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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Engineered Famine: Khartoum's Weapon of Genocidal Mass Destruction; 

Catastrophic food shortfalls in Darfur can no longer be avoided

Eric Reeves
February 23, 2005

If there is a voice of conscience within the UN, a voice that refuses
to allow Darfur's terrible truths to remain unsaid, it belongs to Jan
Egeland, UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs. It was Egeland
who first sounded the alarm concerning the scale of Darfur's
humanitarian crisis over a year ago, declaring in a radio interview that
Darfur had already become the world's greatest humanitarian crisis ("The
World," BBC/Public Radio International, December 18, 2003). It was
Egeland who, on the basis of his own research and travel to Darfur,
dared to say that what was occurring in Darfur was "ethnic cleansing"
(Reuters, April 4, 2004), even as UN Secretary-General Kofi would
maintain more than two months later that he'd seen nothing to convince
him that what was occurring in Darfur was either genocide or "ethnic
cleansing." It was Egeland who in April 2004 also appropriately
described Khartoum's military actions as "scorched-earth tactics"
directed against the non-Arab/African tribal populations of Darfur.

Now Egeland has again sounded the alarm and offered the most ominous
of
warnings:

"'Since [the world belatedly awoke to the Darfur crisis] the number of
internally displaced persons (IDPs) has doubled to between 1.8 million
and 1.9 million 'and it's growing by the day.' The number of IDPs and
the many hundreds of thousands of others now outside of the camps who
are in desperate need of assistance is bound to increase, he warned,
adding: 'Some are predicting 3 million, some are predicting 4 million,
some are predicting more than that, of people in desperate need of
life-saving assistance as we approach the hunger gap in mid-year...whose
lives will be at stake.'" (UN News Center [New York], February 18,
2005)

These numbers represent a crisis that will overwhelm currently
available humanitarian resources in this remote and extremely difficult
theater of operations (see section below on food supplies and logistics,
market collapse, and production shortfalls). A critical lack of
international funding, completely unacceptable levels of insecurity for
humanitarian operations, and growing politicization of the Darfur crisis
also work against the achievement of adequate humanitarian resources,
deployment, and reach. And, as Egeland insists, still the numbers
continue to grow:

"Some are predicting 3 million, some are predicting 4 million, some are
predicting more than that, of people in desperate need of life-saving
assistance as we approach the hunger gap in mid-year...whose lives will
be at stake."

For context, we should recall that the UN World Food Program reached
1.2 million needy recipients in January 2005---a decline of 300,000 from
December 2004. Instead of increasing food deliveries, humanitarian
operations saw a 20% decline. Even as overall agricultural production
remains essentially paralyzed because of insecurity, and food reserves
continue to fall, 300,000 fewer people received food last month, and the
decline may continue in the current month.

Internal World Food Program documents now estimate---and on the basis
of unreasonably optimistic assumptions about the integrity of food
markets in Darfur---that 2.8 million people will be in need of food
assistance during the coming "hunger gap"---the period of time between
spring/early summer planting and fall harvest. This period also largely
coincides with the rainy season that paralyzes transport for much of
Darfur, cutting off large parts of the population, as was the case
during the rainy season of last year. A more realistic assessment of
the food crisis suggests that Egeland is right to offer the numbers he
does: between 3 million and 4 million people will be affected by
Khartoum's engineered famine. Hundreds of thousands of people will
starve to death.

Previous warnings of famine have already come from the US Agency for
International Development and the UN's respected Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO):

"'All the indicators are there for a famine,' says Marc Bellemans, the
Sudan emergency coordinator for the UN's Food and Agriculture
Organization. In a report to fellow UN agencies late last year, the FAO
warned 'a humanitarian crisis of unseen proportions is unfolding in the
Darfur region.'" (The Wall Street Journal [Dateline: Fur Baranga,
Darfur] February 7, 2005)

This famine warning was also given explicit and increased urgency by
Egeland:

"While relief workers were able to prevent the massive famine that had
been predicted for the area a year ago, 'now it is time to say we may
not perhaps be able to do so in the coming months if the situation keeps
on deteriorating as it has,' Egeland told a news conference." (Reuters,
February 18, 2005)

And though full-scale famine has heretofore been averted, areas in
rural Darfur are now experiencing famine or famine-like conditions.
Moreover, overall mortality has still been massive during the past two
years of extremely violent conflict and displacement: data currently
available from humanitarian, UN, and human rights reports strongly
suggest that more than 350,000 people have already perished (see most
recent mortality assessment by this writer: "Darfur Humanitarian Update,"
February 10, 2005 at:
http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=37&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0).


