Sudan

Interview: Mahmood Mamdani on Darfur

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In his new book Mahmood Mamdani puts the war in Darfur in historical context and challenges the Save Darfur Coalition's characterisation of the conflict and its call for international intervention. He talks to Charlie Kimber


You reject the label genocide and question overblown estimates of how many have died in Darfur. This can seem to trivialise the suffering. Why is this an important question?

One does not have to inflate actual suffering to take it seriously. In 2006 the US government's audit agency, the Government Accountability Office, got together with the Academy of Sciences and appointed a panel of 12 experts to evaluate the reliability of six different estimates on excess deaths in Darfur at the peak of the violence in 2003-4.

Sudan: A Young Imperialist's Guide to Darfur

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The crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan is once more in the news. George Clooney and US ambassador to the United Nations (UN) John Bolton formed a bizarre alliance to call for Western intervention into the crisis recently.

Reebok has sponsored a video game about it. US liberal intellectuals are certain that this would be the occasion for a truly "good" war, but despite the acreage of coverage you would be doing well to understand what is happening in Darfur.

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