CHAPTER THIRTEEN RELIGION, CULTURE, and CONFLICTLanguage & religion are two of the most powerful forces shaping the geography ofculture.Histories can bitterly divide peoples who speak the same language, have the same ethnicbackground, and make their living in similar ways.Religious conflicts usually involve more than differences in spiritual practices andbeliefs. Religion functions as a symbol of a wider set of cultural and politicaldifferences.
INTERFAITH BOUNDARIESSome countries lie entirely within the realms of individual world religions, while othercountries straddle interfaith boundaries, the boundaries between the world’s majorfaiths.
Explain the north-south religious division of Nigeria. Which Nigerian state will likelybe the key to diffusing the disputes between Muslims & Christians?
Ultimately, what couldbe the fate of Nigeriaif the two groupscan’t reconcile theirdifferences?
In Sudan, explain the interfaithboundary dispute splitting thecountry.Specifically, describe the catalyst ofthe religious conflict.Despite a brokered peace betweennorthern Muslims and southernChristians, the conflict re-ignited in2003 in the Darfur region of thecountry
Sudan is 70% Muslim andthe remaining 30% areChristian & Traditional.The Sudanese govt. isdominated by ArabMuslims.Darfur’s demographicmajority is non-Arab, Africanfarmers, concentrated inthe Western, Central &Southern regions.Arab Muslims areconcentrated in NorthernDarfur, which hasexperienceddesertification.Muslims have migratedwith their herdssouthward, sparkingrenewed conflict.
Sudanese govt. forces and govt.-backedmilitias known as “Janjaweed” are battlingtwo rebel groups, the Sudanese LiberationArmy (SLA) and the Justice and EqualityMovement.
Villages have been destroyed, especially by the “Janjaweed” militias, which act withruthlessness and impunity. And, as always in war, …
… innocent civilians represent the greatesthumanitarian cost of the conflict. Both sidesare guilty of committing atrocities.
Currently, refugee camps andviolence have spread intoneighboring Chad, which is ill-equipped to handle thehumanitarian crisis and themilitary crisis with theSudanese government.
The Sudanese govt.’s alleged goal is to re-settle the lands of the African population in Darfur with Arab Muslims through the strategy of ethnic cleansing.In the meantime, theinternational community hasbeen slow to respond tothis crisis, thusexasperating thehumanitarian crisis.What might explain theslow response of theinternational community?
At present, the international community appears unable or unwilling to intervene in orderto stop the killing. In the meantime, the killing continues.
SOUTH SUDANIn addition to the turmoil in the Darfur region of Sudan, a referendum took place insouthern Sudan from January 9th, through the 15th, 2011 to determine whether theregion should remain a part of Sudan, or to become independent. The referendum waspart of a peace agreement between the govt. of Sudan and rebel forces in the South. A simultaneous referendum was supposed to be held in the Abyei region to decide whether to join Southern Sudan, but it was postponed due to disputes over boundaries & residency rights.
Southern Sudanese On Februaryindependence 7, 2011, the final results werereferendum, 2011 released. SouthernYes or no Votes Percentage Sudanese, living around the world participated inYes 3,792,518 98.83% the vote. The results speakNo 44,888 1.17% for itself: aValid votes 3,837,406 resounding victory for 99.62% independence.Invalid or blank votes 14,588 0.38%Total votes 3,851,994 100.00%Voter turnout 97.58%Turnout required 60.00%
The projected date for the official creation of the new independent state is July 9, 2011. Despite the euphoric anticipation, many challenges lie ahead for this new state. From the beginning, it will be one of the world’s poorest states.The president of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit