Reactions to Saving Darfur

I’ve spent the past week taking my book on the road, describing its thesis to various audiences with different levels of interest in Sudan and Africa. It has been fun. I have five years of anecdotes with which to bore people. And the more I have talked about it, the more I have persuaded myself that Darfur, and the way it captured people’s imaginations, has something to offer other, future advocacy campaigns.

Over at Making Sense of Sudan, Alex de Waal is hosting a bit of a debate on the book. So far he, Guy Gabriel and Bec Hamilton have posted their thoughts. I know them all well, so have not been too surprised that the first couple of posts have been very supportive, but Bec has taken issue with the power I believe the Save Darfur Coalition has wielded. I’ll address her points in due course.

But for the time being, I’ll just mention that I’ve been reflecting on the book’s title – Saving Darfur: Everyone’s Favourite African War. I had rather gone off the subtitle, thinking it a little clumsy. But in the past week, when I have been introducing the book to new audiences, I found that it was a very helpful starting point for discussing the thesis.

The only drawback is that seven years after the conflict flared, the crisis in Darfur is no longer our favourite African war. It’s just another bloody mess.


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