In February 2003, opposition parties, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), began attacking government troops. The SLA and JEM stated that their attacks were in protest of the government of Sudan?s failure to protect local villagers from attacks by nomadic groups, and to prevent economic marginalisation of the region. Despite initial indications that the government sought a peaceful resolution, it soon became clear that it was willing to resolve the conflict by force. This began in March 2003.
A peace deal was signed in February 2010, but talks have since been disrupted by accusations that the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village. The JEM has publicly stated that they will boycott further negotiations.