The Fog of War: The Complexity of the Darfur Conflict

The Fog of War: The Complexity of the Darfur Conflict
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“Celebrities like Mia Farrow and George Clooney may have done more to prolong the suffering of Darfur than resolve the crisis in Sudan’s war-torn region, a new book argues.
“The Save Darfur movement with its celebrity supporters came down very clearly on one particular side of the debate,” says Rob Crilly, author of Saving Darfur, Everyone’s Favourite African War.”


“Compared with other conflicts in Africa, Darfur seemed simple: In September 2004, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell used the word “genocide”.
Crilly says the conflict was portrayed as “An evil government intent on destroying the rebels and their supporters.

“They’d unleashed this fearsome Arab militia, the Janjaweed on a scorched-earth campaign against villagers who were supporting the rebels, so it was a very simple, clear war to understand – of good guys against bad guys.
“You compare that with Somalia, where there are countless warlords and Islamist militias all fighting against each other, or the Democratic Republic of Congo which has been rumbling on for 10 years and anyone who understands those wars frankly is just boasting.”

But the longer he reported on the conflict, the more Crilly understood that there was nothing simple about Darfur and what he was witnessing was a tragic, complicated conflict, rather than a simplistic genocide.”


“The war is no longer a conventional war in the sense we’d understand – that there’s one side against another,” says Crilly.

“It’s banditry, it’s insecurity, it’s fractures within the Arab tribes – they’ve turned on each other, there are issues of grazing routes, there are issues of water desertification,” he says.

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