From Publishers Weekly
This accessible, informative book details and dissects the recent descent into chaos of Darfur and Sudan. Cockett, Africa editor for The Economist, uses Sudan's history under British rule and interviews with UN and other officials (including former members of the feared janjaweed) to present the deeply disturbing account of the 300,000 people who died and the three million who were driven from their homes. Cockett explains the geographical, political, and ethnic divide between Khartoum in the north, the home of the government and the wealthy and educated elite, and Darfur, 750 miles to the west, rich in oil but deliberately underdeveloped and plagued by devastating droughts. Khartoum politicians chose to "divide and rule" in order to gain land, forcing people out and ordering the janjaweed to destroy villages and kill inhabitants. Cockett maintains that the west shares the blame for these atrocities through a combination of misguided meddling and a lack of interest. Numerous maps and an impressive bibliography add credibility to this fine work.
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‘In this informative, eminently readable history and analysis of Sudan’s failure as a state, Cockett draws on interviews with many of the main players. There is plenty of blame to go around, he says, citing 'meddling western politicians, over-simplifying activists, spineless African leaders, shamelessly silent Muslim countries … and myopic Sudanese politicians'.’—The Guardian
“…well-researched, beautifully written and thoroughly absorbing, despite the wrenching tragedies [this book] must chronicle.”—George Ayittey, The Wall Street Journal
(George Ayittey The Wall Street Journal
"For those readers who know nothing more about the country than what is reported in the Western media, his book will be a revelation."—The Gunboat