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Friday, October 08, 2004

DARFUR MORTALITY UPDATE 

Current data for total mortality from violence, malnutrition, and
disease

Eric Reeves
October 8, 2004

Even as there is a growing body of evidence suggesting staggering
numbers of violent deaths in Darfur over the past 20 months, and even as
grimly authoritative predictions of accelerating mortality suggest that
there will be many tens of thousands of additional deaths in the coming
months, there is no analytic or synthetic news reporting on these
terrible realities and their implications for an understanding of what
is occurring in Darfur. Individual reports from extremely authoritative
sources are ignored or misrepresented, and no efforts to survey the
reports and data as a whole have figured in any news accounts of Darfur.
The effect is a massive understatement of the nature and
destructiveness of the catastrophe.

The most commonly cited number of deaths, in both wire reports and
newspaper accounts, is "50,000." This is a transparently untenable
figure, and severely misrepresents the import of a recent UN World
Health Organization (WHO) mortality update. In mid-September 2004 the
WHO announced that 50,000 people had died of disease since April 2004 in
camps for the displaced. But this has been perversely reported as a
total morality figure for all 20 months of the Darfur conflict, instead
of a five-month segment. Nor does the WHO figure make any attempt to
include the much greater number of violent deaths defining total
mortality in Darfur. As Dr. David Nabarro, head of WHO emergency
response efforts, insisted in a clarifying email to this writer:

"I fear that remarks I made at a Press Briefing on September 13th 2004
were misquoted. I said that we estimate that at least 50,000 Internally
Displaced Persons have died from disease (in some cases exacerbated by
malnutrition) since April 2004." (email to this writer, September 16,
2004)

To be sure, UN and humanitarian organizations have been slow to respond
to the challenges of mortality assessment, and public presentation of
the data and evidence at hand has often been ineffective. But it is
unconscionable that the lives of more than 200,000 people from the
African tribal populations of Darfur are, because of journalistic
slovenliness, being elided from present international awareness of this
already well-advanced genocide.

OVERVIEW

This present analysis of total mortality related to the Darfur conflict
concludes that the most appropriate figure for deaths from violence,
disease, and malnutrition---from February 2003 to the
present---approaches 300,000. Of these, over 200,000 have died from the
effects of violence; over 80,000 have died from disease and
malnutrition. The statistical extrapolations from the various reports
guiding this analysis are not complex; assumptions are made here with
conservative intent; there is necessarily a wide margin of error, though
the more distinct possibility is of significant understatement.

There is an inevitably heuristic quality to such an analysis:
assumptions are made that can be only partially justified, comparisons
that are subject to debate, and conclusions that should be challenged.
This writer welcomes all reasonable criticisms and suggestions, and
especially data and statistical perspectives relevant to this analysis.
A number of suggestions and criticisms that have come in the wake of six
previous analyses of mortality are incorporated here. Necessarily, any
assessment of mortality in Darfur is a work-in-progress.

Following an overview of the current situation in Darfur, especially as
it bears on prospective mortality, this assessment analyzes (i) current
mortality from violence, and (ii) current mortality from disease and
malnutrition, (iii) prospective mortality indicators.

THE CURRENT SITUATION IN DARFUR

The humanitarian situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate rapidly,
with a highly distressed and weakened displaced population that is not
receiving half the necessary food aid, or critical non-food items (clean
water sources, shelter, sanitary facilities). Moreover, as the deadly
mismatch between humanitarian need and humanitarian capacity continues
to grow in the coming months, the global Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) will
begin to surge. From Geneva, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the UN
Agency for International Development William Garvelink declared:

"'The crisis in Darfur has not yet peaked. We have not yet seen the
worst.' Earlier this year, US AID predicted that between 80,000 and
300,000 people could die if the situation failed to improve in Darfur.
'We're now coming to the high side of that range,' Garvelink told
reporters. After months of relying on scarce food handouts---when aid
agencies have been able to reach refugee settlements---more than a
million people in Darfur face severe malnutrition, Garvelink [said].
'We're going to see a tipping point in December, January or February.'"
(Associated Press, October 4, 2004)

"People were already weak from struggling through the early part of the
summer with little international help, and women and children would be
particularly vulnerable to food shortages. 'Woman and children will die
at a much higher rate than they are now,' Garvelink said." (Reuters,
October 4, 2004)

