on our watch

Student Handout 1

How Did This Happen? Why Did This Happen?

In order to understand the current situation in Darfur, we need to understand some of the context and history of events in Sudan.

To help you answer the questions below, consult the following Web sites:
Map: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darfur/etc/map.html
Timeline: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darfur/etc/cron.html
Background: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/84927.stm
Background on the Janjaweed: www.slate.com/id/2104210/

  1. When did Sudan begin exporting oil?

  2. Which country is the major consumer of Sudanese oil?

  3. Why is this fact important in the Darfur situation?

  4. What are the sources of the conflict in Darfur?

  5. Who are the Janjaweed?

  6. What role have the Janjaweed assumed for the Sudanese government? Why?

  7. What is the religion of the Janjaweed?

  8. What is the religion of most people in Darfur?

  9. What has become the role of the neighboring country of Chad during the Darfur conflict? Why?

  10. How has the role of Chad changed?

  11. Why has the United Nations, until recently, been unable to take meaningful action in Darfur? What has impeded them?

  12. How have the following responded to the crisis in Darfur?

    • The United States government
    • Private individuals and organization