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The Darfur Region

Map of Sudan

Source: United Nations. Department of Field Support, (2012). Map of Sudan showing the Darfur region and neighboring countries where Darfuri civilians went to seek refuge during the conflict.

The Darfur region is comprised of 3 states: Northern, Western, and Southern Darfur. The total area of the region is 190,418 square miles--approximately one quarter the size of Sudan. To the west of the Darfur region is Chad, a country that had long been embroiled in a civil war which ended up spilling into Darfur. To the northeast is Libya, which funded some of the parties fighting in Chad in the 1980s and launched attacks into Chad from northwestern Darfur. To the south of the Darfur region are two countries: Central African Republic and the Republic of South Sudan, which was carved out of the Republic of Sudan to become an independent country on July 9, 2011 after many decades of fighting with the government of the Republic of Sudan to secede.

The entire Darfur region is landlocked and is not endowed with abundant natural resources like other African countries. For this reason the region was neglected by colonialists and by subsequent governments of Sudan in Khartoum. This neglect has resulted in a poorly-developed infrastructure and disgruntled Darfurians who want more say in the management of their three states.