How has the civil war affected the lives of the Sudanese and what has been the cause and consequences of this civil war? What are the pros and cons of a regional conflict? More importantly, what are some practical solutions to a regional conflict?
Step 1: What is happening in Sudan? (20 min)
Direct students to the third (3) paragraph of the Reflection. This paragraph has five (5) sentences. Ask students to vote on which sentence they believe is most important and why.
“In retrospect, the separation is a beneficial initiative for both groups of people to have a right to peace, a right to sleep at night without fear of retribution. The separation can allow each government to freely serve the needs of its public, that encompasses similarly minded ethnic groups.”
Share the Reflection Prompt (above) that will be the basis for this Learning Activity and ask students to interpret the meaning.
Ask students to reflect on the first three paragraphs of Marwa’s Reflection. Familiarize students with basic facts of Sudan as a country. See Appendix for references.
Step 2: Take a Closer Look at Sudan - The Country as a Background (30 mins)
Combined with either an atlas or the internet, ask students to answer the following questions in a few sentences.
*What countries border Sudan? What are Sudan’s most important geographic features?
*How does the northern part of Sudan different from the southern?
*Based on the geography of Sudan, what economic activities do the people engage in?
For full country profiles, see CIA World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/su.html
Step 3: What leads to a war? (10 - 15 mins)
Give students 5 minutes to read the fourth and fifth paragraphs of the Reflection. Ask students to brainstorm conflicts on the globe, and identify the underlying / external causes of the conflicts. List the conflicting regions on board. Here are some links to help brainstorm if students need some prompting. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/index.html
Step 4: Civil Wars: Sudan and other countries around the World (25 -30 min, or as needed)
Have students work in small groups (3 to 5 per group). Ask student pick one (or assign) conflicting region. Let the groups research on the causes of conflicts and fill them in the first column of Appendix B. Encourage students to group the causes into several categories.
Note: in Marwa’s reflection, she talks about the cultural, political, and economic divergences between the south and the north. Marwa also uses examples of differences between the use oil and water, model of governance, and religion to back up her arguments. Students are encouraged to group their conflicts from their perspectives.
Some of the websites about Sudan’s civil war are:
BBC’s Q&A on Sudan: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3496731.stm
Step 6: Civil Wars: Sudan and other countries around the World - cont’d (20 -30 min, or as needed)
Give students 5 to 10 mins to read the first three paragraphs of the Reflection. Discuss: what are the immediate and /or long-term consequences of a war and a country’s separation?
If time permits, watch part of the documentary Lost Boys of Sudan (can be accessed at http://www.schooltube.com/video/5c03e0dd0232453ab1ea/Lost%20Boys%20of%20Sudan%20Per.%208).
Then, have the students get back to their groups and discuss both the positives and negatives of the regional conflicts they are researching.
Step 7: Civil wars: Is there any alternative? (1 class period)
As every group has finished analyzing the causes and consequences of a conflict, now create an action plan to address their conflict. Ask students to think from different perspectives (a civilian; an activist; a teacher; a governmental official; an employee working in international organizations, i.e., the United Nations; etc.. ) as they drafting the solutions.
Have students fill their solutions into the grids in Appendix B.
Step 8: The past and future of conflict regions - A world summit (1 - 2 class periods)
Have students create a poster / visual presentation on their conflict zones. Be sure to ask every group address the regional background, causes, consequences, and proposed solutions in their presentation. During group presentations, encourage audiences to evaluate the proposed solutions. Have audiences give feedback to presenters afterwards.