Sudan, the largest country in Africa, boasts large stretches
of fertile land and large reserves of gold and oil. But
nearly 50 years of civil war between Muslims in the north
and Animists and Christians in the south have hampered
prosperity. This comprehensive overview of Sudan, produced
by the BBC, includes the country's demographics, information
on power struggles within its government and the status
of press freedom in the country.
World Factbook: Sudan
Sudan is bordered by nine countries, 40 percent of its
population is illiterate, political parties must be approved
by its ruling government and more than 40 percent of its
exports -- mostly oil and petroleum products -- go to
China. This information and much more can be found in
the CIA World Factbook, which compiles and regularly updates
data on Sudan's geography, government, economy, communications,
transportation systems and military.
This synopsis of Sudan's recent history, produced by the
International Crisis Group, chronicles nearly 50 years
of civil war, beginning just after the country gained
independence from Britain in the 1950s. The synopsis includes
the battles over access to oil in the 1970s, the rise
of Islamic sharia law in the 1980s, the harboring of Osama
bin Laden in the 1990s and the armed revolt of rebels
in Darfur in 2003.
This BBC chronology covers key events in the past half-century
of Sudan's history, from the 1958 military coup to U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell's September 2004 use of
the word "genocide" in reference to Sudan.
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Journalists Cover Sudan
The World: Sudan
FRONTLINE/World reporter Amy Costello's three-part radio
series on Sudan first aired on PRI's The World
in June 2004. She reported from a refugee camp in Chad
-- where men are "conspicuously absent," people share
watering holes with livestock and the influx of Sudanese
has turned the local economy upside down.
NOW With Bill Moyers provides a comprehensive background
file on the violence in Sudan, including links and salient
commentary from Human Rights Watch, the Los Angeles
Times and The New York Times.
Continues for Sudan's African Refugees"
This NPR report, broadcast in August 2004, features a
discussion between Scott Simon and Samantha Power, the
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem From Hell:
America in the Age of Genocide. Power describes what
she saw while in Chad and Sudan just a few weeks earlier.
on Genocide in Sudan's Darfur Region"
NPR's Noah Adams interviews Samantha Power about the challenges
of reporting from Darfur, including how she learned to
identify Janjaweed by their Kalashnikov assault rifles,
camels and flip-flops.
Samantha Power's seminal and comprehensive New Yorker
article, published in August 2004, covers the recent history
of the U.S. government's relationship with Sudan. The
article includes interviews with a Janjaweed leader, Sudanese
government officials and victims of the violence, and
it features on-the-ground reporting from the sites of
massacres deep inside Darfur.
in Darfur: On Understanding and Ending the Horror"
This article by Alex de Waal, an expert on Sudan, explains
the ethnic complexities of Darfur and how politics and
religion in Khartoum fueled the crisis.
Misery Has Complex Roots"
More than 200,000 non-Arabs have fled Darfur for Chad,
where they still face a struggle to survive, living in
makeshift camps in searing desert heat.
A Nation Divided"
In-depth coverage from the BBC includes eyewitness accounts
of attacks on refugee camps; an interview with Musa Hilal,
the suspected leader of the Janjaweed; and analysis of
the relationship between the Sudanese government and militia
by bin Laden: Race Horse Left Behind When Chief Was Expelled
For five years in the 1990s, Osama bin Laden lived the
high life in Sudan -- until the U.S. government pressured
the Sudanese government to expel him in 1996. A Washington
Post reporter catches up with Swift Like the Wind,
a now-elderly racehorse that bin Laden left behind.
Online NewsHour's special Sudan section offers a comprehensive
overview of the origins of the violence in Darfur, including
a streaming video report on conditions in refugee camps
and detailed information on the history of ethnic conflict
between black African Muslims and the Arab Janjaweed.
It also features up-to-date information on the world's
Boys of Sudan"
P.O.V.'s award-winning documentary tells the story
of a group of Sudanese orphans admitted to the United
States as refugees from the violence in Sudan. The site
includes updates on where several of the young men are
New Life for a 'Lost Boy' of Sudan"
On NPR's Weekend Edition, Scott Simon talks with
Alephonsion Deng, a Sudanese refugee who spent nine years
in a Kenyan refugee camp of 86,000 before he came to the
United States and started a new life.
Pictures: Fighting for Sudan"
This BBC slideshow includes photographs of the Sudanese
Liberation Army (SLA), a rebel group primarily composed
of black Africans, as well as of Janjaweed fighters on
Sudan's Darfur Conflict"
The BBC offers answers to pressing questions about the
violence in Darfur, such as how the conflict started,
what the government is doing and what has happened to
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Crisis or Genocide?
