Jerry Fowler Quits Save Darfur Coalition

There’s a report knocking around that Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition, is leaving because of “bitter infighting”. This rather aroused my curiosity, given the way David Rubenstein was fired as executive director in 2007. The coalition and wider movement have long been accused of ignoring the realities of Darfur, and of getting in the way of humanitarian efforts on the ground. Diplomats, UN officials and aid workers in Khartoum largely take a dim view of the advocacy movement.

Anyway, in a brief telephone interview, Fowler said it was nothing to do with infighting…

That’s a gross exaggeration. I don’t know where it came from. The simple thing is I’m pursuing other professional options. I’ve been doing genocide and mass atrocities work for 10 years and I want to get into a bigger space.

Nor was it a case of packing it all in, now that levels of killing are much lower than in 2004 when the coalition came together…

I think there’s a lot of work still to be done in Sudan. There’s tremendous vulnerability among civilians in Darfur, there’s increasing violence in Southern Sudan. You have elections coming up which is leading to a lot of instability, so in terms of advocating for peace in Sudan there’s a lot of work to be done.

I’ve had my disagreements with many Darfur advocates. Many know little about the place. And those that should know better seem intent on regime change or have some other motives. That said, the Save Darfur Coalition has done a good job of promoting the cause, and in my opinion, for what it’s worth, Fowler has rather managed to keep the more extreme tendencies at bay.


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