Darfur
Webquest

Introduction

 For over four years, civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan have lived in near constant fear of being raided by the Janaweed militias, which many say are directly supported and directed by the Sudanese government.  Civilians face the constant threat of their homes being destroyed and being tortured, raped, or killed. 

Since February 2003, there have been hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced from their homes.   Many countries and human rights organizations have called this genocide.

For this WebQuest, your objective will be to gain a thorough understanding of the conflict in Darfur.

Task

As a member of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan, you have been requested to testify before the United Nations Security Council on the conflict in Darfur.  The UN will be making decisions on whether or not to intervene in the conflict by sending peacekeepers, sanctioning the Sudanese government, and/or recommending other actions be taken.  They are depending on you for all the relevant information they will need to make their decision. 

The Darfur conflict can be very confusing, so you need to give a good summary on the origins of the conflict. You will also need to include proposals for a peace agreement. It will also be necessary for you to give a summary of the current events in Darfur and the people and organizations involved in the situation.  Because the word “genocide” is such a politically sensitive word, you will have to decide whether or not you decide to call this conflict “genocide.”  Be sure you have a good understanding of what this word means.

Process

1. After looking for relevant information, write a text in which you answer the following questions:

1)      Who lives in Darfur (population, ethnic, religious, occupational composition)?

2)      What is the origin of the conflict there?

3)      Who are the different groups involved in the conflict?

4)      Why is the situation called “a humanitarian disaster”?

5)      What steps have been taken to stop the violence in Darfur? Why haven’t these steps worked so far?

6)      Should the situation in Darfur be considered a genocide? Why or why not?

7)      What do you think the United Nations and the world should do to achieve peace in Darfur?

2. Search for fine images that illustrate the previous information and insert them in the text. If necessary, you can edit them.

Links

All the resources you will need to gain a thorough understanding of the Darfur conflict are provided here.  First, gain some understanding of the objectives of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan by visiting their website.  Then explore other websites for more details on the history of the conflict, the people and organizations involved, important events, and actions taken.

Online Dictionary

Merriam-Webster

United Nations Resources

United Nations Mission in the Sudan 

UN News Centre on Sudan

UN Genocide Convention

News Sources

PBS: Who’s Who in Darfur: The Geopolitics of Tragedy

PBS: Sudan Facts and Figures

PBS: Links to other sources of information

BBC News: Articles and Videos on the Darfur Conflict 

BBC News: Special Report on Sudan 

BBC News: Q&A on the Darfur Conflict

Timeline of Events

CBC News Timeline of Events

Wikipedia Timeline of Events

Documentary Video

PBS Documentary: Sudan: The Quick and the Terrible (January 2005)

UN’s Peace Under Fire Documentary (2004)

Author: Talia Stol

(adapted from http://student.missouristate.edu/u/unruh057/webquestdarfur/conflictindarfur.htm)