Genocide in Sudan

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Women in Darfur drawing water from a well. [David Haberlah / Flickr]

Nicholas Kristof, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, encapsulated it in the title of one of his recent columns on Sudan: Never Again, Again? He was referring, of course, to the post-Holocaust vow of “never again,” and although genocide is always a controversial label, there’s no doubt that the horrific massacres of several hundred thousand Sudanese in the western region of Darfur over the last two-and-a-half years is one of the world’s very worst humanitarian disasters. Which the rest of the world is basically tuning out in a way that’s frighteningly reminiscent of Rwanda.

Two million Darfur residents are now displaced. The 7000 African Union troops currently in Sudan have helped stabilize Darfur to a point, but they’re esentially a bandaid on a gaping wound; and Europe and the US have recently decided to cut back AU funding. Peace talks are in their seventh round, but no one thinks they have a serious chance of success. It’s hard (or perhaps all too easy) to imagine what comes next.

The mission for this hour is to understand what’s at the root of this complicated inter-Muslim ethnic conflict and to try to figure out how the world community — and specifically the United States — can live up to the promise of “never again.” Our own American track record on humanitarian intervention during genocides is questionable at best — what do you think we should do in Darfur? And what would you like to know in order to make that part of the world more understandable and immediate?

Update, 2 Dec 05, 3:00pm

When we went through the show suggestions in our story meeting today, I realized that yesterday, in a mad rush to get this show post up in time, I completely forgot to link to Somerville’s Darfur idea — thanks for the suggestion and my apologies!

Nicholas Kristof

Op-ed columnist, the New York Times.

Simon Deng

Sudanese refugee and activist.

Eric Reeves

Professor of English at Smith College and passionate Sudan expert.

Extra-Credit Reading

Nicholas Kristof’s columns on Darfur in the New York Times.

Samantha Power on Darfur in the New Yorker last week and a year ago.

A BBC primer on the conflict in Darfur.

Sudan blogs on Global Voices.

Mortart, Darfur: Where is the American black outrage?, Octogenarian.

Update, 112/01 7:39 pm

Eric Reeves just recommended Darfur: A short history of a long war

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