1955-1972: The first civil war between tribes in the south and Arabs who controlled the northern part of the country. Differences between the two sides had deepened during the colonial period because of a ban on the movement of people from north to south introduced by the British administration. The conflict ceased in 1972 with the Addis Ababa Accord. Ten years of peace followed. 1970: With the end of the war in the south, armed conflict erupted in Darfur, lasting until 1994. 1983: Sudanese President Gafaar Nimeiri tried to cancel the Addis Ababa agreement. Opposition to his plans led to the creation of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and in June the treaty giving increased autonomy to southern Sudan was abrogated. The divide grew deeper in September when Nimeiri introduced Sharia as the law of the state. The second civil war began. 1989: Current Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the leader of the National Islamic Front, Dr Hassan al-Turabi, seize power. The conflict spreads, becoming more violent and destructive. Tribal, racial and cultural rifts deepen, followed soon after by the first condemnations of the systematic extermination of black Africans. 2003: Armed conflict again erupts in Darfur. On September 9, 2004, the then US Secretary of State Colin Powell described the war as «genocide.» 2005: The second civil war ended in January with the Nairobi Agreement. Southern Sudan gained autonomy for six years, after which the status of the area would be considered in a referendum. In August, the south’s Vice President-elect John Garang, leader of the SPLA, died in a helicopter accident. Widespread violent protests did not compromise the agreement. A UN mission arrived in the south in March and started distributing humanitarian aid. 2006: The government and the faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) led by Mini Minawi struck a peace agreement for Darfur. The accord envisaged the disbanding of the Janjaweed militia and the rebel groups. The government however never tried to implement it properly. The accord failed as another faction of the SLA, led by Abdel Wahid, continues to fight in central Darfur.

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