This grim forecast, perhaps statistically overstating what US AID data
presently demonstrate, is a function of a collapsing agricultural
economy, inadequate humanitarian transport and logistical capacity, a
lack of resources, and continuing insecurity. On this latter issue,
undeniable realities obliged Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his report
to the UN Security Council to speak with some refreshing honesty, noting
not only the increasingly desperate humanitarian situation but an
increasingly perilous security situation:

"Today, still increasing numbers of the population of Darfur are
exposed, without any protection from their Government [the Khartoum
regime], to hunger, fear, and violence. The numbers affected by the
conflict are growing and their suffering is being prolonged by inaction.
In a significant proportion of the territory security conditions have
worsened. In the month of September the Government has not been able to
fulfill its responsibilities and commitments to protect the people of
Darfur." (Report of the Secretary-General to the UN Security Council,
pursuant to Resolutions 1556 and 1564; October 4, 2004)

To be sure, even this damning commentary is not without some degree of
disingenuousness. Trapped by his own previous dishonest refusal to
state the most basic truth about the conflict in Darfur---that it
continues to be conducted in genocidal fashion by the Khartoum regime
itself, in concert with its Janjaweed allies---Annan speaks of the
regime "not being able to fulfill its responsibilities to protect" the
people of Sudan. Of course the regime is "able": it has simply chosen
to flout the demands of UN Security Council Resolutions 1556 and 1564,
as well as promises made to Annan himself on July 3, 2004 in Khartoum.
Certainly until the regime is held clearly accountable for its
fundamental responsibility in orchestrating genocide, it will presume
that no meaningful international action is impending.

And despite Annan's suggestion that violence in Darfur has recently
diminished somewhat, reports from the ground---from UN and relief
officials, as well as journalists---suggest quite the opposite:

"Attacks by armed gangs on internally displaced persons and clashes
between armed groups have continued in the troubled Sudanese state of
North Darfur, creating 'a fragile security situation' and widespread
fear among civilians living in camps within the region, humanitarian
sources said on Thursday [September 30, 2004]."

"According to another source, another group of 3,000 IDPs who had fled
their villages in early September and camped in El Bisharia, 2.5 km
south of El Fasher, had reportedly been forced to return to their
villages about 10 days ago. But after they arrived at their homes, many
of them were attacked forcing some to flee into the bushes or to El
Fasher."

"[Humanitarian organizations] operating in South Darfur reported that
on Tuesday that renewed fighting had driven at least 5,000 people from
their homes within three days." (UN Integrated Regional Information
Networks [Nairobi] October 1, 2004)

Though over 2,000 villages have now been destroyed, Janjaweed attacks
continue remorselessly:

"Thousands of terrified Sudanese are again straggling into refugee
camps in the Darfur region, driven from their villages by fresh violence
that illustrates the challenges of ending the conflict here. UN and
relief officials said Thursday that there'd been an upsurge in violence
this week in southern Darfur. Hege Ospeth, a spokesperson for Norwegian
Church Aid, which runs a refugee camp in Bashom, said 5,000 new refugees
had arrived from 10 villages that had been attacked by government-backed
militias in the past week." (Knight Ridder news [Ishma, Darfur], October
1, 2004)

The effects of such continued violence and displacement have led one UN
official to declare recently that "Darfur could continue to mushroom out
of control because of ongoing insecurities":

"Arab militiamen attacked villages in Sudan's North Darfur state as
recently as last month, according to residents who fled the attacks to
camps for displaced people. [ ] Residents of Abu Delig, about 50 km
south of El-Fasher, capital of North Darfur state, said their village
was attacked by 150 military personnel and aerial bombardment in late
August to early September, said the official who declined to be named. [
] The residents described the attackers as heavily-armed men wearing
camouflage-style uniforms, a common description for the Janjaweed
militia."

"The [UN] official said she heard first-hand reports from residents of
tens of thousands of new displaced persons in government and rebel
territory in North and South Darfur state. The new figures have yet to
be included in UN estimates that 1.5 million people have been displaced
by the conflict that erupted in 2003, she said. 'Darfur could continue
to mushroom out of control because of ongoing insecurities.'" (Reuters,
October 7, 2004)

Massive, violent human displacement informs both retrospective and
prospective morality assessments.

