Darfur is a region in the west of Sudan, bordering Chad in north-east Africa. Before the conflict Darfur had an ethnically mixed population of around six million, with both Black Africans and Arabs.
In 2003, a civil war began in the region between the sedentary population of farmers and the nomadic population, who have been supported by the Sudanese Government. The Sudanese Government has supported Arab militia – the Janjaweed – who have destroyed hundreds of villages and murdered thousands of people. These atrocities have been condemned as genocide by the International Criminal Court and several governments around the world.
This civil war has led to the deaths of between 200,000 and 400,000 civilians, although reporting varies greatly, as it is difficult for the international peacekeepers to keep accurate records. Up to 2.5 million people are still displaced in Darfur. They have been forced to flee their homes to makeshift refugee camps in Darfur or Chad run by international aid agencies.
Thousands of people, mostly women and children, take refuge at a safe zone adjacent to UNAMID's base at Um Baru, North Darfur on 26 January 2015.