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Genocide and Hunger in Darfur

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Genocide hunger in darfur l.jpg

Genocide & Hunger in Darfur

Katie Stutsman April, 2009

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  • Darfur located in Western Sudan

  • Crisis considered “worst humanitarian disaster on the planet”

  • Ethnic Violence

    • Estimated 1.8 million have been displaced

    • 70,000 people have died

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Historical Perspective

  • Conflict nothing new to region

    • Have been many civil wars in the region

  • Have been conflict all but 11 years in Sudan since gaining independence from U.K. in 1956

  • Government has a nearly 30 year history of arming the rebels

    • Janjaweed comprised of the “Arab” fighters responsible for attacks in region

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Darfur Demographics & Climate

  • Population: 6 million

  • Persistent Drought Conditions

  • Several Dozen Tribes

  • Two Main Competing Interests:

    • “African” descent; sedentary agriculturalists

    • “Arab” descent; semi nomadic livestock herders

  • Hard to tell difference between group

    • Intermarriages

    • All Sudanese are African

    • All Darfurians are uniformly Muslim

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International Response

  • Slow to accept crisis as a genocide

    • Some argue that it is not an extermination, just a forced removal

  • EU, Canadian, and British officials have not described conflict as a “genocide”

  • UN has asked for more information

  • Celebrities have sparked a media frenzy fueling more attention towards Darfur

    • Evangelists

    • Media outlets

    • Civil Rights Groups

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Impact on Society

  • Men most common victim of death

  • Attacks also on women, children and elderly

    • Women victims of rape

  • 574 villages destroyed

    • 1.8 million displaced

    • People must gather in camps

  • Food crisis result

    • Conflict surrounding food distribution

    • Reliance on international aid for food in camps

    • Increased disease as well

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  • Prevalence of acute bacterial diseases

  • People mostly die because they cannot get health care, clean water or enough food

  • U.S. biggest supporter of money for food

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An Ethical Perspective

  • Many people have lost their homes

  • Many are left hungry, susceptible to disease, death, homes

  • Not a huge international response

    • Problem persisted before there was attention

  • Too much debate over definition of genocide

    • Time could have been spent more wisely

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Economic Implications

  • Displaced individuals have lost main source of income and food: land

    • Unsteady markets and poor climate conditions

  • Not many solid jobs available in the camps

  • Economic measurement of civilian death is limitless

  • Very expensive to provide aid to region

    • U.S. has pledged $100 million to region

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  • Conflict is real and imminent

  • Sad that much of the attention has been driven by celebrity appeal

  • Global effort needed to overcome genocide and hunger in the region

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Scott, Straus. "Darfur and the Genocide Debate." Foreign Affairs 84 (2005): 123-33.

Weissman, Fabrice. “Humanitarian Dilemmas in Darfur.” July 2008.

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