In Sudan, there is a serious conflict between two regions within the country. The northern part of the country makes up most of the population, and people are generally of an Arab-Islamic descent. In the southern region, the area is sparsely populated and consists of indigenous Africans, many of whom are Christian as a result of colonialism. These two groups of people have had a lot of difficulty getting along, and as a result, an identity crisis has developed within Sudan. As most power is concentrated in the north, rebellious movements sprung up all over the southern part of the country, particularly in a region known as Abyei. When it became obvious the rebellions would not cease, a counter-insurgency known as the Janjaweed was set up by the Sudanese government to quell this rebellion. The Janjaweed have devastated the region by burning entire villages to the ground, killing at random, and selling women and children into slavery. As a result much of the region has become depopulated, and the remaining inhabitants have been left to live a life of unbearable poverty.
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In 1989, a UN-managed group known as Operation Lifeline Sudan(OLS) was developed in order to help populations on both sides of the civil war conflict in Sudan in the 1980’s. In the northern section of the country the OLS worked with Sudan’s government to reach certain goals. The Sudanese government had an aid embargo placed on them as a result of conflicts within the country, and their goal was to have this overturned as a means of establishing legitimacy within the international community. In the northern section of Sudan, a plan of action is in place to rehabilitate the region. However, the same cannot be said of the southern region of the country, where no formal plans have been developed. The OLS has made one major recommendation which all parties seem to agree on. This is the idea that less money should be put into relief of the conflict and poverty-stricken people of Sudan, and more money should be place in development programs to end this “chronic” poverty. Unfortunately, OLS has determined that the only way to move beyond the relief stage of the continuum and into development is with extreme dedication and intervention from the Sudanese government.