[Significantly, there is no evidence that the UN World Health
Organization (WHO) has succeeded in obtaining access to Darfur for its
mortality epidemiologists, an effort first reported over two weeks ago
by the Washington Post:

"The World Health Organization has been in tense negotiations with
Sudan for about a month over allowing a team of international
epidemiologists to conduct a study of mortality in Darfur. A UN official
familiar with the discussions said Khartoum has so far refused to grant
visas to the agency's specialists because Sudan is 'just terrified' that
a new mortality study will heighten international criticism of the
government." (The Washington Post, February 8, 2005)

On the contrary, there are strong indications that even if the WHO
gains access, its work will be fundamentally compromised by Khartoum
(see below).]

The food crisis in Darfur is of course in many ways a security crisis,
a fact highlighted repeatedly by Egeland, even as he made insistently
clear the woeful inadequacy of the present African Union force:

"'Eight workers have been killed, our helicopters have been shot at,
our trucks are being looted there---we are paralyzed,' Mr. Egeland
added." (UN News Center [New York], February 18, 2005)

"Egeland criticized world leaders for leaving aid workers to apply a
'bandaid' instead of taking political action to resolve the conflict.
'You cannot have this kind of situation and put in 10,000 unarmed men
and women with blankets and foodstuffs and field hospitals and say, "You
stop this war." We cannot. Others have to help us,' Egeland said."

"'We're front row witnesses to more massacres. We're front-row
witnesses to more displacements. We are front row witnesses to massive
misery and suffering of Darfur and we shouldn't be,' [Egeland] said.
'The armed men in militias are getting away with murder of women and
children and it is still happening. Those who direct the militias, these
forces are also getting away with murder. It's impunity what we have
seen taking place in Darfur,' he said." (Associated Press, February 19,
2005)

Of course the "armed men in militias getting away with murder of women
and children" are the Janjaweed, Khartoum's savage military proxies and
the unconstrained instrument of violent, ethnically-targeted human
destruction. Though the insurgency movements are culpable on many
counts, especially in impeding humanitarian efforts, and also give
evidence of both political and military fracturing, it is important to
bear in mind the conclusions of both the UN Commission of Inquiry for
Darfur and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:

"Although attacks by rebel forces have also taken place, the Commission
has found no evidence that these are widespread or that they have been
systematically targeted against the civilian population. Incidents of
rebel attacks are mostly against military targets, police or security
forces" (Paragraph 240 of the Report of the International Commission of
Inquiry, [Geneva] January 25, 2005)

"My mission received no credible reports of rebel attacks on civilians
as such but did receive reports of attacks on police officers."
("Statement to the Security Council on Darfur," Louise Arbour, UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights, September 30, 2004)

If the international community is to take Egeland's urgent and
impassioned warning seriously, it must be prepared to provide a massive
increase in the size and mandate of forces committed to augmenting the
presently deeply inadequate African Union force. Egeland speaks
generally of a force perhaps five times greater than that presently
deployed: "Maybe we would need five times the number there is now of
African Union forces," (Associated Press, February 19, 2005).

But the truth is that this is not so much a considered estimate of the
military force necessary for the various security tasks that must be
undertaken if humanitarian operations and acutely vulnerable civilian
populations are to be protected; rather, it is a desperate plea by
Egeland for "the Security Council and world at-large [to] act now to put
a robust force on the ground" (UN News Center, February 18, 2005):

"'Humanitarian workers are frustrated and angry with the situation.
Many of
them feel that we are alibis or a substitute for the political action
and the security action that the world is not taking,' [Egeland] said."
(Reuters, February 18, 2005)

"The basic lesson of earlier crises like Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda is
'that too often the world sends us, the band aid, and the world
believes that we keep people alive and then they don't have to take a
political and security action. This is wrong and that's why we are
really tired of being that kind of a substitute for political and
security action,' [Egeland] said." (UN News Center, February 18, 2005)

The balance of this analysis focuses on the interrelated issues of [1]
security requirements for Darfur, and [2] current indications of the
scale of the food shortages that can be expected over the next nine
months to a year.

SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

The remoteness of a political settlement to the Darfur crisis makes all
the more urgent an assessment of what is required in the way of
international humanitarian intervention. For there are simply no signs
that the African Union-sponsored talks in Abuja, Nigeria will yield any
diplomatic progress in the near term, nothing that might diminish the
need for very substantial deployment of security forces throughout
Darfur---forces far in excess of what the African Union has fielded or
is capable of providing.

The inadequacy of AU diplomatic auspices is suggested all too clearly
by recent wire reports indicating that a possible resumption of the
peace talks has been very badly managed (the previous round of talks
collapsed in disarray in December 2004, following Khartoum's initiation
of a major military offensive on the very eve of these talks).
Associated Press reports from Khartoum:

"Kamal Obeid, secretary of the National Congress [i.e., the National
Islamic Front] party's foreign relations committee, said Sudan has
received official notification from the African Union and the Nigerian
presidency, which is chairing the talks, that [peace talks] will resume
this month [February 2005].
'We actually received an official notification from the parties
brokering the talks on the resumption of the negotiations by the end of
this month, but no specific date has yet been set,' Obeid said.
However, an African Union spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said he had not received any indication of a scheduled resumption of
talks." (Associated Press [Khartoum], February 21, 2005)

To add to the confusion, Reuters reports that the insurgency movements
claim not to have been notified of any resumption in talks:

"The Sudanese government said talks to end violence in Darfur would
resume at the end of February, but rebels said they had not been told of
the date and would need more time to prepare themselves for any talks.
The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) said a return to talks
depended on the government creating a 'conducive atmosphere,' and that
the African Union, which is sponsoring the talks, had not given it a
date."

"SLM spokesman Adam Ali Shogar said on Sunday the government must
within two weeks withdraw from areas it has captured since a
much-violated ceasefire was signed and respect a no-fly zone before the
rebels would consider a return to talks. 'We have not received any
notification from the AU regarding the restarting of the talks,' he
said. 'If the government delivers on its pledges and creates a conducive
atmosphere then we will return to talks,' he said."

"SLM Chairman Abdel Wahid Mohammed Ahmed Nour said the AU must force
the government to implement agreements signed in November on security
and humanitarian issues for peace talks to have any meaning. He told
Reuters the SLM also needed at least 20 days to prepare for any talks."
(Reuters, February 20, 2005)

Given the ease with which Khartoum has forestalled progress in previous
rounds of talks, and the growing divisions evident within the both the
political and military wings of the two primary insurgency movements
(the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army [SLM/A] and Justice and Equality
Movement [JEM]), such diplomatic chaos is ominous in the extreme. It is
hardly surprising that Khartoum continues to express its unqualified
support for the AU as the exclusive diplomatic resource for peace talks,
and has worked relentlessly to forestall broader international
participation in negotiations.

In the absence of a negotiated settlement, and given the deepening
humanitarian crisis that Khartoum has engineered, Egeland is right to
insist in his remarks of February 18, 2005 that a security force many
times the size of the currently deployed AU force is required.

Such a force must be defined by a comprehensive survey of the specific
security requirements generated by the Darfur crisis. While long
evident, these requirements have been little discussed at the UN or by
international actors well aware of the inadequacies of the AU force.
Notably and commendably, many of these are articulated in a new report
by Amnesty International ("Sudan: Amnesty International's
recommendations on the deployment of a UN peace support operation," AI
Index: AFR 54/025/2005; February 21, 2005). Of particular significance
is Section 4 of the recommendations: "A strong and unambiguous mandate
and sufficient means to protect civilians" (pages 6-7).

But Amnesty doesn't specify all the tasks that must be undertaken; nor
does the organization offer any concrete force proposals. Only very
general suggestions are made, and without any clear acknowledgement that
virtually all would entail significant infringement on the national
sovereignty that Khartoum is already claiming, with considerable support
from the Arab League (especially Egypt and Libya), some African states,
China, Pakistan, and other nations. Moreover, Amnesty's proposal for an
arms embargo that would cut off the flow weapons to the Khartoum regime
is clearly politically impossible within the UN Security Council, as
both Russia and China have made abundantly clear in public statements.

