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genocide hunger in darfur

Genocide & Hunger in Darfur

Katie Stutsman April, 2009

  • 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

historical perspective
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
darfur demographics climate
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

international response
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
impact on society
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
  • 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
an ethical perspective
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
economic implications
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
  • 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

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

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