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Requiem For The Sudan: War, Drought, And Disaster Relief On The Nile

af J. Millard Burr

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911,964,807 (4.5)2
After a decade of uneasy peace, the historic conflict between the Northern Sudanese, who identify with their Middle Eastern neighbors, and the Southern Sudanese, who are of African heritage, erupted into violent conflict in 1983. This ferocious civil war, with its Arab militias and widespread use of automatic weapons, has devastated the populace. Nature has added to the miseries of war, bringing drought and famine to the already battered victims of violence. Although this regional calamity remains largely unknown to the outside world, the death toll among the Southern Sudanese far exceeds that in both Somalia or Bosnia. Over a million people have either perished or been displaced.This chilling account of the ravages of drought and civil war is based on a wealth of documents'never made public'from Sudanese government sources, private and foreign governmental aid agencies, research groups, international media, and other organizations involved in famine relief efforts. The authors graphically recount how the attempts of the international agencies and humanitarian organzations to provide food and medical relief have been thwarted by bureaucratic infighting, corruption, greed, and ineptitude.This rich narrative illustrates with great clarity the convoluted relationship that relief agencies had with the Sudanese government as they tried to negotiate the means of survival for the area's desperate population. 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.… (mere)
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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 expect from a historian of Collins' stature, it also gives a very comprehensive treatment of the war and politics.

It's a period I lived through in Sudan, and I was personally involved in and/or witnessed at first hand much that is recorded in this book.

To be harsh, I have only found a couple of small errors of fact, and rather more typographical errors than I would have expected, but these do not detract from an excellent book. The authors are probably a bit more fulsome in their praise for OLS than I would be, but it was a remarkable and unique operation and deserves credit. ( )
  John5918 | Jan 28, 2007 |
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After a decade of uneasy peace, the historic conflict between the Northern Sudanese, who identify with their Middle Eastern neighbors, and the Southern Sudanese, who are of African heritage, erupted into violent conflict in 1983. This ferocious civil war, with its Arab militias and widespread use of automatic weapons, has devastated the populace. Nature has added to the miseries of war, bringing drought and famine to the already battered victims of violence. Although this regional calamity remains largely unknown to the outside world, the death toll among the Southern Sudanese far exceeds that in both Somalia or Bosnia. Over a million people have either perished or been displaced.This chilling account of the ravages of drought and civil war is based on a wealth of documents'never made public'from Sudanese government sources, private and foreign governmental aid agencies, research groups, international media, and other organizations involved in famine relief efforts. The authors graphically recount how the attempts of the international agencies and humanitarian organzations to provide food and medical relief have been thwarted by bureaucratic infighting, corruption, greed, and ineptitude.This rich narrative illustrates with great clarity the convoluted relationship that relief agencies had with the Sudanese government as they tried to negotiate the means of survival for the area's desperate population. 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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