Josh Braun in Seed Magazine:
Though a sudden agreement gave hope for peace in Darfur, the lack of support from small anti-government groups, the spillover of refugees into Chad and the opposition of the central government to UN peacekeepers mean that the conflict drags on. Lost in discussions about ending the Sudanese government’s attacks on its people, however, is the acknowledgment of how the dispute began: Darfur may well be the first war influenced by climate change.
In recent years, increasing drought cycles and the Sahara’s southward expansion have created conflicts between nomadic and sedentary groups over shortages of water and land. This scarcity highlighted the central government’s gross neglect of the Darfur region—a trend stretching back to colonial rule. Forsaken, desperate and hungry, groups of Darfurians attacked government outposts in protest. The response was the Janjaweed and supporting air strikes.