Saviors and Survivors: Darfur، Politics، and the War on Terror
From the author of Good Muslim، Bad Muslim comes an important book، unlike any other، that looks at the crisis in Darfur within the context of the history of Sudan and examines the world’s response to that crisis.
In Saviors and Survivors، Mahmood Mamdani explains how the conflict in Darfur began as a civil war (1987—89) between nomadic and peasant tribes over fertile land in the south، triggered by a severe drought that had expanded the Sahara Desert by more than sixty miles in forty years; how British colonial officials had artificially tribalized Darfur، dividing its population into “native” and “settler” tribes and creating homelands for the former at the expense of the latter; how the war intensified in the 1990s when the Sudanese government tried unsuccessfully to address the problem by creating homelands for tribes without any. The involvement of opposition parties gave rise in 2003 to two rebel movements، leading to a brutal insurgency and a horrific counterinsurgency–but not to genocide، as the West has declared.
Mamdani also explains how the Cold War exacerbated the twenty-year civil war in neighboring Chad، creating a confrontation between Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi (with Soviet support) and the Reagan administration (allied with France and Israel) that spilled over into Darfur and militarized the fighting. By 2003، the war involved national، regional، and global forces، including the powerful Western lobby، who now saw it as part of the War on Terror and called for a military invasion dressed up as “humanitarian intervention.”
Incisive and authoritative، Saviors and Survivors will radically alter our understanding of the crisis in Darfur.
From Publishers Weekly Mamdani (Good Muslim، Bad Muslim) continues to challenge political and intellectual orthodoxies in his latest book، a bold، near brilliant re-examination of the conflict in Darfur. While acknowledging the horrendous violence committed in the region، Mamdani contends that Darfur is not the site of genocide but rather a site where the language of genocide has been used as an instrument. The author believes that the war on terror provided an international political context in which the perpetrators of violence in Darfur could be categorized as Arabs seeking to eradicate black Africans in the region. Challenging these racial distinctions، Mamdani traces the history of Sudan and the origins of the current conflict back past the 10th century to demonstrate how the divide between Arab and non-Arab ethnic groups is political rather than racial in nature. The author persuasively argues that the conflict in Darfur is a political problem، with a historical basis، requiring a political solution—facilitated not by the U.N. or a global community but rather by the African Union and other African states. The book's introductory and closing chapters are essential reading for those interested in the topic. (Mar.)
Paperback: 416 pages Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (May 25، 2010) Language: English Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches