The tragedy of Darfur

“Gérard Prunier offers an incisive analysis of the Sudan crisis in Darfur, the Ambiguous Genocide. The world must act now, says Dominick Donald.”

From The Guardian:

During 2003, occasional reports emerged in the international media of fighting in Darfur, a huge tract of western Sudan bordering Chad. Over the next year the picture became confused, as – depending on who was doing the talking – a minor rebellion became a tribal spat, or nomads taking on farmers, or Arab-versus-African ethnic cleansing, or genocide.

An outside world that understood political violence in Sudan through the simplistic lens of the unending war between Muslim north and Christian/animist south – a war that seemed to be about to end – had to adjust. And nothing that has emerged since has made that adjustment easy. If Darfuris are Muslim, what is their quarrel with the Islamic government in Khartoum? If they and the janjaweed – “evil horsemen” – driving them from their homes are both black, how can it be Arab versus African? If the Sudanese government is making peace with the south, why would it be risking that by waging war in the west? Above all, is it genocide?

Gérard Prunier has the answers. An ethnographer and renowned Africa analyst, he turns on the evasions of Khartoum the uncompromising eye that dissected Hutu power excuses for the Rwanda genocide a decade ago.

More here.