This lack of specificity on Amnesty's part indirectly highlights the
essential political problem facing any humanitarian intervention of the
sort that Egeland has called for ("[UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian
Affairs Egeland] urgently called on world leaders Friday to vastly
increase the number of troops in Sudan's Darfur region to protect
unarmed civilians and humanitarian workers facing a wave of murder, rape
and looting" (Associated Press, February 19, 2005). For where are these
troops to come from? How many will be needed? How can countries outside
Africa enable and work with AU forces to create an effective force?
Under what auspices will they be deployed? How will the threat of a
Chinese or Russian veto in the UN Security Council be overcome? How
will such a force be deployed without UN approval?

Egeland recognizes that answers to these questions are not his to
provide, but there is little evidence that others are taking up the
planning tasks in effective or forceful fashion.

It must first be said that these troops and security personnel for
Darfur must be in addition to the UN peacekeeping operation that will be
deployed to southern Sudan in support of the January 9, 2005 peace
agreement between Khartoum and the southern Sudan People's Liberation
Movement/Army. This force, as articulated in the most recent US draft
Security Council resolution, is bloated, exorbitantly expensive, and
militarily ill-conceived in many respects (see analysis by this writer
[February 17, 2005] of the US proposal at:
http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=38&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0).
But most consequentially, the US proposal contains nothing that
suggests how eventual deployment of such a peace-support operation will
directly address extremely urgent security needs in Darfur.

To save the lives that are now acutely at risk, an emergency resolution
at the UN must receive immediate consideration. If China and/or Russia
block such consideration or veto an eventual resolution, NATO, the
European Union, the US and other willing countries (e.g., Australia, New
Zealand) must act outside UN auspices. All possible diplomatic,
political, economic, and moral leverage should be used to convince the
African Union to accept the basic fact of its inability to provide
adequate security to the people of Darfur, and the consequent need for
broad international assistance.

What are the essential security tasks?

[1] Provision of security to the camps for Internally Displaced
Persons, with adequate security perimeters that allow for the collection
of firewood, food, and animal fodder;

[2] Securing all humanitarian corridors to and within Darfur, both by
means of active patrols and accompanying security details for all
convoys requesting protection;

[3] The opening of safe passage routes from rural areas currently
beyond the reach of humanitarian operations, thereby allowing the free
movement of people who have depleted all food reserves and are
preventing by ongoing Janjaweed predations from using their superb
foraging skills;

[4] The dismantling of checkpoints on key road arteries, many of which
are maintained by bandits and other lawless elements that have emerged
from the chaos of two years of violence;

[5] Provision of safe passage and protection to civilians who wish to
return to their villages, or the sites of their former villages, in
order to resume agriculturally productive lives;

[6] Mechanical disabling or destruction of any military aircraft
implicated in violations of international law, in particular attacks on
civilian targets;

[7] Cantonment and eventual disarmament of the Janjaweed (per the
terms of the heretofore flouted "demand" of UN Security Resolution 1556,
July 30, 2004).

These tasks suggest very significant force requirements. Romeo
Dallaire, UN force commander in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, has
estimated that approximately 44,000 troops would be required for a
mission similar in ambition to one defined by these security tasks. The
world may choose to ignore actual military requirements in responding to
Darfur's massive crisis, and focus instead on what appears politically
practicable; this substitution of expediency for the honest assessment
of what is required to halt genocide ensures only that many tens of
thousands who might be saved will die.

THE FOOD CRISIS

Even with dramatically increased security in Darfur, the consequences
of two years of extreme violence, poor planning by the UN, inadequate
international funding, and Khartoum's relentless obstruction of
humanitarian responses have created a situation in which there are now
massive and insurmountable food shortages. The steady collapse of
agricultural production in Darfur, the extreme disruption of markets,
and rapidly escalating inflation in food prices all portend
extraordinary human mortality during the coming "hunger gap" (May/June
to October).

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Program
(WFP) estimate that 2004/2005 gross cereal production (primarily millet
and sorghum) will be one half to two-thirds below any of the most recent
five year's harvests. And even this very likely understates the
severity of the crisis: the International Committee of the Red Cross,
with the most substantial presence in rural Darfur, has indicated that
net cereal production will be far less than suggested by FAO/WFP
figures.

