“Living Darfur” by Mattafix

This article is also available in: Italiano

Starting from one of the most famous passages of our years “00, we will try once again to talk to you about Sudan and one of the most atrocious conflicts of recent years, considered by many to be genocide. A link between Darfur of those years and the current political situation.

Living Darfur

One of the things we prefer to do absolutely is to rediscover things that seemed trivial, observing everything with a new look; with this song we have the perfect example. “Living Darfur” was one of the songs that most accompanied us as a background, yet, we have only recently rediscovered its meaning. The piece, released in September 2007, immediately managed to gain a place of honor in the radios of the Bel Paese, succeeding, especially abroad, in raising public awareness of the massacre in Darfur. It was the “00s and at that time all of Hollywood was becoming aware of humanitarian issues; precisely for this reason the video was financed by Mick Jagger, receiving great acclaim also from George Clooney, who has always been at the forefront of that area.

The text is much more beautiful than we thought. It speaks of rebirth, of trying to live despite recent and dramatic events, despite everything and everyone. Dominating the text are 3 words: You shall rise, “you must rise”. A clear phrase that does not admit alibi, since, despite everything, we are destined to seek life. Whatever could ever happen to us, we couldn’t do anything else and walk, once again abandoning the evil behind us, ready to start the continuous journey that is life once again.

What is Darfur?

What Marlon Roudette sings about is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most dramatic conflicts of this century, both in terms of the number of lives turned upside down and the ferocity. Darfur is one of the historical provinces of Sudan and, since its annexation in 1875, one of the most neglected by various governments because of its peculiarity compared to the rest of the country. Over time, the situation has worsened more and more, leading to an increasingly clear division between the part of the Arab and non-Arab population, the first of which has always been favored by the central government. In addition, the former are purely semi-nomadic, while the others are mainly dedicated to agriculture. A situation ready to explode.


After decades of suffering and abuse, the first hearths of protest begin to wind up in the early “00” and on April 25, 2003 there is a point of no return. A joint force, formed by the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), penetrates the government’s military base in al Fashir, the capital of North Darfur. Success will bring great joy to the oppressed, but it will also be the beginning of hell for them.

Janjaweed, demons on horseback

General Omar al Bashir, given the fragility of the army, will then choose to rely on the Janjaweed, Arab militias known for their ferocity. The Arabic name means “Jinn / horse demon” and will give us a tragic clue to the near future. Unleashed by the government, these armed groups will perform what has been called ethnic cleansing by many, massacring, raping and razing any non-Arab in front of him. In about a year, 100,000 refugees were reached in Chad, a place where, however, the militias penetrated several times, provoking the anger of the nearby state.

Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also famous in the guise of janjaweed

To date, an estimated 400,000 dead and 2 million internally displaced, mostly civilians. However, to date the numbers are not yet final because, albeit with several truces, the violence has never stopped completely. For violence and brutality, the conflict in Darfur is often compared to the Rwanda Genocide or ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.

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