War in Darfur
The War in Darfur nicknamed the Land Cruiser War, is a major armed conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan that began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement rebel groups began fighting the government of Sudan, which they accused of oppressing Darfur's non-Arab population. The government responded to attacks by carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Darfur's non-Arabs; this resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the indictment of Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. One side of the conflict is composed of the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed, a Sudanese militia group whose members are recruited among Arabized indigenous Africans and a small number of Bedouin of the northern Rizeigat; the other side is made up of rebel groups, notably the SLM/A and the JEM, recruited from the non-Arab Muslim Fur and Masalit ethnic groups.
The African Union and the United Nations have a joint peacekeeping mission in the region, named UNAMID. Although the Sudanese government publicly denies that it supported the Janjaweed, evidence supports claims that it provided financial assistance and weapons and coordinated joint attacks, many against civilians. Estimates of the number of human casualties range up to several hundred thousand dead, from either combat or starvation and disease. Mass displacements and coercive migrations forced millions into refugee camps or across the border, creating a humanitarian crisis. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell described the situation as a genocide or acts of genocide; the Sudanese government and the JEM signed a ceasefire agreement in February 2010, with a tentative agreement to pursue peace. The JEM could see semi-autonomy much like South Sudan. However, talks were disrupted by accusations that the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the Tolu agreement.
The JEM, the largest rebel group in Darfur, vowed to boycott negotiations. Darfur, Arabic for "the home of the Fur", was not a traditional part of the states organized along the upper Nile valley but instead organized as an independent sultanate in the 14th century. Owing to the migration of the Banu Hilal tribe in the 11th century AD, the peoples of the Nile valley became Arabicized while the hinterlands remained closer to native Sudanese cultures, it was first annexed to the Egyptian Sudan in 1875 and surrendered by its governor Slatin Pasha to the Mahdia in 1883. Following the Anglo-Egyptian victory in the Mahdist War, Sultan Ali Dinar was reinstated as a British client before being deposed by a 1916 expedition after he made overtures in favor of Turkey amid the First World War. Subsequently, Darfur remained a province of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the independent Republic of the Sudan. There are several different explanations for the origins of the present conflict. One explanation involves the land disputes between semi-nomadic livestock herders and those who practice sedentary agriculture.
Water access has been identified as a major source of the conflict. The Darfur crisis is related to a second conflict. In southern Sudan, civil war has raged for decades between the northern, Arab-dominated government and Christian and animist black southerners, yet another origin is conflict between the Islamist, Khartoum-based national government and two rebel groups based in Darfur: the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. In early 1991, non-Arabs of the Zaghawa tribe of Sudan attested that they were victims of an intensifying Arab apartheid campaign, segregating Arabs and non-Arabs. Sudanese Arabs, who controlled the government, were referred to as practicing apartheid against Sudan's non-Arab citizens; the government was accused of "deftly manipulat Arab solidarity" to carry out policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. American University economist George Ayittey accused the Arab government of Sudan of practicing racism against black citizens. According to Ayittey, "In Sudan... the Arabs monopolized power and excluded blacks – Arab apartheid."
Many African commentators joined Ayittey in accusing Sudan of practising Arab apartheid. Alan Dershowitz labeled Sudan an example of a government that "actually deserve" the appellation "apartheid". Former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler echoed the accusation. Flint and de Waal marked the onset of the genocide on 26 February 2003, when a group calling itself the Darfur Liberation Front publicly claimed credit for an attack on Golo, the headquarters of Jebel Marra District. Prior to this attack, conflict had broken out, as rebels attacked police stations, army outposts and military convoys and the government engaged in a massive air and land assault on the rebel stronghold in the Marrah Mountains; the rebels' first military action was a successful attack on an army garrison on 25 February 2002. The government had been aware of a unified rebel movement since an attack on the Golo police station in June 2002. Flint and de Waal date the beginning of the rebellion to 21 July 2001, when a group of Zaghawa and Fur met in Abu Gamra and swore oaths on the Qur'an to work together to defend against government-sponsored attacks on their villages.
