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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Negotiating violence: Sudan's peacemakers and the war in Darfur
Author:Srinivasan, Sharath
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:Darfur conflict
civil wars
foreign intervention
peace negotiations
External link:http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/113/450/24.full.pdf
Abstract:In 2003 and early 2004 international peacemakers turned a blind eye when violence in Darfur, Sudan, first escalated into civil war. This article addresses the war's brutal beginnings, using a close reading of internal communications, interviews, and public statements to deepen an understanding of the predicament that key peacemakers like the UK and the US found themselves in, and dug themselves into. For a long first year, when the majority of violent deaths in Darfur occurred, peacemakers employed a set of discursive strategies that intentionally depoliticized Darfur's conflict. Despite knowledge to the contrary, peacemakers carefully avoided connections between Darfur and the ongoing north-south peace negotiations they were championing to end Sudan's long second civil war. These ideational moves gave peacemakers a degree of cover for not responding directly to the conflict, but they also shaped the political calculations and opportunities of domestic actors in ways that further enabled armed violence, ultimately leading to policy failure. The problems of peacemaking in Sudan highlight the particular challenges that arise from negotiating peace. Negotiations give words a privileged place in taming the materiality of violence, yet this also leaves peacemakers liable to shaping new trajectories of political violence born out of local dissatisfaction with the prospects for peace. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]