At a minimum, Darfur faces a cereal food gap of 250,000 metric tons
(MT), according to UN and non-UN food planners. For a sense of what
this figure alone represents, we should bear in mind that humanitarian
logisticians estimate that food needs for 1 million people (cereal,
pulses, and oil) are approximately 17,000 MT per month. A 250,000 MT
shortfall represents the total cereal food consumption of more than a
million people for approximately 14 months---without any balancing
complement of pulses (leguminous foods) or cooking oil.

From a somewhat different quantitative perspective, early in fiscal
year 2005 the US Agency for International Development (US AID) estimated
that without a dramatic improvement in security on the ground in Darfur,
the region's emergency food needs would reach to 750,000 MT for the
current calendar year (2005). US AID evidently now regards even this
enormous estimate as low.

The effects of what are now inevitably huge shortfalls in food aid and
availability can already be measured in terms of devastating inflation
in food prices:

"Sharp food price rises signal worrying grain shortages in many areas
in Sudan, already suffering widespread hunger, the UN World Food
Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday. WFP spokesperson Laura Melo said a near
doubling of sorghum prices in the past 12 months indicated the supply of
cereals could be even tighter than thought and the number of people
possibly at risk of food shortages greater than feared. 'WFP is
extremely concerned about a rapid rise in food prices in Sudan,' she
said. 'Many more people than we had anticipated could be facing food
shortages and the shortages of cereals could be worse than we thought.'"
(Reuters, February 22, 2004)

Of particular concern is the very recent spike in food prices:

"The UN's food agency warned Tuesday that there were signs that Sudan
was facing a food crisis, following a sharp rise in crop prices in the
country in recent weeks. The World Food Programme said the price rises
added to shortages caused by failed harvests, poor aid deliveries or
violence, especially in the south and east of the country, and the
strife-torn western region of Darfur. 'The increase in crop prices in
the last weeks has been sudden and significant,' [WFP] spokesman Simon
Pluess told journalists." (Agence France-Press, February 22, 2005)

The disruption of food markets, especially smaller food markets, has
already been severe, with increasingly strong ripple effects in the
urban areas. Moreover, even Darfuri villagers who have not been
displaced depend on these markets for the majority of their food, given
the collapse in agricultural production. Rising prices will put food
beyond the economic reach of these people, creating an even larger
population dependent upon humanitarian food distribution. Indeed, a
cascade of destructive effects has been set in motion, and only the most
urgent humanitarian intervention---both in the provision of security and
additional food supplies, transport, and logistics---can mitigate in
significant ways the cataclysm of human destruction that is impending.

Rural areas are in fact already giving strong signs of famine
conditions, and a recent important analysis from Refugees International
reports clear indications of the direction of the food crisis.
Assessing Global Acute Malnutrition, Refugees International notes that
while rates in camps have improved:

"Outside of camps, however, malnutrition rates may run between 20% and
25%, and wild foods are turning up for sale in markets in North Darfur,
an indicator of severe food stress." ("Sudan: Food shortages spreading
beyond conflict areas," Refugees International, February 16, 2005)

THE NEXUS OF INSECURITY

Ultimately, the threats to civilian life in Darfur are only arbitrarily
distinguished as physical insecurity and food insecurity: the two are
relentlessly intertwined by virtue of the Khartoum regime's inexorable
pursuit of genocidal ambitions. We may see the relationship in the
terms articulated by Egeland:

"'We are very afraid of the security of our workers in the field,'
[Egeland] said, noting that 'armed men in the militias are getting away
with murder of women and children and it is still happening and those
who direct these militias are also getting away with murder,' due to
massive impunity for what an inquiry commission has called massive war
crimes and crimes against humanity." (UN News Center, February 18,
2005)

We may also see the relationship in terms of Khartoum's deliberate
obstruction of humanitarian operations, as reported by Kofi Annan to the
UN Security Council:

"December and January saw increasing harassment of international
nongovernmental organizations by [Khartoum's] local authorities [in
Darfur], particularly in South Darfur. In a worrying sign that earlier
progress is being rolled back, systematic arrest, false and hostile
accusations through the national media outlets, and outright attacks
were combined with renewed restrictions on travel permits and visa
applications. Almost all NGOs operating South Darfur faced some form of
intimidation that delayed and restricted their operations." (Paragraph
21 of the February 4, 2005 Report of the Secretary-General on Sudan
Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1556 [2004])