RETROSPECTIVE MORTALITY ASSESSMENT: VIOLENT DEATHS

The previous mortality analysis by this writer (September 15, 2004;
available upon request) highlighted several important new sources of
mortality data. The most important of these was a very extensive study
conducted by the distinguished Coalition for International Justice
("Documenting Atrocities in Darfur," available at:
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/36028.htm). On the basis of 1,136
carefully randomized interviews, conducted among the Darfuri refugee
population in Chad at a number of camp locations along the border, the
Coalition for International Justice (CIJ) found that "sixty-one percent
[of those interviewed] reported witnessing the killing of a family
member."

The total number of refugees in Chad is now greater than 200,000. If
we assume that this population of persons displaced from Darfur is
representative of many hundreds of thousands of violently displaced
persons within Darfur, then the total number people represented by the
CIJ study is over 1.5 million, and may reach to 2 million.

How do we establish the approximate figure for those people violently
displaced, either into camps, into towns, within inaccessible rural
areas in Darfur---or into Chad?

In its most recent "Darfur Humanitarian Profile," the UN Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that 1.45 million
people have been displaced into accessible camps within Darfur; this
figure is based on food assistance registrations by UN and
nongovernmental humanitarian organizations ("Darfur Humanitarian
Profile," No. 6, September 16, 2004, page 5;
http://www.who.int/disasters/repo/14756.pdf). The OCHA report also
estimates that an "additional 500,000 conflict-affected persons are in
need of assistance" (page 9), and it is reasonable to assume that most
of these are displaced persons in inaccessible rural areas. (Even a
figure of 500,000 almost certainly understates the number of displaced
persons in rural areas.) Moreover, the OCHA report does not attempt to
assess either the host communities or the size of displaced populations
in the three state capitals (Nyala, el-Fasher, and el-Geneina) because
there are still no systematic food registrations in these large urban
areas.

Thus out of a total displaced population in Darfur of over 2 million,
we require an estimate of the number of persons who experienced violent
displacement of the sort that created refugees in Chad. Given the
extremely high level of village destruction throughout Darfur, and the
tenacity with which these people have sought to cling to their land and
livelihoods, displacement per se is a very likely indicator of violent
displacement.

Moreover, a recent epidemiological study published in The Lancet
(Britain's premier medical journal) offers clear evidence that
displacement is overwhelmingly related to violent attacks. In two
camps, Zalingei and Murnei, statistically rigorous assessments found
that "direct attack on the village" accounted for displacement of 92.8%
of the Zalingei population and 97.4% of the Murnei population (the
combined camp populations is approximately 110,000) (The Lancet, October
1, 2004, "Violence and mortality in West Darfur, Sudan (2003-04):
epidemiological evidence from four surveys" (available online at:
http://www.thelancet.com/journal [requires (free) registration]).

If we conservatively assume that 80% of the total displaced populations
that have remained in Darfur were driven to flee by "direct attack on
villages," the number of violently displaced persons is 1.6 million.

This yields a total figure of violent displacement, for Chad and
Darfur, of very approximately 1.8 million. The average family size in
Darfur is slightly more than five, suggesting that a population of 1.8
million represents almost 360,000 families. If randomized interviews by
the Coalition for International Justice (CIJ) find that "sixty-one
percent [of those interviewed] reported witnessing the killing of a
family member," then this yields a mortality figure for violent deaths
of over 200,000 human beings.

Caveats and other considerations:

There is some chance that despite randomizing of interviews in Chad,
and multiple camp locations at which interviews were conducted, overlaps
exist in the "family members" identified as having been seen killed.
This is a negligible number if "family" refers to nuclear family.
Indeed, the chances of overlap even for members of extended families are
quite small, given the diversity of interview locations.

More significant is the fact that those conducting interviews for the
CIJ found that interviewees often reported more than one family member
had been killed, often several more than one. Yet the statistical
derivation offered here presumes that only one family member has been
killed among the 61% who reported seeing (at least) one family member
killed.

Secondly, the study cannot take account of the number of families in
which all members were killed, and who thus had no reporting presence in
the camps where interviews took place. The CIJ study does report that
28% of those interviewed "directly witnessed" persons dying from the
consequences of displacement before reaching Chad. These deaths must be
considered the direct consequence of violence, if not violent deaths per
se, and would significantly increase violent mortality totals.

