Requiem for the Sudan: War, Drought, and Disaster Relief on the Nile

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Westview Press, 1995 - Social Science - 385 pages
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After a decade of uneasy peace, the historic conflict between the Northern and Southern Sudanese erupted into violent conflict in 1983. This ferocious civil war has devastated the populace, who have also suffered the ravages of drought and famine. Over a million people have either perished or been displaced. This chilling account is based on a wealth of documents - never made public - from Sudanese government sources, private and foreign governmental famine relief agencies, and international media. The authors graphically recount how the attempts of international and humanitarian organizations to provide food and medical relief have been thwarted by bureaucratic infighting, corruption, greed, and ineptitude. It is a sad tale of the tragic human consequences of the failure of conflict resolution, of organizational mismanagement, and of a government hostile toward its own people.

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User Review  - johnthefireman - LibraryThing

This is an excellent book. It gives a detailed account of the relief effort in Sudan during the 1980s and into the early '90s, including the genesis of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS). As one would ... Read full review


The Death of a Dream
The Politics of Food
Battering the Dispossessed
Starvation in the South
The American Response
The Red Cross Attempts a Rescue
U S Government Confusion
Operation Lifeline Sudan
The Difficulties of Implementing OLS
The Politics of Operation Lifeline Sudan
The Problems of Making Peace
The Success of Operation Lifeline Sudan
The Return of the Military
The Junta Is Challenged
Escalating the War and Reducing Relief

Beyond Meiram
The International Response
After Abyei Aweil
The United States Reevaluates Its Sudan Policies
Peace with Suspicion
The Impact of the Brooke Sanctions
Conclusion A Decade of Despair
No Longer Were the Khawaja Wanted
About the Book and Authors

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Page 1 - Africa, encompassing more than a million square miles - approximately the size of the United States east of the Mississippi River. It spans over 35 degrees of latitude and embraces topography ranging from arid deserts to tropical rain forests.
Page 9 - Arabic shall be the official language for the Sudan and English the principal language for the Southern Region without prejudice to the use of any other language or languages which may serve a practical necessity or the efficient and expeditious discharge of executive and administrative functions of the Region.
Page 148 - ... constitutional convention for discussion of the issues separating them and leading to a new constitution for Sudan. Ethiopian support and sanctuary have been essential for the SPLA. The United States has taken the initiative in discussing Ethiopia's policies and role with the Soviet Union. We will continue to seek an end to external interference in Sudan, as well as progress with the Soviets in pursuit of negotiated solutions to the region's problems.
Page 3 - Finally, war, drought, and relief must be seen as intimately connected to the policies of the government of Sudan, the United Nations, and the Western donors. Throughout the 1980s annual rainfall in Sudan was far below the average for the twentieth century. The first serious crisis occurred in Western Sudan in 1983 and resulted in the terrible famine of 1984-1985. During that period drought also spread to the Red Sea coast and Eastern Sudan and brought scores of foreign aid agencies to Sudan.
Page 2 - Sudanese of whatever ethnic group have been precisely that—warriors, not torturers in the "ghost houses" of Khartoum. The magnitude of the human destruction in Sudan since independence makes the conflict one of the most savage of our time.
Page 6 - As the government of Sudan now seems poised to dominate the country politically, ideologically, and militarily, the many people and organizations that have sought to alleviate the devastating distress in Sudan have been saddened and have fled a land where interminable warfare and natural disasters combined to crush the aspirations of those who had hoped to bring some relief to the beleaguered, but much beloved, Sudanese.
Page 2 - Sudan and the theological leader and politically dominant figure in the National Islamic Front. The 1989 coup was not a spontaneous outburst of Islamic anger. It was a response to the failure of the Numayri government to assist the starving Muslim peoples of the West and East in 1984-1985, which had brought international media attention. Indeed, Sudan was scrutinized as never before, and...
Page 107 - Mumhileen surrounded the village the following night, attacking at dawn. Some of the raiders were wearing khaki uniforms. They herded about 170 people, mainly men but also including some women, into a byre which was then set on fire. Those who escaped were shot. Captives outside the byre then tried to flee but were shot down. Others were thrown down a well and then shot.
Page 3 - Kordofan—the murahileen, who had previously been armed by the Sudan government but were now uncontrollable. Together drought and war caused the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Nilotic peoples, particularly the Dinka. The introduction of sophisticated weaponry on both sides greatly increased the intensity of the conflict. Even more terrifying was the employment by the Sudan government of the...
Page 6 - Sudan. By 1993 disaster relief was little more than a band-aid applied to a suppurating wound that only the Sudanese could heal. In the North, affairs appeared in equal disarray. Bashir, as head of the Revolutionary Command Council, dissolved the council to clear the way for the assumption of power by Hassan al-Turabi and the National Islamic Front, both committed to establishing an Islamic Republic to which a third of Sudan's population could have no allegiance.

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About the author (1995)

J. Millard Burr is a former relief coordinator for Operation Lifeline Sudan, U.S. Agency for International Development.Robert O. Collins is professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara. J. Millard Burr is a former relief coordinator for Operation Lifeline Sudan, U.S. Agency for International Development.Robert O. Collins is professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara. J. Millard Burr is a former relief coordinator for Operation Lifeline Sudan, U.S. Agency for International Development.Robert O. Collins is professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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