In 1989, General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the present ruler or leader of Sudan, gained power because of a military coup in Khartoum. When General al-Bashir was in power, he adopted several Islamic laws as the basis for the government in Sudan. This pressing of Sudan toward fundamentalist Islam was one of the several reasons that many of the African tribes in the South began to resist the government. The conflict between the government and the rebel groups was also due to other factors, including land rights, a demand for infrastructure, the availability of weapons from other countries, economic survival, drought, famine and disease.
Over the past two decades, major resistance groups have developed in opposition to al-Bashir’s regime. In southern Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), comprised of African Christians, started a revolt against the government. Again, this revolution simply increased the number of Sudan citizenry, particularly Sudanese workers, harmed, dead and homeless or jobless (Wilson and Graham 120). In Sudan, the government imposed environmental laws that gave contractors great freedom. In simpler terms, the contractors are allowed to do what they want.
As such, major changes in the land as well as its use resulted to environmental crisis. The green areas in Khartoum and in other residential areas are cut down by contractors. The environmental law in Sudan simply was not enough to impose control. In addition to this, it is not well planned that the quality of both soil as well as water had decreased greatly. Due to these harmful effects, it can be argued that there will be an increase in the scarcity of water and land. Consequently, this will lead to socio-economic and health crisis.
The environmental laws imposed by the Sudan government are also not enough that contractors are able to use hazardous materials. These hazardous materials in return diminish the quality of the environment and health of Sudan’s citizenry. Flame retardants are present in great numbers in a lot of construction sites which will eventually be accumulated in the people of Sudan. Worst, this can lead to cancer and may also be passed on to infants via the mother’s breast milk. Not only land and water environment are affected by these chemicals, but also the atmospheric environment (Kamaldien 3).
The environmental laws which was supposed to be helping the citizenry of Sudan is not fulfilling its purpose, instead, it’s doing the opposite. Business contractors in Sudan are also not doing their part in helping the citizenry. They build buildings which are greatly far from each other. Constructing buildings apart from each other does not provide good efficiency in conserving cool air. Consequently, more electricity will be needed in order to keep the buildings cool because more air-conditioning units will be required.
Worst, these buildings generate more pollution, still the contractors continue building anywhere they want and the government simply doesn’t do its part. The government does not check or send its employees or people to supervise the contractors once they receive approval. It does not also polish its laws and thorough inspection on the contractors before giving or making approvals. The government of Sudan also doesn’t provide good resources, particularly potable water for its citizen. There is also insufficient water treatment facilities built in Sudan.
Consequently, treating water and waste water becomes a problem for most communities. The people of Sudan simply create their own means or methods of releasing waste water into the sub-surface and into other bodies of water. Generally, there is no complete plan for waste water networks and the people are left to suffer the consequences. The government does not also support its people in terms of their livelihood. The people of Sudan mainly depend on natural environment for their livelihood. Usually, they earn money by cutting trees and selling the wood. However, the government does not have any strong plans or control on cutting trees.
The trees which are cut down are not replaced or that no laws are implemented for replanting trees. The government also doesn’t do its part in overseeing its people’s actions and in controlling the number of trees cut down. Other citizenry of Sudan plant in areas which can support agricultural crops. However, the continuing war of the rebels against the government leads to constant battle in land and territory, where in the middle, the citizenry suffers. Considering the fact that the government is ruled towards the goals of Islam, most developments and economic opportunities are greatly focused in central Arab region.
Consequently, the rest of the country and its people do not benefit from it. In the early 1980s, Sudan had adequate quantities of food for its people and was even “a strong exporter of sorghum to Europe and Saudi Arabia and also received wheat from the United States” (Fein 11). However, the present government of Sudan systematically withdrawn its distribution of food to the South and kept it all for the North. By 1983, a drought cased food shortage particularly in the southern half of Sudan but the government, instead of helping, added to the troubles of the people.
“The North hindered food deliveries from relief agencies and foreign donors by refusing the use of the railway and other government transport including airfields” (Fein 12). Even if there are natural resources in the south, the law which the government implements, acquires that natural resources and makes it a part of the north via the legal fiat. As such, the people of Sudan, particularly the Africans are living in absolute poverty. For the past years, it is the international community which has been feeding the citizenry of Sudan wherein the United States alone provide 650 million dollars to Sudan.
The European Union also, if not greater than 650 million dollars, spent the same amount of money. The United Nations on the other hand provided help by establishing “Operation Lifeline Sudan” in 1989. Still, other humanitarian institutions provide help by giving food, medicine and other assistance to the citizenry of the war-torn Sudan. From the point of view of others, life in Sudan is simply unimaginable and a complete misery. There are already a lot of kinds of attrition on Sudan reported (“Genocide by Attrition, 1939-1993: The Warsaw Ghetto, Cambodia and Sudan: Links between human rights, health, and mass death” 11-45).
One of these is the government’s antagonistic role by harming its people and by stealing their supplies and re-selling them to underground or black markets. The government of Sudan even harasses attacks and expels aid workers from other countries. The NIF government forces even shot down a Medecins sans Frontieres-France plane which was bound to help the citizenry of Sudan, killing everyone onboard on December 21, 1989. Consequently, this forced several institutions and humanitarian organizations to withdraw their support and workers. It also resulted to a decrease in rations and donations from other countries.
The living quarters of the citizenry, if present, in Sudan are not suitable and for most cases, does not support proper healthcare. Oftentimes, the living quarters in Sudan are overcrowded. Overcrowding encourages illnesses and oftentimes, whenever a Sudanese suffers a contagious disease, the overcrowded living quarters make it easier for the disease to pass on to other Sudanese. Sometimes, there are diseases which are not diagnosed and treated by relief workers or foreign doctors, resulting to an increase in deaths due to poor health or diseases.
The government’s answer to contagious diseases and other illnesses do not benefit the citizenry; rather, it aggravates the problem. The government of Sudan executes massive forced displacement, particularly among the Dinka, wherein there is an expected death toll due to hunger and disease. “The government reaction to outbreaks of meningitis and other contagious diseases in the displaced-person camps was to herd the Dinka more closely together” (Fein 12). In addition to this, the government denies them with medical attention and it does not even provide any fresh drinking water.
Conclusion It is the responsibility of governments to provide and help its people. However, in Sudan, this does not happen. Instead, the government deprives and kills its people through its unfair laws and actions. It allows genocide and neglects its people’s cries for public welfare, healthcare, and basic necessities. In Sudan, “a loin of cloth around the groin is a luxury, aspirin is as hard to obtain as heart transplant, roads are excavated by bare human feet, piped water is a miracle, pencils are unusual items for children, and families depend on foreign relief workers” (Wondu 5).
There might be legislation in Sudan, however there is no rule and this does not benefit the citizenry of Sudan.
“Genocide by Attrition, 1939-1993: The Warsaw Ghetto, Cambodia and Sudan: Links between Human Rights, Health, and Mass Death. ” Health and Human Rights 2. 2 (1993): 11-45. Clammer, Paul. Sudan. USA: Bradt Travel Guides, 2005. Deng, Francis Mading. War of Visions: Conflict of Identities in the Sudan. USA: Bookings Institution Press, 1995.