Omar Al-Bashir leads a military coup in 1989 to assume leadership of Sudan. He has served as President since.
Genocide in Darfur starts when a rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, attacks a government air base in the north of the region. The attack was in retaliation for years of neglect and discrimination. The government launches reprisals using ‘scorched earth’ tactics, bombing, rape, killing, and looting.
In 2004 our founder and President Rebecca Tinsley travelled to the Darfur region of Sudan, determined to find out more about the reports of ethnic cleansing and genocide against black African tribes.
What she saw, and the conversations she had with survivors, convinced her that more needed to be done to raise awareness in the UK, and so she established Waging Peace as a campaigning organisation.
For the first few years, Waging Peace worked to promote a robust international response to the killings, complementing the work of the Save Darfur coalition in the US.
We led the Vote4Peace campaign (http://www.vote4peace.org.uk/) during the UK General Election. Waging Peace supported the campaigns of 35 mainstream anti-war candidates in tight marginal seats, 21 of whom successfully won their seat.
That year the organisation also campaigned to highlight the double-standards in UK foreign policy at the time, launching its satirical animated cartoon, ‘Dictators and despots gameshow’, and prompting debate on how the UK should best harness its global political influence for progressive agendas.
The United Nations Security Council refers the case of Darfur to the International Criminal Court.
In 2007 a researcher travelled to the refugee camps in neighbouring Chad. She spoke to the women there, who told her to speak to their children to gather testimonies. Instead, she gave them pencils, pens, paints, and paper, and told them to draw their strongest memory.
What resulted is a stunning and poignant collection of 500 drawings providing direct evidence of the crimes committed in Darfur.
As community groups started requesting our help with individual asylum cases, we adapted to reflect this. We heard that survivors of genocide were being asked to tell their life stories in front of Sudanese Embassy officials, often their persecutors, to get the papers to be returned to Sudan.
This can be part of the official asylum process for unsuccessful claims, but it shouldn’t happen before UK courts have reached a final conclusion on a case. We managed to get this process stopped.
The Waging Peace team formed Article 1 to better respond to the needs of these vulnerable individuals.
In 2007 the International Criminal Court accepted our children’s drawings from the refugee camps in Chad as contextual evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
President Omar Al-Bashir and three other high-level accomplices were indicted by the Court.
Article 1 received charity status.
In 2009 Article 1 reaches an important landmark when it sources a death certificate for a Darfuri man killed by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services after he returned home from the UK.
This contributes to a test case and the Home Office’s determination in an Official Guidance Note that non-Arab Darfuris should be given protection in the UK. Since this ruling, hundreds of asylum seekers fleeing genocide in Darfur have been granted leave to remain.
The International Criminal Court adds the count of genocide to the indictment of President Al-Bashir.
We mark ten years since the start of the genocide with a month of events and campaigns called Darfur10.
Our long-term Director Olivia Warham is awarded an MBE for services to Sudanese refugees.
We host the first-ever all Sudan Cultural Day in Birmingham, attended by 500 men, women and children with food, music and dance from all over Sudan.
We successfully merged Article 1 and Waging Peace! We are now officially known as Waging Peace registered UK charity number 1124746.