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Darfur Mortality Update: April 30, 2005

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Current data for total mortality from violence, malnutrition, and disease

By Eric Reeves

April 30, 2005 — Attention to Darfur’s staggering death toll---which has grown to
approximately 400,000 over the course of more than two years of
genocidal conflict---has increased dramatically in the past several
months. Once an afterthought or simply an ignored issue, global
mortality in Darfur is now widely recognized as a terrible
prognosticator: what we have seen in the way of past human destruction
portends all too well what we may expect in the coming months and years.
For even with urgent humanitarian intervention, many tens of thousands
of innocent civilians will eventually fall victim to this engineered
catastrophe. Badly weakened by malnutrition and disease, caught amidst
a collapsed agricultural economy, facing acute water shortages in often
appalling camp conditions, and threatened at every turn by the
consequences of ongoing insecurity, too many people in Darfur simply do
not have the means to sustain themselves.

Superb coping and foraging skills that might sustain lives in a famine
without genocidal animus cannot be deployed because the Khartoum regime
refuses to disarm or control its brutal Janjaweed proxies. At the same
time, humanitarian capacity is not nearly adequate to present needs, and
will be overwhelmed by the 3.5 to 4 million people needing food and
medical assistance at the height of the impending rainy season. Most
threatening is the possibility that insecurity will force the suspension
of humanitarian operations: if this occurs, UN Undersecretary for
Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland has estimated that Darfur’s mortality
rate may increase to 100,000 per month. Increasingly acute water
shortages are also an extensive problem and are likely to remain
chronic, given the extent of deliberate destruction of wells and
irrigation systems by the Janjaweed (maintenance of water resources has
also been severely curtailed by insecurity). And violent mortality
continues to take a terrible, if presently diminished toll.

News that the African Union has very belatedly sought logistical help
from NATO for its small and under-equipped mission in Darfur is only
modestly encouraging. Both the time-frame and nature of the help sought
suggest that nothing approaching the required humanitarian intervention
is in the offing (see below). This reflects a lack of urgency that must
be the point of departure for this current mortality assessment.

BUSH ADMINISTRATION RE-DEFINITION OF THE DARFUR CRISIS

During a recent trip to Khartoum and a brief excursion into Darfur, US
Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick pointedly refused to confirm
the Bush administration’s previous genocide determination. This
determination was made unequivocally in Senate testimony by former Bush
administration Secretary of State Colin Powell: "genocide has been
committed in Darfur, and that the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed
bear responsibility" (testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, September 9, 2004).

This decisive conclusion has degenerated into politically guarded
word-mincing: Zoellick, when specifically asked about Powell’s
determination, declared it a "former Secretary of State" simply "making
a point" to Congress (Financial Times, April 15, 2005). "’I don’t want
to get into a debate over terminology,’ [Zoellick] said, when asked if
the US believed that genocide was still being committed in Darfur
against the mostly African villagers by Arab militias and their
government backers" (Financial Times, April 15, 2005). This is part of
a larger effort by the Bush administration to re-define the Darfur
catastrophe in ways that make it less urgent, and thus less compelling
of an appropriate US response.

No doubt Zoellick was also well aware that the Bush administration
would soon be flying to Washington one of Khartoum’s most notorious
genocidaires, Major General Saleh ’Gosh,’ head of security and
intelligence for the National Islamic Front regime. The Los Angeles
Times reports in an exclusive dispatch (April 29, 2005) that "last week
[April 18-22], the CIA sent an executive jet [to Khartoum] to ferry the
chief of Sudan’s intelligence agency to Washington for secret meetings
sealing Khartoum’s sensitive and previously veiled partnership with the
[Bush] administration." Of particular note is that Saleh ’Gosh’ is
certainly on the list of 51 names referred by UN Security Council
Resolution 1593 under sealed indictment to the International Criminal
Court for massive "crimes against humanity" in Darfur. He is also a
central participant in what the Bush administration and the US Congress
have declared to be genocide.

In his role as longstanding head of security and intelligence, Saleh
’Gosh’ is directly responsible for tens of thousands of
extra-judicial executions, killings, "disappearances," as well as
countless instances of torture, illegal imprisonment, and other
violations of international law. But it is his central role in the
Darfur genocide---where both Khartoum’s intelligence and security
services (finally indistinguishable) have been key elements in directing
the Janjaweed---that must have given pause to Zoellick when he was asked
to confirm Colin Powell’s genocide determination. Perhaps the Bush
administration thought it just too jarring to be offering such a public
reconfirmation while inviting a known genocidaire to Washington on an
executive jet, even if for the purpose of gathering intelligence on
international terrorism.

But just as important and revealing as Zoellick’s pointed refusal to
stand by Powell’s genocide finding is his tendentious, finally viciously
preposterous estimate of global mortality for Darfur: 60,000-160,000.