Does the violence in Sudan qualify as full-fledged genocide or is it just an exceedingly violent crisis? Semantics play a key role in international response to war and mass murder all over the world. Knowing how the violence is described and by whom is critical to understanding how the world reacts -- or doesn't.
History and Definition of the Word "Genocide"
Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-born advisor to the U.S. War
Ministry, created the word "genocide" in 1944 because
he found the term "mass murder" inadequate to describe
the Holocaust. FRONTLINE's Web site distinguishes
between the terms "war crime," "crime against humanity"
and "genocide" and details how the theory of genocide
evolved and was incorporated into international law. The
site also provides the definition of genocide that the
United Nations set forth in 1948.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum includes a
timeline depicting the rise of genocide the concept and
genocide the word as well as a short biography of Raphael
Lemkin, who derived the concept and created the word to
Prevent Genocide International shares social scientists'
and historians' definitions of genocide -- which differ
from the definition in international law -- and translates
the word into 80 languages.
Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide
Samantha Power's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, published
in January 2002, goes deep below the surface to explain
the reactions of American policy makers faced with ethnic
slaughter in other countries. The book covers the origin
of the word "genocide" and includes chapters on genocide
in Cambodia, Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, Srebrenica and Kosovo.
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Human Rights and Humanitarian Response
Nations High Commission for Refugees
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees supports
Sudanese refugees from Darfur in Chad and in West Darfur.
Although the organization is only two years old, the African
Union has taken the lead with a peacekeeping mission in
The International Crisis Group (ICG) is a nonprofit multinational
organization that uses field-based analysis to inform
policy and to advocate for the end of deadly conflicts.
Since early in the Darfur crisis, the ICG has advocated
for intervention by the international community.
Sudan: The Passion of the Present
This worldwide all-volunteer web initiative is designed
individuals become activists in fighting the violence
in Sudan. Passion
of the Present includes news and links, as well as downloadable
posters and cartoons.
the Logic of War in Sudan"
On NPR's Fresh Air, Terry Gross talks with John
Prendergast, co-director of the ICG's Africa program,
former advisor to the Clinton administration and author
of several books on Sudan's civil war.
Sudan's mortality rate for children is double that of
emergency thresholds. A recent study of displaced people
in one area of Sudan showed that 60 percent of the deaths
of children over the age of 5 were caused by violence.
The remaining 40 percent resulted from hunger, diarrhea
and malaria. Doctors Without Borders operates a food distribution
program and provides water and sanitation services to
victims of violence in Sudan.
Without Borders in Sudan"
Listen to Fresh Air's discussion with Dr. Rowan
Gillies, the international president of Doctors Without
Borders. Dr. Gillies returned from Sudan in August 2004,
and he talks about maintaining political neutrality while
in Sudan and about the dangers of humanitarian work in
Together with secular humanitarian and human rights organizations,
the Save Darfur Coalition counts Armenian Christians,
Bahaists, Baptists, Buddhists, Catholics, Episcopalians,
Hindus, Jews, Lutherans, Masalit Muslims and Unitarians
A world leader in relief services, the International Rescue
Committee assists an estimated 20 percent of the Sudanese
refugees in Chad. The organization focuses on emergency
health needs -- including war-related injuries -- and
This site features video testimonies of survivors of Janjaweed
attacks and dramatically memorializes thousands of people
who have died in Darfur in a presentation titled "The
Victims of Darfur Are Not Nameless."
Human Rights Watch has documented in detail how the Sudanese
government has armed and trained the Janjaweed militia,
and it has recorded atrocities and made concrete recommendations
to the Sudanese government, the SLA, the JEM, the Chadian
government, the African Union and the United Nations.
Human Right Watch's Web-based multimedia presentations
also include footage of mass graves, unburied bodies and
Human Rights Watch produced this video during a fact-finding
mission to Darfur in July and August 2004. The video includes
footage of bombed-out villages in northern Darfur and
firsthand accounts of Janjaweed attacks (contains graphic
Genocide Web Site
Online petitions and "do-it-yourself" Darfur activist
kits are available through this site, which also includes
a counter for the number of people killed in Darfur.
of War Project: War in Africa
The article "The Darfur Conflict: Crimes Against Humanity
in Sudan" offers a historical explanation of the ethnic
conflict in Sudan, a detailed account of how the violence
snowballed in the spring of 2003 and the effect of the
conflict on regional politics.
States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Jews in America have rallied around the cause of peace
in Sudan. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
has issued a genocide emergency alert, and the atrocities
in Darfur figure prominently on the museum's Web site.
Samaritan's Purse, a Christian charity organization, has
provided aid in Sudan since 1993.
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