Food and Power in Sudan
A critique of Humanitarianism
Africa Rights May 1997
During the last fifteen years, Sudan has suffered famines costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. These famines are not natural disasters: they are crimes. Food and Power in Sudan documents how politicians and generals have caused famines and obstructed and manipulated relief programmes. It also identifies the deeper political and economic processes that create famine - or which can make its prevention possible.
Sudan is a laboratory for humanitarian practices. The deregulation and privatisation of relief
supply, cross-line humanitarian access during wartime under Operation Lifeline Sudan, the
development of Islamic relief under the ‘Comprehensive Call’ and the use of aid to promote local
capacity and humanitarian principles’ have all been pioneered in Sudan. Food and Power in
Sudan analyses how these ideas have been implemented in practice, and the impact they have
had on Sudanese people and Sudanese politics.
Relief is part of power structure and power struggles. The Sudan Government is using aid in pursuit of a far-reaching strategy of social and political transformation, creating displacement and hunger - with the ready connivance of the UN and NGOs. In the South, relief has contributed to factionalism in the rebel Sudan Peoples’ s Liberation Army. Effective famine prevention in Sudan instead making hunger a focus of democratic politics.
A publication of African rights May 1997
ISBN 1899 477 136
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