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Countries pledge $3.7 billion for 'recovery, reconstruction' in Darfur

An international donors conference on reconstruction and development in Darfur in Doha,  April 8, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Violence broke out in Darfur, a region of Sudan, in 2003
  • Non-Arab rebel groups took up arms against the central government in Khartoum
  • In 2008, the U.N. put the death toll from ongoing violence at 300,000
  • A conference ends with pledges of billions for "recovery, reconstruction and development"

An international donors conference on reconstruction and development in Darfur ended Monday with donors pledging nearly $3.7 billion toward "recovery, reconstruction and development of Darfur during six years."

The bulk of the pledges come from a commitment made by the Sudanese government to contribute $2.65 billion.

The state of Qatar announced that it pledged $500 million, and the European Union said it would commit $35 million.

The United States, which currently is the biggest donor to Darfur through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), said it would not make any new financial commitment and expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Darfur.

The 40 countries participating in the conference overwhelmingly expressed support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur as a base for peace in Darfur.

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Violence broke out in Darfur, a region of Sudan, in 2003 when non-Arab rebel groups took up arms against the central government in Khartoum, accusing it of neglect and discrimination.

In response, the government of Sudan unleashed a massive counterinsurgency using militias known as the janjaweed.

The violence that followed has led to the deaths of 300,000 people, according to United Nations figures from 2008. The Sudanese government says that 10,000 have died.

The International Criminal Court as a result indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed in Darfur.

One rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government in 2011 known as the Doha Document for Peace, but progress on the deal has been slow.

Three other rebel groups have refused to sign the document.

On Sunday, a splinter group from the Justice and Equality Movement, the largest Darfurian rebel group, signed a "final peace agreement" with the Sudanese government.