Moreover, the CIJ study indicates that 67% of those interviewed
"directly witnessed" the killing of a non-family member." As the raw
data from the CIJ study is soon scheduled for release, it may be
possible to put this extraordinary figure in a statistical context that
is yet more revealing of violent mortality. Given the number camp
locations (19), and the randomizing techniques used within the camps---

"refugees were selected using a systematic, random sampling approach
designed to meet the condition in Chad. Interviewers randomly selected
a sector within a refugee camp and then, from a fixed point within the
sector, chose every 10th dwelling unit for interviewing. [ ] One adult
[from the dwelling unit] was randomly selected [for interviewing]" (CIJ
study, page 5)---

---the figure of 67% of refugees "directly witnessing" the death of a
non-family member strongly suggests that assumptions made in this
analysis may lead to significant underestimation.

In light of these various CIJ findings, and data reported in The
Lancet, a figure of 200,00 violent deaths over the past 20 months of
conflict seems a conservative estimate. The Lancet article, which
concludes that West Darfur is the site of a "demographic catastrophe,"
has other important implications, some of which are noted below.

RETROSPECTIVE MORATLITY ASSESSMENT: DEATHS FROM
DISEASE AND MALNUTRITION

Journalists of all stripe have failed to understand the implications of
the recent UN World Health Organization (WHO) study of health-related
mortality in Darfur. Indeed, the study was extremely badly misreported
by both wire services as well as print and broadcast journalists. This
has had the extremely unfortunate effect of giving apparent UN authority
to a putative total morality figure of "50,000" deaths. What the WHO
study and accompanying public commentary represented---as explicitly
confirmed to this writer by David Nabarro, chief of emergency operations
for WHO---was a figure of more than 50,000 deaths from disease and
malnutrition since April 2004 in camps to which there is humanitarian
access.

Thus the now frequently cited UN figure of "50,000" does not include
violent deaths over the course of 20 months of extremely violent
conflict. It does not represent morality in Chad. It does not
represent mortality in areas inaccessible to humanitarian operations.
And it does not include deaths from disease and malnutrition prior to
April 2004 (again, the conflict began in February 2003). In short,
"50,000" is a number of highly limited relevance. Further, as Dr.
Nabarro confirmed to this writer by telephone communication, the WHO
figure for monthly mortality should be closer to 10,000 in the "6,000 to
10,000 deaths per month" range reported as coming from WHO. Only such a
higher number begins to take some account of populations more difficult
to access.

In the three weeks since WHO report was published, assuming a mid-range
figure for mortality in accessible areas, another 6,000 people have
died, suggesting that more 56,000 people have died in accessible areas
since April 2004.

Mortality in rural areas to which there is no access is best assessed
on the basis of the US Agency for International Development projections
("Projected Mortality Rates in Darfur, 2004-2005"
(http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/sudan/cmr_darfur.pdf).
We may use as a conservative denominator for these projections the
current figure of 500,000 inaccessible persons in need of humanitarian
assistance promulgated by OCHA. For the past four months, US AID
projections indicate an average Crude Mortality Rate of almost 9 per day
per 10,000 (for a population without humanitarian relief and
experiencing severe food shortages). In these 120 days, assuming a
constant denominator of 500,000, this suggests a total mortality of
approximately 50,000. These deaths would be primarily among very young
children, the elderly, and those made vulnerable from violent trauma.

Still, a figure of 50,000 may be too high for several reasons,
primarily the highly skilled foraging abilities of these people and the
use (and likely exhaustion) of food reserves. On the other hand,
insecurity produced by continuing Janjaweed predations would compromise
both of these food sources. If we assume (very conservatively) that a
figure of 50,000 overstates by 100%, this still leave a figure of 25,000
deaths from malnutrition and related disease over the past four months
in inaccessible areas of Darfur. Together with the figure deriving from
the WHO report and data, this suggests a total figure of 80,000 deaths
from malnutrition and disease since April 2004.

Still excluded is the number of deaths from disease and malnutrition
during the period February 2003 to April 2004. During this period
several humanitarian organizations reported high Crude Mortality Rates
at various junctures. Many thousands died in the camps, especially
children, though there is no systematic data that permits extrapolation
of a total figure. If we couple this knowledge with a figure of more
than 200,000 violent deaths, and more than 80,000 deaths from disease
and malnutrition (according to WHO and US AID), then a total mortality
figure for all of Darfur over the past 20 months is approximately
300,000.

