The starting point of the conflict in the Darfur region is typically said to be 26 February 2003, when a group calling itself the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF) publicly claimed credit for an attack on Gulu, the headquarters of Jebel Marra District. Even prior to this attack, however, a conflict had erupted in Darfur, as rebels had already attacked police stations, army outposts and military convoys, and the government had engaged in a massive air and land assault on the rebel stronghold in the Marrah Mountains. The rebels’ first military action was a successful attack on an army garrison on the mountain on 25 February 2002 and the Sudanese government had been aware of a unified rebel movement since an attack on the Golo police station in June 2002. Chroniclers Julie Flint and Alex de Waal state that the beginning of the rebellion is better dated to 21 July 2001, when a group of Zaghawa and Fur met in Abu Gamra and swore oaths on the Qur’an to work together to defend against government-sponsored attacks on their villages. It should be noted that nearly all of the residents of Darfur are Muslim, including the Janjaweed, as well as the government leaders in Khartoum.

Children in Darfur

On 25 March 2003, the rebels seized the garrison town of Tine along the Chadian border, seizing large quantities of supplies and arms. Despite a threat by President Omar al-Bashir to “unleash” the army, the military had little in reserve. The army was already deployed both to the south, where the Second Sudanese Civil War was drawing to an end, and to the east, where rebels sponsored by Eritrea were threatening a newly constructed pipeline from the central oilfields to Port Sudan. The rebel tactic of hit-and-run raids to speed across the semi-desert region proved almost impossible for the army, untrained in desert operations, to counter. However, its aerial bombardment of rebel positions on the mountain was devastating.

At 5:30 am on 25 April 2003, a joint Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) force in 33 Land Cruisers entered al-Fashir and attacked the sleeping garrison. In the next four hours, four Antonov bombers and helicopter gunships (according to the government; seven according to the rebels) were destroyed on the ground, 75 soldiers, pilots and technicians were killed and 32 were captured, including the commander of the air base, a Major General. The success of the raid was unprecedented in Sudan; in the 20 years of the war in the south, the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) had never carried out such an operation.

The starting point of the conflict in the Darfur region is typically said to be 26 February 2003, when a group calling itself the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF) publicly claimed credit for an attack on Gulu, the headquarters of Jebel Marra District. Even prior to this attack, however, a conflict had erupted in Darfur, as rebels had already attacked police stations, army outposts and military convoys, and the government had engaged in a massive air and land assault on the rebel stronghold in the Marrah Mountains. The rebels’ first military action was a successful attack on an army garrison on the mountain on 25 February 2002 and the Sudanese government had been aware of a unified rebel movement since an attack on the Golo police station in June 2002. Chroniclers Julie Flint and Alex de Waal state that the beginning of the rebellion is better dated to 21 July 2001, when a group of Zaghawa and Fur met in Abu Gamra and swore oaths on the Qur’an to work together to defend against government-sponsored attacks on their villages. It should be noted that nearly all of the residents of Darfur are Muslim, including the Janjaweed, as well as the government leaders in Khartoum.

On 25 March 2003, the rebels seized the garrison town of Tine along the Chadian border, seizing large quantities of supplies and arms. Despite a threat by President Omar al-Bashir to “unleash” the army, the military had little in reserve. The army was already deployed both to the south, where the Second Sudanese Civil War was drawing to an end, and to the east, where rebels sponsored by Eritrea were threatening a newly constructed pipeline from the central oilfields to Port Sudan. The rebel tactic of hit-and-run raids to speed across the semi-desert region proved almost impossible for the army, untrained in desert operations, to counter. However, its aerial bombardment of rebel positions on the mountain was devastating.

At 5:30 am on 25 April 2003, a joint Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) force in 33 Land Cruisers entered al-Fashir and attacked the sleeping garrison. In the next four hours, four Antonov bombers and helicopter gunships (according to the government; seven according to the rebels) were destroyed on the ground, 75 soldiers, pilots and technicians were killed and 32 were captured, including the commander of the air base, a Major General. The success of the raid was unprecedented in Sudan; in the 20 years of the war in the south, the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) had never carried out such an operation.

On 31 August 2006, the UNSC approved a resolution to send a new peacekeeping force of 17,300 to the region.  Sudan expressed strong opposition to the resolution.  On 1 September, African Union officials reported that Sudan had launched a major offensive in Darfur, killing more than 20 people and displacing over 1,000. On 5 September, Sudan asked the AU force in Darfur to leave the region by the end of the month, adding that “they have no right to transfer this assignment to the United Nations or any other party. This right rests with the government of Sudan.”  On 4 September, in a move not viewed as surprising, Chad’s president Idriss Déby voiced support for the new UN peacekeeping force.  The AU, whose peacekeeping force mandate expired on 30 September 2006, confirmed that its troops would leave the region.  The next day, however, a senior US State Department official told reporters that the AU force might remain past the deadline.

On the 27th August 2009 BBC news reported,

War in Sudan’s Darfur ‘is over’

The six-year war between forces loyal to Sudan’s government and rebels in Darfur has effectively ended, the UN’s military commander in the region says.

General Martin Agwai, who is leaving his post this week, said the vicious fighting of earlier years had subsided as rebel groups split into factions. Location of Darfur War

He says the region now suffers more from low-level disputes and banditry.

The UN says 300,000 people have died in Darfur, but the Sudanese government puts the figure at 10,000.

Almost three million people are said to have been displaced by the fighting.