We may also see the relationship between physical insecurity and food
insecurity in Khartoum's continuing refusal to restrain it brutal
Janjaweed militia allies, and the effects of Janjaweed predations on
agricultural production and the ability of Darfuris to forage for food.
Though Security Council Resolution 1556 (July 30, 2004) "demands" that
Khartoum disarm the Janjaweed and bring its leaders to justice, the
regime has exhibited nothing but contempt for this "demand," now issued
over half a year ago. Indeed, recent comments from the most notorious
Janjaweed leader, Musa Hilal, give a clear picture of Khartoum's
relationship to this instrument of human destruction:

"An Arab tribal chief suspected of human rights abuses in Darfur said
on Sunday he was doing only what the government told him when he
recruited militiamen to help put down an uprising there. Musa Hilal, who
tops the [US] State Department's list of Darfur human rights abuse
suspects, said Khartoum had entrusted tribal leaders with recruiting
young men to join the militias in Darfur. 'The war in Darfur was not in
our hands. The decision to make war was taken by higher powers in the
state. We, the leaders of the tribes, Arabs and others, were charged by
the government to take part in the conscription effort and we only
obeyed,' Hilal said." (Reuters, February 20, 2005)

Hilal also gives us a sense of just how unintimidated he is by the
threat of international prosecution:

"A UN-appointed panel has drawn up a confidential list of 51 people
suspected of 'heinous crimes' in Darfur and has recommended they be
tried at the new International Criminal Court. UN sources say Hilal is
on the list. Hilal said he would not agree to the 'humiliation' of being
prosecuted abroad. 'As an individual who is independent and has a sense
of his own freedom in his own country, I do not accept that I be
prosecuted outside of Sudan. I reject it completely,' he said."
(Reuters, February 20, 2005)

Hilal has of course been strongly encouraged in these views by every
single statement coming from senior members of the National Islamic
Front regime, including First Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Justice
Minister Ali Muhammed OsmanYassin. We should of course expect such
intransigence: men like Hilal, Taha, Yassin, and many others have
deliberately orchestrated Darfur's genocide and will never submit to
anything but forceful extradition. The evidence against them is
overwhelming and only grows more compelling. Indeed, an extraordinary
op/ed from Nicholas Kristof in today's New York Times (February 23,
2005) reveals the existence of a document, obtained by African Union
forces and leaked to Kristof, that almost certainly records fully
explicit genocidal intent on the part of Khartoum and its Darfur
governmental surrogates:

"This [African Union] archive, including scores of reports by the
monitors on the scene, underscores that this slaughter [in Darfur] is
waged by and with the support of the Sudanese government as it tries to
clear the area of non-Arabs. Many of the photos [of atrocities] show men
in Sudanese Army uniforms pillaging and burning African villages. I hope
the African Union will open its archive to demonstrate publicly just
what is going on in Darfur."

"The archive also includes an extraordinary document seized from a
janjaweed official that apparently outlines genocidal policies. Dated
last August, the document calls for the 'execution of all directives
from the president of the republic' and is directed to regional
commanders and security officials. 'Change the demography of Darfur and
make it void of African tribes,' the document urges. It encourages
'killing, burning villages and farms, terrorizing people,
confiscating property from members of African tribes and forcing them
from Darfur.'"

"It's worth being skeptical of any document because forgeries are
possible. But the African Union believes this document to be authentic.
I also consulted a variety of experts on Sudan and shared it with some
of them, and the consensus was that it appears to be real." (New York
Times, February 23, 2005)

But even without the document that Kristof reports, all evidence from
the ground in Darfur makes clear that the genocidal intent so explicitly
declared in this damning text has animated human destruction for many
long months as the international community has watched with indifference
or impotence. Now the consequences of this impotence and impotence are
fully in evidence, and the famine that has become inevitable will take
lives in unforgivably large numbers. Darfur's death toll may very well
exceed that of the Rwandan genocide, and even humanitarian intervention
of the most robust sort will, at this belated date, be unable to halt
starvation on a massive scale.

We have failed Darfur, and the most energetic humanitarian and military
protection efforts will still leave us the obscene task of counting
again the number of deaths defining genocide in Africa.

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

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