PROPSECTIVE MORTALITY INDICATORS

Though the UN World Food Program heroically strove to increase the
total number of food recipients in September, reaching 1.3 million
people under extremely difficult circumstances, the UN target figure for
October is 2 million. This does not include more than 200,000 refugees
in Chad, where many camps actually report higher average Global Acute
Malnutrition rates for children under five than in Darfur itself.
Moreover, this new figure includes only a few of those who are beyond
humanitarian reach (again, OCHA's figure is 500,000).

The figure of 2 million also does not include large numbers of
displaced persons who have fled to urban areas rather than the camps, or
newly displaced persons. The larger urban areas (the three state
capitals of West, South, and North Darfur) present severe problems in
effectively registering displaced persons for food distributions. As
food prices begin to skyrocket in these towns, and foodstocks dwindle,
people will be forced to move to camps, further increasing the
assessable number of food-dependent people who must receive humanitarian
assistance.

Though there are of course different degrees of food-dependency, the
overall malnutrition rates for the total population presently in
need---approximately 2.5 million in Darfur alone---are climbing. This
is obscured by the fact that assessments of malnutrition take place only
in accessible camps, to which food can be transported: those in urban
areas or inaccessible rural areas do not figure in malnutrition
studies.

This is the real significance of the comments by US AID's Garvelink:

"'The crisis in Darfur has not yet peaked. We have not yet seen the
worst. [ ] After months of relying on scarce food handouts---when aid
agencies have been able to reach refugee settlements---more than a
million people in Darfur face severe malnutrition,' Garvelink told
reporters. 'We're going to see a tipping point in December, January or
February.'" (Associated Press, October 4, 2004)

For even in reaching 1.3 million people in September, the World Food
Program is providing food for only half those in need. To be sure, with
the impending end of the rainy season transport will become easier, as
roads dry out and a large dedicated truck fleet can move food to more
remote locations. But under-funding threatens the longer-term viability
of even present levels of inadequate capacity. UN spokeswoman Radhia
Achouri recently announced that, "the UN has said it has received just a
little over half the required funds to meet the needs of the 1.5 million
displaced in Darfur" (Reuters, October 6, 2004). But as indicated
above, the real figure is closer to 2.5 million in need of food and
humanitarian assistance; in this context, the UN has received less than
a third of what is needed need for the distressed populations of Darfur

Moreover, there is a much larger food crisis in Africa, with many
countries facing huge drought-related food deficits. Without much
greater donor response to the overall food needs of Darfur and the rest
of Africa, we may be sure that many hundreds of thousands of additional
deaths from starvation and disease will be recorded in the coming year.

For Darfur, the food requirements for 2.5 million people are over
42,000 metric tons per month (according to humanitarian logisticians,
the food requirements for 1 million people---cereal, pulses, oil---are
17,000 thousand metric tons per month). Critical non-food items
(medical supplies, shelter, water-purification) add substantially to
transport and logistical requirements. The 200,000 refugees in Chad are
not included in this figure, and add approximately 3.5 thousand metric
tons per month. There is nothing approaching 45,000 metric tons of
monthly capacity in the humanitarian theater at present, and it is
impossible to see how transport and logistical capacity can be increased
sufficiently without robust humanitarian intervention, far in excess of
what can be provided by even an augmented African Union force (which has
virtually no logistical or transport capacity even for its military
forces).

As a consequence, even those in camps with humanitarian access will
continue to die at very high rates, well above the threshold for a
humanitarian emergency. Shortfalls in food, in the context of a
collapsed agricultural economy (and a distinctly possible locust
plague), will take an ever greater toll as Darfur's overall population
weakens in coming months. We may not see the greatest mortality rates
until February 2005.

The threat of donor fatigue, or a loss of the present acute interest in
Darfur, is also of great concern, and has immense implications for
long-term mortality rates, as camps for the displaced become more
permanent---warehouses for survivors of genocide. A UN World Food
Spokesman offers a grim prospective view:

"UN World Food Programme spokesman Greg Barrow said the crisis [in
Darfur] would drag on because so many Darfur residents were still in
refugee camps, unable to harvest this year or plant crops for 2005.
'The aid crisis is going to continue at least until the end of next
year,' Barrow said. 'This is a very, very precarious situation. The
levels of humanitarian aid will need to be sustained at or above the
same level as this year.''' (Reuters October 6, 2004)

Associated Press also reported on Barrow's comments:

"'We are looking at a long-term situation there,' [Barrow] said.
'Possibly towards the end of next year and maybe even beyond, there
is going to have to be large-scale international humanitarian assistance
to help these people feed themselves.'" (Associated Press, October 6,
2004)

The chances of such long-term, very high levels of humanitarian
commitment are unlikely; perversely, such commitment would likely
diminish the ability of the UN and humanitarian organizations to respond
to crises elsewhere in the world.