Nearly all of Darfur's residents are Muslim, including the Janjaweed, as well as government leaders in Khartoum. On 25 March 2003, the rebels seized the garrison town of Tine along the Chadian border, seizing large quantities of supplies and arms. Despite a threat by President Omar al-Bashir to "unleash" the army, the military had little in reserve; the army was deployed in bot
The Ja'alin, Ja'aliyin or Ja'al are a Sudanese tribe. Most of the settled clans of the main Nile are regarded as descendants of a certain Ja'al, who is, stated to have been an'Abbasid. Disregarding this assertion, we may reasonably see in these Ja'aliyyun the descendants of the arabized Nubians of the late Middle Ages"}} tribe in Sudan, constituting a large portion of the Sudanese Arabs, they trace their origin to Ibrahim Ja'al, in turn a descendant of al-Abbas, an uncle of prophet Muhammad. The Ja'alin occupied the country on both banks of the Nile from Khartoum to Abu Hamad. Although speaking Sudanese Arabic today the tribe is recorded to have spoken some, now extinct, form of Nubian as late as the 19th century; the Ja'alin trace their lineage to Abbas, uncle of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. At the Egyptian invasion in 1811 they were the most powerful of Arab tribes in the Nile valley, they submitted at first, but in 1822 rebelled and massacred the Egyptian garrison at Shendi with the Mek Nimr, a Ja'ali leader burning Ismail, Muhammad Ali Pasha's son and his cortege at a banquet.
The revolt was mercilessly suppressed, the Ja'alin were thence forward looked on with suspicion. They were the first of the northern tribes to join the mahdi in 1884, it was their position to the north of Khartoum which made communication with General Gordon so difficult; the Ja'alin became a semi-nomad agricultural people. The Anglo-Egyptian re-conquest of the Sudan began in 1896. In July 1897 Ja'alin tribal leaders refused to allow the Mahdist forces to occupy the Ja’alin town of Metemmeh, a strategic point on the Nile, 180 kilometres downstream of Omdurman, they feared the occupation would be oppressive, threatening property. After the Khalifa refused an offer from their leaders for the Ja’alin themselves to protect this stretch of the Nile from advancing Anglo-Egyptian forces, the Ja'alin leaders requested protection from General Kitchener, commander of the Anglo-Egyptian army. In response, the Mahdist forces attacked Metemmeh, killing several thousand Ja’alin, including women and children, the killings continuing in the following year.
As a consequence, Ja’alin tribesmen supported the Anglo-Egyptian forces on their advance on Omdurman in 1898, including supplying an irregular force of 2,500 cavalry which helped clear the east bank of the Nile of Mahdist fighters in the days before the Battle of Omdurman. This group of over two million people live in small villages and cities along the banks of the Nile River; the area is hot and dry, with an average yearly rainfall of about three inches. In the summer, which lasts from April through November, daytime temperatures can reach as high as 120 to 130 °F; some Jaaliyin still farm and raise livestock along the banks of the Nile River, but today they more consist of the bulk of the Sudanese urban population, forming a large part of the merchant class. Although many have moved to cities, such as the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, they still maintain their tribal identity and solidarity. Famous for maintaining ties with their homeland, they keep in contact with their original home and return for frequent visits for marriages and Muslim festivals.
Adams, William Y.. Nubia. Corridor to Africa. Princeton University. ISBN 0691093709. Holt, P. M.. "The Nilotic Sudan". In P. M. Holt; the Cambridge History of Islam. 2A. Cambridge University. Ibrahim, Abdullahi Ali. "Breaking the Pen of Harold Macmichael: The Ja'aliyyin Identity Revisited". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. African Studies Center. 21: 217–231. Doi:10.2307/219934. Kramer, Robert S.. Historical Dictionary of the Sudan; the Scarecrow. ISBN 0810861801. Wilson, Sir Charles W. "On the Tribes of the Nile Valley, North of Khartum", Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 17: 3–25
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. Dar is an Arabic word meaning home of - the region was named Dardaju while ruled by the Daju, who migrated from Meroë c. 350 AD, it was renamed Dartunjur when the Tunjur ruled the area. Darfur was an independent sultanate for several hundred years, incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916; the region is divided into five federal states: Central Darfur, East Darfur, North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur. Because of the war in Darfur between Sudanese government forces and the indigenous population, the region has been in a state of humanitarian emergency since 2003; the First historical mention of the word'Fur' occurs in 1664 in the account by J. M. Vansleb, a traveler, of a visit to Egypt, it is claimed that, like sudan, fur means "blacks", was the name given by the early light-colored Berber sultans of Darfur to the original inhabitants of the country such as the Binga, etc. Those original inhabitants agreed to become muslims and submit to the sultan's rule, the alternative being to be attacked and either killed or enslaved.
