Organizations & Other Sites
To see aerial images of the vastness of destruction in Darfur, GO TO THIS BLOG.
Organizations & Other Sites
NOTE: Over the past five years, as the level of violence has fallen in Darfur and war has threatened to re-erupt in South Sudan, the Darfur advocacy movement per se in the U.S. has declined. Some groups have disappeared or been co-opted. Some have broadened their focus to include South Sudan, including three key groups that now take their cues from the ENOUGH! project. (See below.) Others have broadened their focus to include other regions threatened by genocidal violence.
A welcome exception to this trend is Making Sense of Darfur (blogs.ssrc.org), a blog strand of The Social Science Research Council, based in Brooklyn, NY, and frequented on-line by Alex de Waal and other scholars. Sophisticated exchanges abound. If you know something about Sudan, it's the best thing going. Alex de Waal remains my authority of choice.
The ENOUGH! project is not so sophisticated. To its credit, it has helped open the eyes of Darfur activists to the larger region, which is vital if peace is to be achieved in both Darfur and South Sudan. The down side is that ENOUGH now largely speaks for the four major U.S. groups: Save Darfur Coalition, Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net), and the remnants of STAND. This narrowing in point of view is dangerous when the ENOUGH! gets it wrong, as I think it does in insisting that the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir's arrest be pursued in the midst of current efforts to forge peace agreements. Busting Bashir sounds cool, but in practice insistence on the ICC warrant is hugely counterproductive.
Darfur Peace and Development Organization is my favorite group for getting things done in the camps: schools, solar stoves, women's craft cooperatives. And it was founded by a Darfuri, Suliman Giddo. When people ask where to send money, I have no hesitation in recommending this organization. http://www.darfurpeace.org/
The Sudan Tribune. Published in France, this on-line daily runs a hodgepodge of materials which vary widely in reliability, but I find Sudan Tribune always usefully eye-opening because of the level of everyday detail and plurality of on-the-ground voices. http://www.sudantribune.com/
Doctors Without Borders (doctorswithoutborders-usa.org)
You're familiar I'm sure with this gutsy on-the-ground volunteer-based operation that successfully delivers medical services to survivors of the genocide in Sudan and Chad. The organization's director of operations in Sudan and its Darfur Coordinator were held for three weeks in June on charges of "espionage" because they protested the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war.
European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS)(ecosonline.org)
Reports on oil development in Sudan: Reports and maps, papers from conferences. Detailed and up to date with information not available on American web-sites.
Embassy of the Republic of Sudan (sudanembassy.org)
This is the party line of the Sudan regime, replete with headlines such as "Allegations of bombing turned to be totally untrue." Don't let the heavy-handedness of its propaganda blind you to the more subtle and violent methods the regime has of controlling the flow of information out of Sudan. And don't dismiss the ability of Khartoum to move behind the scenes in the U.S. via lobbyists including some for American investment banking services
Eric Reeves' website Darfur-watcher (sudanreeves.org)
Reeves, who teaches English at Smith College, offers trenchant analyses of events and independent data concerning number of civilian casualties in Darfur. He argues for regime change in Khartoum; is good at taking all parties to task for their failures, but has sometimes exaggerated the number of deaths.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (fcnl.org)
Quaker organization tracks national legislation. It is no longer following legislation pertaining to Darfur as closely as it once did, but remains an excellent resource for political activists in diverse areas, including American Indian affairs. Well worth using and supporting.
Genocide Intervention Network (genocideinterventionfund.org)
Impressive list of sponsors, slick graphics, advice on letter-writing campaigns, etc. Was instrumental in publicizing the divestment campaign and sponsoring anti-genocide legislation in U.S. Congress.
Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)
Reliable watchdog of human rights violations the world over, with up-to-date tracking of Darfur and other regions of Sudan. Excellent source for following UN efforts, including its delays, toward taking action in Darfur.