Continuing violence in Darfur also defines prospective mortality
assessment. The Lancet article ("Violence and mortality in West
Darfur") gives us extraordinary insight into mortality rates for
those displaced persons from the time they are violently attacked to the
time they arrive at a camp (what is called the "village and flight
period"). Crude Mortality Rates (CMR) for the populations assessed in
the Zalingei, Murnei, and Niertiti camps were 5.9, 9.5, and 7.3
respectively (again, CMR is a measure of deaths per day per 10,000 of
affected population). The average CMR for people who were violently
forced to flee their villages is thus 7.6 for a population of 135,000
people (page 4). 3.0 is often considered a "catastrophic mortality
rate."

While the CMR declined by five-fold to eight-fold when displaced
persons entered the "in camp period," it remained above the levels
defining of a humanitarian emergency.

The implications are chiefly for those populations that continue to be
displaced by Khartoum and its Janjaweed militia forces: the people
attacked, during the period of attack and flight, will continue to
experience mortality at rates far above the "catastrophic level."

THE POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC CONTEXT

Khartoum has peremptorily refused to enter into meaningful political
discussions with the Darfur insurgency groups, even before negotiations
resume in Abuja (Nigeria) on October 21:

"[The government of] Sudan on Monday ruled out any notion of self-rule
for Darfur and said rebels in the western region would not secure the
same concessions agreed with southern rebels after two decades of war.
'There will be no question about power-sharing or wealth-sharing,'
[Agriculture Minister Majzoub al-Khalifa, head of the government's
Darfur peace talks delegation] said, referring to demands made by
rebels." (Reuters, October 4, 2004)

Nor is Khartoum willing to enter into meaningful discussions of the
essential security issues. A political settlement, essential to any
meaningful peace, seems a distant prospect---as does humanitarian
intervention to increase transport and logistical capacity and to
provide troops adequate to protect displaced civilians, humanitarian
workers, and to create safe corridors for people trapped in presently
inaccessible areas.

Indeed, so distant is the prospect of humanitarian intervention that
Khartoum's ambassador to the UN feels comfortable taunting the US for
simultaneously finding that genocide is occurring in Darfur and yet
refusing to intervene to halt this ultimate crime:

"Elfatih Mohamed Erwa was asked [about US declarations of genocide in
Darfur]: 'If it is really a genocide they should be committed to send
troops,' the Sudanese ambassador said. 'This is why I don't think
they're genuine about its being genocide.'" (Associated Press, October
6, 2004)

We must credit Erwa with raising an appropriate question. But the
genocide is all too real, and it is not simply the US Congress and
executive branch that have declared as much. In addition to numerous
human rights organizations, in addition to the Committee on Conscience
of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, in
addition to numerous genocide scholars and organizations, the government
of Germany and the Parliament of the European Union (by a vote of 566 to
6) have also declared that Khartoum's actions in Darfur are genocide.
No organization has credibly argued that genocide is not occurring in
Darfur, though Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres has
sadly disgraced itself with ill-conceived and politically motivated
comments about the issue.

Despite this rapidly growing consensus, the international failure to
respond to Rwanda in the spring of 1994 tells us all too much about the
fate of Darfur over the past year---and for the foreseeable future.
Here no voice carries more authority than that of Romeo Dallaire, who
wrote of Darfur recently:

"The UN, emasculated by the self-interested maneuverings of the five
permanent members of the Security Council, [has failed] to intervene. [
] When I read phrases [in UN Security Council Resolution 1556, July 30,
2004] like 'reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity,
territorial integrity and independence of Sudan' and 'expressing its
determination to do everything possible to halt a humanitarian
catastrophe, including by taking further action if required,' I can't
help but think of the stifling directives that were imposed on the UN's
department of peacekeeping operations in 1994 and then passed down to me
in the field."
(International Herald Tribune, October 4, 2004)

Present threats and exhortations, even the deployment of an expanded
African Union force, "are simply not going to be enough to stop the
killing---not nearly enough," Dallaire rightly argues.

There is still no evidence that this matters sufficiently.

Eric Reeves
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
ereeves@smith.edu


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