As the historic dynasty's physical appearance became more "Africanized" from intermarriage with black wives and concubines, the appearance of the sultans darkened correspondingly and they became known by the appellation of their black subjects, Fur. Darfur covers an area of 493,180 square kilometers the size of mainland Spain, it is an arid plateau with the Marrah Mountains, a range of volcanic peaks rising up to 3,042 meters of topographic prominence, in the center of the region. The region's main towns are Al Nyala. There are four main features of its physical geography; the whole eastern half of Darfur is covered with plains and low hills of sandy soils, known as goz, sandstone hills. In many places the goz is waterless and can only be inhabited where there are water reservoirs or deep boreholes. While dry, goz may support rich pasture and arable land. To the north the goz is overtaken by the desert sands of the Sahara. A second feature are the wadis, which range from seasonal watercourses that flood only during the wet season to large wadis that flood for most of the rains and flow from western Darfur hundreds of kilometres west to Lake Chad.
Many wadis have pans of alluvium with rich heavy soil that are difficult to cultivate. Western Darfur is dominated by the third feature, basement rock, sometimes covered with a thin layer of sandy soil. Basement rock is too infertile to be farmed, but provides sporadic forest cover that can be grazed by animals; the fourth and final feature are the Marrah Mountains and Daju Hills, volcanic plugs created by a massif, that rise up to a peak at Deriba crater where there is a small area of temperate climate, high rainfall and permanent springs of water. Remote sensing has detected the imprint of a vast underground lake under Darfur; the potential water deposits are estimated at 49,500 km2. The lake, during epochs when the region was more humid, would have contained about 2,500 km3 of water, it may have dried up thousands of years ago. Some conjectures include the area of Darfur as part of the Proto-Afro-Asiatic Urheimat in distant prehistoric times, though numerous other theories exclude Darfur. Most of the region consists of a semi-arid plain and thus appears unsuitable for developing a large and complex civilization.
But the Marrah Mountains offer plentiful water, by the 12th century the Daju people, succeeding the semi-legendary Tora culture, created the first historical attestable kingdom. They were centered in the Marrah Mountains and left records of valuable rock engravings, stone architecture and a list of kings; the Tunjur replaced the Daju in the fourteenth century and the Daju established new headquarters in Abyei, Denga and Mongo in the current Chad. The Tunjur sultans intermarried with the Fur and sultan Musa Sulayman is considered the founder of the Keira dynasty. Darfur became a great power of the Sahel under the Keira dynasty, expanding its borders as far east as the Atbarah River and attracting immigrants from Bornu and Bagirmi. During the mid-18th century conflict between rival factions wracked the country, external war pitted Darfur against Sennar and Wadai. In 1875, the weakened kingdom was destroyed by the Egyptian ruler set up in Khartoum through the machinations of Sebehr Rahma, a slave-trader, competing with the dar over access to ivory in Bahr el Ghazal to the south of Darfur.
