Monday, December 7, 2009

Darfur A Short History of a Long War by Julie Flint and Alex De Waal

Back Cover: Sudan's westernmost region, Darfur, sprang from oblivion into sudden notoriety early in 2004, when a war of hideous proportions unleashed what the United Nations called "the world's worst humanitarian crisis" and the United States labelled 'genocide'. For the last two years, the conflict has been simplified to pictures of immense sprawling refugee camps and lurid accounts of 'Arabs' murdering 'Africans'. Behind these images lies a complex and fascinating story of a remarkable and remote region of Africa, home to Muslim peoples with a unique history. In the 20th century, Darfur became synonymous with poverty and neglect, culminating in famine and a series of undeclared and unacknowledged wars in the 1980s and 1990s. This book details the history of Darfur, its conflicts, and the designs on the region by the governments in Khartoum and Tripoli. Much of the story of the war in Darfur has remained untold until now. This book investigates the identity of the infamous 'Janjawiid' militia, tracing its origins, organization and ideology. It inquires into the nature of the insurrection launched by two rebel groups, the radical Sudan Liberation Army and the more Islamist-oriented Justice and Equality Movement. It charts the unfolding crisis and the confused international response, including the African Union's first major venture into peacemaking and peacekeeping. The book concludes by asking what the future holds in store for Darfur. So I read this for anthropology. It was boring most of the time but there was some good parts. There was some really horrible parts too like the Janjiwiid and them terrorizing these poor innocent people. There were times when they said that they tied little girls and burned them alive, or raped women various times in front of their husbands seriously it makes me cringe inside and makes me feel like so violated, it's horrible. But this is the last book I have to read for my classes! Woohoo basically like a week and a half left can't wait for winter break!

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