2001:Turabi is deposed and Omar al-Bashir becomes president. The US takes greater interest in Sudan after 9/11. Due to Bin Laden’s ties to Sudan, the country had a vast amount of information in regards to his activities that was highly interesting to the United States. The United States’ enthusiasm to access Sudanese intelligence would detrimentally impact US involvement in the crafting of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South.
2003: As negotiations for peace between the government in Khartoum and the southern rebels are considered, news of fighting in Darfur comes to international consciousness. Darfur rebel groups commence fighting against government organizations in retaliation for government-sponsored Arab raids against African/black tribes.
Some of the rebel groups, in particular the Justice and Equality Movement, are based on ideologies of Islamic extremism and it is widely suspected that the deposed Turabi was responsible for arming and directing this group in its attacks against the government. The government response to Darfur rebels was swift and brutal, characterized by wide-scale government bombing followed by the invasion of government-sponsored Arab militias, the
Janjawiid (which translates to “devils on horseback”), whose brutal tactics of mass rape, torture, and indiscriminate murder caused international outcry. Army soldiers accompanied the Janjawiid, killing everyone left in the bombed villages and frequently poisoning the wells so return was impossible. The African tribes of the region, primarily the Fur and Zaghawa, are Muslim, but the Arab tribes rallied around racism instead in the slaughter of black Africans.
2004: US Secretary of State Colin Powell labels conflict in Darfur “genocide”.
January 2005: Khartoum and the SPLA sign a peace agreement stipulating for incorporation of SPLA elements and greater southern representation in the Sudanese government, as well as splitting of oil revenues.
Unfortunately, international focus on Darfur in the following years drew attention away from this fragile peace agreement. Khartoum continued to slight southern Sudan and Bashir consistently postponed planned democratic elections, and oil revenues that were intended to be split fifty-fifty between Khartoum and the newly formed (but not independent) SPLM-run southern government were frequently misreported in favor of the north. More alarmingly, inter-tribal violence in the south continued and increased in the years following the peace treaty.
July 2005: John Garang dies in a helicopter crash; Salva Kiir Mayardit takes control of SPLA.
Mid 2000s: Continued conflict in Darfur, southern Sudan, and eastern Sudan.
2009: The ICC issues an arrest warrant for President Bashir for war crimes.
As the ICC has no enforcement capacity, Bashir remains free, and indeed made a show of touring to friendly African and Arab countries that could have arrested him to demonstrate his regional support and defiance of the ICC.
2010: Bashir is elected president for another term under suspicious and EU-denounced circumstances; the SPLM (Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement) wins in the south led by Salva Kiir.
July 2011: A referendum vote for independence is approved by vast majority in southern Sudan, resulting in the formation of the Republic of South Sudan.
January 2012: South Sudan shuts down oil production, escalating hostilities with Sudan.
May 2012: UN threatens sanctions if hostilities do not cease.