International Crisis Group (icg.org)
This group's ostensible mission is to prevent conflict worldwide. It vigorously publicized the Darfur cause, but when John Prendergast left ICG to form the Enough! project he took his Sudan desk with him. ICG, with strong corporate bankrolling and former government officials on its board, is the unofficial voice of international neoliberal interventionists. The same may be said of Enough!
Save Darfur Coalition (savedarfur.org)
Early on, SDC offered a weekly summation of the latest news pertaining to Darfur, drawing from diverse sources from mainstream and specialty news sources such as UN News Centre and The Sudan Tribune. Once the preeminent source of information networking, it is now largely under the thumb of Enough! Many state chapters continue to do good work independently of the national organization.
Sudan Organization Against Torture (SOAT) (soatsudan.org)
This web-site appears to have been hijacked by a Japanese organiztion. Up until recently SOAT has operated much like Amnesty International, publicizing attacks on Darfur civilians by Janjaweed and government troops, arbitrary arrests and cases of torture, government censorship, and intimidation.
Darfur: A Genocide We Can Stop
Compilation of Darfur-related news, images, political action sites, poetry and resources. Author maintains Darfur section of David Morse's site.
ChickenBones: A Journal (nathanielturner.com)
Literary & Artistic African-American Themes; worth visiting.
Sudan Sunrise (sudansunrise.org)
Faith-based organization headquartered in Kansas that promotes reconciliation between Darfuris, who comprised many of the ground troops used by Khartoum against the South during the North-South civil war. Not all Darfurs and southerners agree with the premise. Sudan Sunrise is also building schools and sponsoring teacher exchanges between Darfur and the South.
Hope for Ariang (hopeforariang.org)
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My favorite local project in South Sudan because of my own involvement in it, starting with my travel to Ariang with three Lost Boys: Gabriel Bol Deng, Chris Koor Garang, and Samuel Garang Mayuol; also filmmaker Jen Marlowe to produce the film Rebuilding Hope and the book I am currently writing about my own efforts to understand Darfu and Sudan. However, other worthy projects are underway by Lost Boys including John Dau, Valentino Achak Deng, and a score of others. These guys are bringing and infusion of energy, education, and cash into a desperately under-served region.
Some have disappeared.
STAND, previously standing for Students Taking Action Now for Darfur, has been folded into Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) and now seems to "stand" for A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition. StudentsAgainstGenocide.org. It too seems to be taking its orders from the Enough! Project.
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Weird things are happening in this area of "activism."
Acquired in 2007 by Ideaswork and has de-emphasized Sudan in favor of Iran, Cuba, North Korea as bad guys; charges a hefty fee for its determination of whether a particular firm does nefarious business of one sort or another. Former connection with the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think tank, no longer advertised.
Previously a good grassroots-oriented resource with a strong mission statement, model letters to corporations and elected officials, etc. seems to have morphedinto DivestTerror with suspiciously U.S. Government-sounding interest in starving Iran of venture capital.
Formerly based at Williams College, instrumental in getting Massachusetts State Senator Andy Nuciforo to sponsor legislation in his home state, the site has a clickable map, for determining whether your state's pension funds are involved, etc. The list was never very complete. But now the web-site has been hijacked by a real estate outfit.
A cursory examination of these resources suggest that Conflict Risk Network (an arm of GI-Net) may come closest to remaining on task, if you're looking to get your institution to divest from Sudan. I have no recent personal experience with it. (crn.genocideintervention.net/node)
Final Note: My own interest has proliferated from Darfur to Sudan as a whole, and to the impact of the so-called humanitarian aid industry in Africa. Recent books refute some of some of our cherished assumptions and should be read by anyone who wonders exactly what "Darfur" as a cause was all about. Here are a few good ones:
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- Steven Fake and Kevin Funk's The Scramble for Africa
- Paul Farmer's Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor;
- William Blum's Killing Hope;
- Andrew Bacevich's The Limits of Power;
- Mahmood Mamdani's Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror.
- See also tomdispatch.com, which pays special attention to resource wars.
© copyright David Morse, 2003-2011