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Why Might Al-Qaeda Be Interested in the Darfur Region – Research Guider

The paper 'Why Might Al-Qaeda Be Interested in the Darfur Region' is an outstanding example of a research paper on politics. 
Specific Research Question: How might the situation in Darfur involving Janjaweed affect the global war on terrorism in that region?

Hypothesis 1: (Realist view) The Sudanese Government will continue to resist US and UN intervention on the internal conflicts occurring in the Darfur region.

Hypothesis 2: (Just War) The US and the rest of the international community will not allow the governments such as that of Sudan’s to use the threat of Al-Qaeda to prevent peacekeeping intervention. 

This research is aimed at presenting two competing viewpoints as given above in the form of a hypothesis for the research exercise. The three-year conflict in Darfur has left behind more than 400,000 people dead and more than 2 million people homeless. Since early 2003, there has been a steep rise in violence in the region. The Sudanese government has used both its own armed forces and a militia group called the Janjaweed to fight the rebel groups in the country. These rebel groups are formed by two groups comprising of the Sudanese Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. The armed forces of the government and the Janjaweed have responded to the growing fight of the rebels with crushing violence. They have killed a large number of people in and around the ethnic tribes who are supporting the rebel groups. Most of the countries around the world, particularly the US, have recognized this killing as genocide and have been forcing the Sudanese government to stop these atrocities. UN Security Council has passed a resolution, deploying UN Peace Keeping Forces to Darfur.

 This is the situation under which this research is being conducted. The primary question in front of us now is whether the Darfur situation will affect efforts in the global war on terrorism. With the known support for Al-Qaeda by the Sudanese Government and the Janjaweed, it is not a surprise that Al-Qaeda has an ongoing interest in the happenings at Darfur. At the same time, the rest of the world is also interested because of the large support that Al-Qaeda enjoys and its close link with world terrorism. 

Method and Procedures

To identify the various possibilities of the research question, consequently its impact on the hypothesis, a survey will be conducted with the interested parties. This will comprise of people who are directly involved and people who are knowledgeable on the said issues. Twenty people who are resident or were residents of Darfur will be picked up for the purpose of this survey. In addition to this, similar opinions will be elicited from twenty other people who are interested in the making of a solution for Darfur. Another ten people who are from the general public who are not directly or indirectly involved in Darfur will also be queried to identify the right kind of impact that they have all had on the topic. 

The entire process will be completed in a month’s time and this would involve traveling to the relevant locations. Since this involves meeting some of the people who are directly involved in the fight at Darfur, there is a mild risk for the interviewer and for the participant too. But the impact is very minor. The survey will make use of a questionnaire that will have a Likert Scale in place. This would make the comparison easy. However, there will also be five numbers of open-ended questions posed to the participants which will bring out their thoughts on the subject. Participating in this study is not a risk for the participants. However, safety precautions should be taken up. If the subject or the participant has to travel and incur expenses for participating in this survey, then the same is refunded to the person. However, the researcher will be keen to avoid disturbing the life of the subject; instead, he or she will travel down to the location of the subject to interview him/her. 

Quantitative and Qualitative analysis methods will be adopted to make use of the data collected. The Likert Scale will enable quantitative analysis of the responses while for the open-ended questions a qualitative analysis will be carried out to reach the conclusions desired. The major objective will be to reach the objectives of the research. 

Subject Recruitment

People who are to participate in this survey will be identified using the following methods:

  1. Some of the people will be picked up from the Save Darfur movement in consultation with the organization. This would help in easily identifying the people who have been there and who have come back after traveling to the location. This way first-hand information will be reached and the information gathered would be authentic. The number of people picked up like this will be twenty.
  2. The twenty others will be picked up from the United Nations and from the people who are involved in working out the next strategy at the UN. For this purpose, a trip to the UN headquarters in New York has to be made and the right people selected and the questionnaires are to be given to them.
  3. Finally, ten more people have to be selected out of other forums and organizations in the Middle East and Asia. For these people, the questionnaires will be sent online and the results are also obtained from them directly.

The people are selected from all the stakeholder groups. The Middle East, typically, Egyptians and Saudi have closer ties with the Sudanese government. Their stand should reflect the stand taken by the Sudanese government. People are selected from the non-governmental organization to ensure the neutrality of the selection at the same time providing complete information. 

Benefits

Darfur is literally burning with more than a million people displaced and four hundred thousand dead. A right understanding of the issue would ensure the reaching of a solution to this suffering. It is important that the suffering of people is understood. The terrorist groups and their interconnections have to be known to defend ourselves from them. Gaining knowledge on this subject is important and such analysis would ensure a complete understanding of the topic. For all these benefits, the research is being done.

 Risks to Subjects

No major risks are foreseen for the people who are participating in the survey nor are risks for the people who are conducting it. However, in case travel to Darfur is undertaken for the onsite survey, then there is an excess on the spot risk. The same should not be undertaken unless there is protection for the entire travel and the subsequent activity. 

Informed Consent

The purpose of the survey will precede the survey paper as given in the annexure. This would brief the purpose of the survey and will request the participant to take part in the survey only if he or she accepts the statement made there. Arabic translation of the same will also be made available for people who are of Sudanese origin. The consent is taken out of the written text. In case the survey is conducted over a telephone or a chat session, the text is read out to the person and their consent is taken and noted before proceeding. 

Confidentiality of Data

The survey data will be maintained in a well-locked room. Subsequent to the completion of the survey, the data is digitized and verified. After the verification has been completed, the survey papers are destroyed while the data is safely written on to a CD and maintained in at least two places. This information is used only for the purpose of analysis. Safe storage for later use if needed will be undertaken. Information will be marked out as classified and only reachable by authorized people.



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