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Bloods of the Failed State Everywhere: Crisis in the Sudan and the role played by the West

Book review By: billmagol
Poetry


This book will have wide appeal not only among scholars who study the issues of civil war, its termination, and the role of the NGOs under auspices of the United Nations and the international community, but also among any students, policymakers and aid workers of the variety of ideas who are interested in one of the most fundamental and pressing questions of our time: how to build peace in states that are trying to recover from devastating civil wars: how effectives are the NGOs, those that rooted in the Western World, those that are natural outgrowths in target countries, and those that join the two (the philanthropic spirit and practical necessity of “elimination” and the charitable spirit of “relieving”) in peacekeeping, mediating conflict and in working for national reconciliation, rebuilding political institutions and lay a firm foundation for the country's successful growth, starting from transition arrangements and then moving towards a permanent and viable political apparatus? Since this is the first book on the debate of the affairs between Sudan and the international community, the intention is to provide readers with a concise, analytical review of the history of Sudan's civil war and the nature of challenges faced by the Sudanese populations since 1983, as well as, the major role played by the western countries and their NGOs. The problems in the Sudan are complex, and no single mechanism would solve all of its elements. This book attempts to explain the underlying factors that trigger both the old (North-South) and new (Darfur) conflicts in Sudan. However, this book will not settle on one definite cause but rather make it clear that various current and historical factors are underlying two wars.
Throughout this book, my general aim has been to assess the dynamics of both the civil war in the South and new conflict in the Darfur, as well as, to define, analyze and compare the differences and similarities between the wars in Sudan, those being the ongoing North-South conflict and the new war in the Darfur region. In particular this book considers the factors which promote and maintain civil conflict in Sudan. This has been done by describing the regions in Sudan involved in the conflict, giving specific attention to the history and inherent characteristics of the regions, the factors that gave rise to the hostilities and to how the two conflicts developed into war.
This book has evaluated the various motives and factors underlying both the conflicts and relating them to the different concepts which are used to describe ethnic conflict. These concepts have been analysed from within the context of the situation in both Southern Sudan and Darfur. Particular attention has been paid to how the conflicts started and who are the actors involved—are they same, or do they differ? Intriguingly, the focus has been on the reasons why the conflicts took place, the grounds through which the civil war has spread from the South to the Western Sudan, and how the Khartoum government reacted to each of these uprisings. This book aims to enable people to better understand the brutality with which both wars are being waged, as well as the causes that influenced the Khartoum government to arm Aram militias in Darfur and brazenly engage in ethnic manipulation.


Submitted:Sep 2, 2010    Reads: 52    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