The Darfuris were restive under Egyptian rule, but were no more predisposed to accept the rule of the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, when in 1882 his Emir of Darfur, who came from the Southern Darfur Arab Rizeigat tribe led by Sheikh Madibbo, defeated the Ottoman forces led by Slatin Pasha in Darfur. When Ahmad's successor, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, himself an Arab of Southern Darfur from the Ta’isha tribe, demanded that the pastoralist tribes provide soldiers, several tribes rose up in revolt. Following the overthrow of Abdallahi at Omdurman in 1899 by the Anglo-Egyptian forces, the new Anglo-Egyptian government recognized Ali Dinar as the sultan of Darfur and left the Dar to its own affairs except for a nominal annual tribute. In 1916 the British, concerned that the sultanate might fall under the influence of the Ottoman Empire and incorporated Darfur into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Colonial rule directed financial and administrative resources to the tribes of central Sudan near Khartoum - to the detriment of
The Bedouin or Bedu are a grouping of nomadic Arab people who have inhabited the desert regions in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant. The English word bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, which means "desert dweller", is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people. Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky sands of the Middle East, they are traditionally divided into tribes, or clans, share a common culture of herding camels and goats. The vast majority of Bedouin adhere to Islam. Bedouins have been referred to by various names throughout history, including Qedarites in the Old Testament and Arabaa by the Assyrians, they are referred to as the ʾAʿrāb in the Quran. While many Bedouins have abandoned their nomadic and tribal traditions for a modern urban lifestyle, many retain traditional Bedouin culture such as retaining the traditional ʿašāʾir clan structure, traditional music, poetry and many other cultural practices and concepts.
Urbanised Bedouins organise cultural festivals held several times a year, in which they gather with other Bedouins to partake in and learn about various Bedouin traditions—from poetry recitation and traditional sword dances to playing traditional instruments and classes teaching traditional tent knitting. Traditions like camel riding and camping in the deserts are still popular leisure activities for urbanised Bedouins who live within close proximity to deserts or other wilderness areas; the English word bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, which means "desert dweller", is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people. The word bādiyah means visible land, in the sense of "plain" or "desert"; the term "Bedouin" therefore means "those in bādiyah" or "those in the desert". In English usage, the form "Bedouin" is used for the singular term, the plural being "Bedouins", as indicated by the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition; the term "Bedouin" uses the same root word as the Arabic noun for "the beginning".
Most Arabs believe the Bedouins to be the predecessors to settled Arabs, including the Nabataeans Arabs of the more westerly Levant region. According to a hadith, Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab said of the Bedouin, "hey are the origin of the Arabs and the substance of Islam." and the word for the ethnicity itself may be influenced by that. A quoted Bedouin apothegm is "I am against my brother, my brother and I are against my cousin, my cousin and I are against the stranger" sometimes quoted as "I and my brother are against my cousin, I and my cousin are against the stranger." This saying signifies a hierarchy of loyalties based on the proximity of male kinship, beginning with the nuclear family through the lineage and the paternal tribe, and, in principle at least, to an entire genetic or linguistic group. Disputes are settled, interests are pursued, justice and order are dispensed and maintained by means of this framework, organized according to an ethic of self-help and collective responsibility.
The individual family unit consisted traditionally of three or four adults and any number of children. When resources were plentiful, several tents would travel together as a goum. While these groups were sometimes linked by patriarchal lineage, others were just as linked by marriage alliances. Sometimes, the association was based on acquaintance and familiarity, or no defined relation except for simple shared membership within a tribe; the next scale of interaction within groups was the ibn ʿamm or descent group of three to five generations. These were linked to goums, but where a goum would consist of people all with the same herd type, descent groups were split up over several economic activities, thus allowing a degree of'risk management'. Whilst the phrase "descent group" suggests purely a lineage-based arrangement, in reality these groups were fluid and adapted their genealogies to take in new members; the largest scale of tribal interactions is the tribe as a whole, led by a Sheikh, though the title refers to leaders in varying contexts.
The tribe claims descent from one common ancestor—as mentioned above. The tribal level is the level that mediated between the Bedouin and the outside governments and organizations. Distinct structure of the Bedouin society leads to long lasting rivalries between different clans. Bedouin traditionally had strong honor codes, traditional systems of justice dispensation in Bedouin society revolved around such codes; the bisha'a, or ordeal by fire, is a well-known Bedouin practice of lie detection. See also: Honor codes of the Bedouin, Bedouin systems of justice. Urbanized Bedouin are less to continue such traditions, instead opting for the codes of behavior that govern the wider settled community to which they belong. Livestock and herding, principally of goats and dromedary camels comprised the traditional livelihoods of Bedouins; these two animals were used for meat, dairy products, wool. Most of the staple foods that made up th
Muslims are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad; the majority of Muslims follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter". The largest denomination of Islam are Sunni Muslims who constitute 85-90% of the total Muslim population, followed by the Shia who make up most of the remainder of Muslims; the beliefs of Muslims include: that God is eternal and one. The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith, daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. To become a Muslim and to convert to Islam, it is essential to utter the Shahada, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a declaration of faith and trust that professes that there is only one God and that Muhammad is God's messenger.
It is a set statement recited in Arabic: lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh "There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of God."In Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah, Muhammadun rasul Allah, which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada. The first statement of the shahada is known as the tahlīl. In Shia Islam, the shahada has a third part, a phrase concerning Ali, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of Sunni Islam: وعليٌ وليُّ الله, which translates to "Ali is the wali of God; the word muslim is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M "to be whole, intact". A female adherent is a muslima; the plural form in Arabic is muslimūn or muslimīn, its feminine equivalent is muslimāt. The ordinary word in English is "Muslim", it is sometimes transliterated as "Moslem", an older spelling. The word Mosalman is a common equivalent for Muslim used in South Asia.
Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mahometans. Although such terms were not intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include Muslimist. Musulmán/Mosalmán is modified from Arabic, it is the origin of the Spanish word musulmán, the German Muselmann, the French word musulman, the Polish words muzułmanin and muzułmański, the Portuguese word muçulmano, the Italian word mussulmano or musulmano, the Romanian word musulman and the Greek word μουσουλμάνος. In English it has become archaic in usage. Apart from Persian, Polish, Portuguese and Greek, the term could be found, with obvious local differences, in Armenian, Pashto, Hindi, Marathi, Turkish, Uzbek, Azeri, Hungarian, Bosnian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Sanskrit; the Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said: A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship to God... Islam means making one's religion and faith God's alone.
The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within Judaism and Christianity, their respective followers, as Muslim: Adam, Abraham, Jacob and Jesus and his apostles are all considered to be Muslims in the Qur'an. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values, which included praying, charity and pilgrimage. Thus, in Surah 3:52 of the Qur'an, Jesus' disciples tell him, "We believe in God. In Muslim belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Tawrat to Moses, the Zabur to David and the Injil to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets; the most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims, followed by Pakistan and Egypt. About 20 % of the world's Muslims lives in the Middle North Africa. Sizable minorities are found in India, Russia, the Americas and parts of Europe; the country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its total population is Morocco.
Converts and immigrant communities are found in every part of the world. Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni; the second and third largest sects and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%, 1% respectively. With about 1.8 billion followers a quarter of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world. Due to the young age and high fertilit
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A
The Baggāra are a grouping of Arab ethnic groups inhabiting the portion of Africa's Sahel between Lake Chad and southern Kordofan, numbering over six million. They are known as Baggara in Sudan, as Shuwa/Diffa Arabs in Chad and Nigeria, their name derives from the Arabic word meaning "cattle herder". They have a common language, Shuwa Arabic, one of the regional varieties of Arabic, they have a common traditional mode of subsistence, nomadic cattle herding, although nowadays many lead a settled existence. Collectively they do not all consider themselves one people, i.e. a single ethnic group. The term "baggara culture" was introduced in 1994 by Braukämper; the political use of the term "baggara" in Sudan denoting a particular set of tribes is limited to Sudan. It means a coalition of majority Arabs and a few indigenous African tribes with other Arab tribes of western Sudan, as opposed to Bedouin Abbala Arab tribes; the bulk of "baggara Arabs" live in Chad, the rest live, or seasonally migrate to, southwest Sudan, slivers of the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Niger.
