detailed reports of violent attacks and genocide-related fatalities as they happen. In these reports, we have also included all of the international laws related to war and conflict that were violated with each incident and links to the original sources of information.

Throughout the year 2020, we will be publishing detailed monthly reports of violent attacks and genocide-related fatalities as they happen. In these reports, we have also included all of the international laws related to war and conflict that were violated with each incident and links to the original sources of information.