This is the first analysis of the crisis in Darfur to consider the events of the last few years within the context of Sudan’s history, and to critically examine the efficacy of the world’s response to the crisis.
This is the first analysis of the crisis in Darfur to consider the events of the last few years within the context of Sudan’s history, and to critically examine the efficacy of the world’s response to the crisis. Illuminating the deeply rooted causes of the current conflict, Mahmood Mamdani explains how British colonialism tribalised Darfur, dividing its population into so-called 'native' and 'settler' tribes, and creating homelands for the former at the expense of the latter. A severe drought triggered a civil war between these groupings in 1987–89, and the conflict reignited in the 1990s when the government tried unsuccessfully to tackle the issue of land allocation. The effects of the Cold War in exacerbating the 40-year civil war in Chad, and how this impacted on Darfur, are analysed. In 2003, the rise of two rebel movements led to a brutal insurgency and counter-insurgency campaign. By then, the conflict involved national, regional and global forces, including a powerful western lobby dressed up as 'humanitarian intervention' and calling for military involvement in Darfur. Incisive and authoritative, Saviours and Survivors radically alters our understanding of the crisis in Darfur and inspires readers to look beneath the media hype that often accompanies reporting on Africa. Mamdani cautions against drawing simple caricatures of conflict in Africa and encourages us to look more deeply into the causes of conflict in order to be able to address it effectively.
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