Those who are still nomads migrate seasonally between grazing lands in the wet season and river areas in the dry season. Their common language is known to academics by various names, such as Chadian Arabic, taken from the regions where the language is spoken. For much of the 20th century, this language was known to academics as "Shuwa Arabic", but "Shuwa" is a geographically and parochial term that has fallen into disuse among linguists specializing in the language, who instead refer to it as "Chadian Arabic" depending on the origin of the native speakers being consulted for a given academic project; the origin of the Baggara is undetermined. According to a 1994 research paper, the group arose in Chad from 1635 onwards through the fusion of an Arabic speaking population. Like other Arabic speaking tribes in the Sahara and the Sahel, Baggara tribes have origin ancestry from the Juhaynah Arab tribes who migrated directly from the Arabian peninsula or from other parts of north Africa. Baggara tribes in Sudan include: the Rizeigat, Ta’isha, Beni Halba, Habbaniya in Darfur, the Messiria Zurug, Messiria Humur and Awlad Himayd in Kordofan, the Beni Selam on the White Nile.
For complete and accurate account about Baggara tribes, see: Baggara of Sudan: Culture and Environment. The Misseiria of Jebel Mun speak a Nilo-Saharan language, related to the Tama of their traditional neighbors; the small community of "Baggara Arabs" in the southeastern corner of Niger is known as Diffa Arabs for the Diffa Region. They occupy the shore of Lake Chad and migrated from Nigeria since World War II. Most of the Diffa Arabs claim descent from the Mahamid clan of Chad; the Baggara of Darfur and Kordofan were the backbone of the Mahdist revolt against Turko-Egyptian rule in Sudan in the 1880s. The Mahdi's second-in-command, the Khalifa Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, was himself a Baggara of the Ta'aisha tribe. During the Mahdist period tens of thousands of Baggara migrated to Omdurman and central Sudan where they provided many of the troops for the Mahdist armies. After their defeat at the Battle of Karari in 1898, the remnants returned home to Darfur and Kordofan. Under the British system of indirect rule, each of the major Baggara tribes was ruled by its own paramount chief.
Most of them were loyal members of the Umma Party, headed since the 1960s by Sadiq el Mahdi. The main Baggara tribes of Darfur were awarded "hawakir" by the Fur Sultans in the 1750s; as a result, the four largest Baggara tribes of Darfur—the Rizeigat, Beni Halba and Ta’isha—have been only marginally involved in the Darfur conflict. However, the Baggara have been involved in other conflicts in both Sudan and Chad. Starting in 1985, the Government of Sudan armed many of the local tribes among them the Rizeigat of south Darfur and the Messiria and Hawazma of neighboring Kordofan as militia to fight a proxy war against the Sudan People's Liberation Army in their areas, they formed frontline units as well as Murahleen, mounted raiders that attacked southern villages to loot valuables and slaves. The Baggara people were armed by the Sudanese government to participate in the counterinsurgency against the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army; the first attacks against villages by the Baggara were staged in the Nuba Mountains.
The Sudanese government promoted attacks by promising the Baggara people no interference so they could seize animals and land. They formed the precursors to the Janjaweed - an infamous para-military. During the Second Sudanese Civil War thousands of Dinka women and children were abducted and subsequently enslaved by members of the Missiriya and Rezeigat tribes. An unknown number of children from the Nuba tribe were abducted and enslaved. In Darfur, a Beni Halba militia force was organized by the government to defeat an SPLA force led by Daud Bolad in 1990-91. However, by the mid-1990s the various Baggara groups had negotiated local truces with the SPLA forces; the leaders of the major Baggara tribes declared. Abbala Messiria tribe Hawazma tribe Rizeigat tribe Ta’isha tribe Habbaniya tribe Beni Halba tribe Awlad Himayd Diffa Arabs James DeCalco. 1979. Historical Dictionary of Niger. Metuchen, NJ & London: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810812290. de Waal and Julie Flint. 2006. Darfur: A Short History of a Long War.
London: Zed Books. ISBN 1-84277-697-5. International Crisis Group. 2007-10-12. Sudan: breaking the Abyei deadlock. Owens, Jonathan. 1993. A grammar of Nigerian Arabic. Wiesbaden: O