A strong and widespread conflict characterized the life of the Sudan in the last decades of the 20th century. The violence and the endemic nature of the traditional conflict between the northern and southern parts of the country had in fact caused the outbreak of other local wars, destined to further radicalize divisions and antagonisms in the country: in Dārfūr (in the west of the country), in the eastern regions and within the South itself, far from ethnically and culturally homogeneous, new clashes were ignited, which would have provoked humanitarian catastrophes of vast dimensions in the first years of the 21st century, especially in Dārfūr.
The international situation, after the attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington, pushed the Sudanese regime to show its extraneousness to terrorism, also to remove the accusations of collusion that weighed on the regime since the days of hospitality in U. ibn Lādin and other influential protagonists of Islamic ǧ ih ā d . At the same time the president ̔U.Ḥ.Aḥ. al-Bašīr appeared increasingly exposed to the pressing requests of the United States, which required a solution to the ten-year conflict with the South. A first step was the interlocutory talks initiated at the beginning of 2002 between the government and the rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), military wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), whose undisputed leader was J. Garang. The rebels’ objective was the construction of a ‘new Sudan’, which would finally see the rights of a historically marginalized region and the black populations that inhabited it recognized: political and economic equality with the Arab and Islamic populations of the North, social justice, respect for cultural and religious diversity. On July 20, 2002, a historic agreement was signed, which laid the foundations for a period of autonomy of six years for the South and for the recognition of the region’s right to self-determination; nevertheless, the rest of the year was marked by continuous tensions between the parties. In the early months of2003a new front of crisis was opening up in Dārfūr; after years of tension, in fact, in February the revolt against the government of Khartoum broke out. The clash, often superficially considered an ethnic and religious conflict (black populations against Arabs, traditional religions against Islam), was only partially attributable to this reading (the population of Dārfūr, in fact, although black is largely Islamized). The region, rather exposed during the 1980s to the continuous wars in neighboring countries (Chad and Libya), was relegated, even more than the South, to the margins of national economic and political life, and was also a victim of progressive desertification. It now appeared destabilized also by the permanent state of conflict in the South, from where thousands of displaced people poured into Dārfūr. The government, Sudan Liberation Movement , SLM), deliberately neglecting the humanitarian emergency that was growing in the region (famine, spread of epidemics). Meanwhile, in September, the government and the SPLA signed a new security agreement, which provided for the creation of two different armies in the transitional period. During 2004 the meetings between the parties intensified and, after the signing of an agreement on the sharing of wealth and economic resources (January), three protocols were signed in May which mentioned the participation fees of the representatives of the South in the management of the country. On 9 January 2005 the signing in Nairobi of a final and decisive peace treaty after more than twenty years of war opened the doors of the government of national unity to the SPLA, which was constituted in July. Garang assumed the position of vice president of the country, and in the six transitional years sanctioned by the treaty he would also act as president of the southern Sudan, respecting the political, economic and administrative autonomy of this region. His accidental death a few weeks after his oath (late July) fueled fears of a split in the deployment of southern forces. In Dārfūr, meanwhile, despite a ceasefire in April 2004, the war continued among the most serious violations of human rights, committed by both government forces and rebels, as underlined by the investigations of the UN commissions and by the resolution 1593 of 2005 of the Security Council, which placed the situation in the hands of the Tribunal international criminal law, calling the regime to its heavy responsibilities. Throughout 2006 and again in early 2007 al-Bašīr tried to postpone any decision regarding the sending of a UN peacekeeping force to Dārfūr, as established by resolution 1706 of 2006.of the Security Council. The president has placed numerous conditions, including some significant restrictions on the operation of UN troops, to buy time and avoid a step that could put him in difficulty internally. Meanwhile, the UN commission of inquiry denounced the “serious and systematic violations of human rights” and the persistence of war crimes and crimes against humanity throughout the region, where the number of refugees has reached the figure of two millions. While the responsibilities of the government of Khartoum in the looting, massacres and destruction were investigated, the situation in the South, a very poor region with no infrastructure.