After a half-century of forming new states from former colonies and from the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States and Western Europe are today focusing on the disintegration of states. The term "failing state" has entered our working vocabulary only during the last decade or so, but these countries are now an integral part of the international political landscape. In the past, governments have been concerned by the concentration of too much power in one state, as in Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union. But today it is failing states that provide the greatest threat to global order and stability. The term that I used for the purpose of this book "failed state" is often used by political commentators and journalists to describe a state perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government. According to Noam Chomsky's 2006 book, "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy", often a failed nation is characterized by social, political, and economic failure. According toFund for Peace, an independent Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research and educational organization that is dedicated to preventing war and alleviating the conditions that cause war, the common characteristics of a failing state include a central government so weak or ineffective that it has little practical control over much of its territory; non-provision of public services; widespread corruption and criminality; refugees and involuntary movement of populations; and sharp economic decline.
After reading the 2007 Failed States Index published by the United Nations with Sudan, although a oil exporting country, significantly ranking behind Somalia and Iraq, the question was not what indicators the Index used to come this far, but what benefits do the people of Sudan, outside of Khartoum, derive from being a part of the country called Sudan? I don't think that the index was rubbish or wrong in anyway. Look around and see what has happened in Sudan for the past fifty years, then compare with Somalia and Iraq: Constant war, inequality, wild economic disparity from region to region, chronic situations of internally displaced persons. Where is education? Where is healthcare? Did you know that the maternal mortality rate in South Sudan is the highest in the world? Nearly three out of every ten mothers dies daily due to childbirth in South Sudan, Southern Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains.
I used the word "Bloods Everywhere" in this book to symbolize the massive displacement of Sudanese refugees worldwide. The violent destabilization and economic collapse caused by the immense amount of death and destruction in Sudan has forced millions of civilians to flee their towns and villages. Many Sudanese refugees currently residing in Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand and across Europe, particularly, United Kingdom and Norway, escaped from the Second Sudanese Civil War, where war "pitted black African separatists" and "Christians" against a "Sudanese government run by Muslim, Arabic-speaking northerners who had tried to impose Islamic law on the entire country." one in five Sudanese were killed in the war, and over four million civilians in the South have been given Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) status.
This book will have wide appeal not only among scholars who study the issues of civil war, its termination, and the role of the NGOs under auspices of the United Nations and the international community, but also among any students, policymakers and aid workers of the variety of ideas who are interested in one of the most fundamental and pressing questions of our time: how to build peace in states that are trying to recover from devastating civil wars: how effectives are the NGOs, those that rooted in the Western World, those that are natural outgrowths in target countries, and those that join the two (the philanthropic spirit and practical necessity of "elimination" and the charitable spirit of "relieving") in peacekeeping, mediating conflict and in working for national reconciliation, rebuilding political institutions and lay a firm foundation for the country's successful growth, starting from transition arrangements and then moving towards a permanent and viable political apparatus? Since this is the first book on the debate of the affairs between Sudan and the international community, the intention is to provide readers with a concise, analytical review of the history of Sudan's civil war and the nature of challenges faced by the Sudanese populations since 1983, as well as, the major role played by the western countries and their NGOs. The problems in the Sudan are complex, and no single mechanism would solve all of its elements. This book attempts to explain the underlying factors that trigger both the old (North-South) and new (Darfur) conflicts in Sudan. However, this book will not settle on one definite cause but rather make it clear that various current and historical factors are underlying two wars.
Throughout this book, my general aim has been to assess the dynamics of both the civil war in the South and new conflict in the Darfur, as well as, to define, analyze and compare the differences and similarities between the wars in Sudan, those being the ongoing North-South conflict and the new war in the Darfur region. In particular this book considers the factors which promote and maintain civil conflict in Sudan. This has been done by describing the regions in Sudan involved in the conflict, giving specific attention to the history and inherent characteristics of the regions, the factors that gave rise to the hostilities and to how the two conflicts developed into war.
This book has evaluated the various motives and factors underlying both the conflicts and relating them to the different concepts which are used to describe ethnic conflict. These concepts have been analysed from within the context of the situation in both Southern Sudan and Darfur. Particular attention has been paid to how the conflicts started and who are the actors involved-are they same, or do they differ? Intriguingly, the focus has been on the reasons why the conflicts took place, the grounds through which the civil war has spread from the South to the Western Sudan, and how the Khartoum government reacted to each of these uprisings. This book aims to enable people to better understand the brutality with which both wars are being waged, as well as the causes that influenced the Khartoum government to arm Aram militias in Darfur and brazenly engage in ethnic manipulation.
In comparing Southern Sudan with Darfur, I have put more emphasis on the actors and factors subjacent to each conflict-with general aim typically being to show that new conflict in western Sudan mirrors most of the cultural dynamics of the situation in the South. The conflict in western Sudan displays a lot of the same characteristics as the ongoing conflict between the North and the South. And although the marginalized people in Darfur have the same complex grievances and struggle for political recognition as the communities in the South, the situation in Darfur does differ in some key areas, namely the lack of any noteworthy resources and the fact that both warring parties in Darfur are Muslim. As the focus of this book is comparing the conflicts in Sudan, the approach has been to call attention to the relevant political, economical and cultural issues, so as to establish both the common and distinctive characteristics of each war.
Furthermore, significance of this book has been impetuously about the fact that few countries are more deserving of attention these days about Sudan, where the scale of human suffering has been mind numbing, and where the ongoing civil wars continue to disrupt regional stability and inhibit development. In particular the situation in western Sudan region has deteriorated in the last few years to the extent of it being described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today by the former UN General Secretary, Kofi Anan. There is also an international trend to disregard African conflicts, or to play down the seriousness thereof. It's my belief that this book will advocate an awareness of the situation in Sudan, especially within the larger framework of the African context, where, always almost without exception, borders are arbitrarily drawn with scant regard for the ethnic diversity of the population.
Finally, some argue that Sudan is better understood as a number of interlocking civil wars. However, this book-Bloods of the Failed State Everywhere: Crisis in the Sudan and the Role Played by the West- is not about a solution for the complex problems in the Sudan, but about a better understanding of the conflicts. The primary objective of this book is to assess whether these two conflicts are just about religion, the control of resources or access to state power, as is often alleged, or whether other factors are relevant too. The question is really whether the traditional explanations are sufficient. As the focus is on finding an explanation for two conflicts, I hope this book will contribute to a greater grasp of Sudan's internal politics as well as the contentious issues within the country and the competing priorities with respect to Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by North and South in 2005 and the ongoing peace processes in western Sudan. Lastly, I would recommend this book to scholars of Sudanese studies, Africanists, Diplomats, Relief and Human Rights advocates and anyone seeking to understand the suffering of people in the Sudan, the war in the Sudan and the role played by Western countries and their NGOs throughout the Sudanese conflicts.




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