Critics Highlight Save Darfur Campaign’s Flaws

Critics of the Save Darfur campaign claim that the organization, with a $9 million annual budget and 25 full-time employees, has been hindered by a lack of understanding of the complexities of the conflict in Darfur. The American coalition has been successful in raising awareness of the injustices faced by civilians in the region, but detractors argue that its support from Hollywood stars like George Clooney and Mia Farrow has led to a black-and-white portrayal of the situation that affirms prejudices against Muslims and Arabs, rather than contributing to a potential solution.

African intellectual Mahmoud Mamdani accuses the Save Darfur Coalition of simply transposing the pattern of the war in southern Sudan onto the situation in Darfur, which he believes cannot be done as the Janjaweed militia responsible for much of the violence draws its recruits from both Arab and non-Arab communities. Furthermore, the population of the region is almost exclusively Muslim, meaning a religious element to the conflict can be discounted.

Ultimately, critics argue that the Save Darfur campaign’s simplified portrayal of the conflict provides the Khartoum government with an excuse to hamper the work of aid organizations in the region, and that a solution is more likely to come from within Sudan, addressing the structural political challenges facing the country.

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