US STATE DEPARTMENT DARFUR MORTALITY "ASSESSMENT":
PROPAGANDA, NOT EPIDEMIOLOGY

The State Department document from which these figures are derived had
been classified prior to a Washington Post editorial that appropriately
excoriated Zoellick’s mortality estimate ("Darfur’s Real Death Toll,"
The Washington Post, April 24, 2005;
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12485-2005Apr23.html).
The State Department decision to de-classify the document was evidently
intended to indicate that serious analysis lay behind Zoellick’s
numbers. In fact, the effect of de-classification was just the
opposite: the document (now available at
http://www.state.gov/s/inr/rls/fs/2005/45105.htm) is an obvious tissue
of unsubstantiated assertion, intellectual and methodological confusion,
factual error, and deliberate misrepresentation. Its failings are so
many and conspicuous that one must assume political motives animated its
composition and promulgation. It is a disgrace to reason and justice.

Most notably, no sources are given in the entire course of the
document, only vague references to uncited "studies." There is not a
single bibliographic reference; there is not a single statistic that is
more than simply bald assertion, appearing without derivation or
explanation or context; there is not a single website or URL reference.

Moreover, no analysis is offered of extant mortality assessments
(including twelve by this writer over the past year). Nothing is said
of the extraordinarily important assessment by Jan Coebergh, MD: "Sudan:
genocide has killed more than the tsunami," Parliamentary Brief,
February 2005 (Volume 9, No. 7). No specific reference is made to such
important studies as the mortality analysis that appeared in Britain’s
premier medical journal last fall (The Lancet, October 1, 2004,
"Violence and mortality in West Darfur, Sudan [2003-04]:
Epidemiological evidence from four surveys"). Indeed, there is no
effort to analyze even the critical data on violent mortality produced
by the Coalition for International Justice, whose report served as the
basis for the State Department genocide determination in September
2004.

Over a full page of the meager four pages of this "report" ("Sudan:
Death Toll in Darfur," US State Department, March 25, 2005) is taken up
by graphs that---incredibly---have no sources or independent data. The
document simply refers to them as "drawing on available information,"
but without any specification of what the sources of this "information"
are or how the document supposedly "draws" upon them. A third graph is
simply a replication of a dated UN graph (January 2005) of
"conflict-affected" persons, offered with no explanation of
relevance..

At the same time, the State Department document appears to be aware
that serious mortality assessments have been conducted, and thus
attempts peremptorily to dismiss them. The reasoning in these
dismissals is revealing.

For example, the document refers to "wildly divergent death toll
statistics, ranging from 70,000 to 400,000." But this is deeply
disingenuous comparison of incommensurate estimates, at least if the
author(s) are not wholly ignorant. "400,000" represents a global
mortality assessment offered by this writer and more recently by
scholars assessing data from the Coalition for International Justice
(see below); "70,000" clearly represents the UN World Health
Organization (WHO) figure of October 2004, estimating mortality only in
camps to which the UN had access for the several months represented by
the study (see WHO study announcement [September 13, 2004] supplemented
by October 15, 2004 update and press release, at
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/briefings/2004/mb5/en/).

This WHO figure, based on careful epidemiological work, is not a global
mortality assessment, as the State Department "report" misleadingly
suggests: it is rather a very partial glimpse of human destruction in a
very limited context. The WHO study does not include deaths prior to
April 2004 or deaths subsequent to October 2004; it does not include
violent mortality (still the largest overall element in global
mortality), or mortality in rural areas of Darfur or in Chad.

And yet strikingly, the WHO study (which receives no analytic attention
or citation in the "report") still estimates that in the limited period
in question---and in camps to which there was humanitarian
access---70,000 people died of war-related disease and malnutrition.
70,000 exceeds by 10,000 the low-end figure (60,000) that the State
Department document invites us to believe may represent all mortality,
from all causes, in Darfur over 26 months of extremely violent and
disruptive warfare. This is not epidemiology: this is propaganda.

The "report" alludes to (without citing) the work of this writer, and
by implication the recent academic study commissioned by the Coalition
for International Justice (CIJ)---an analysis which uses the WHO study
and the CIJ data from refugee camps along the Chad/Darfur border to find
that approximately 390,000 have died to date in the conflict. (A
critique of this new mortality assessment appears here as Appendix 1.)
The "report" declares that "wildly divergent death toll statistics
[including the figure of 400,000] result from applying partial data to
larger, nonrepresentative populations over incompatible time periods."
The phrase "applying partial data to larger, nonrepresentative
populations" is semantically incoherent; for of course "larger
populations" are ipso facto more "representative" statistically than
smaller populations represented by "partial data."

If we are charitable, we may construe the author(s) of the State
Department document as ineptly attempting to say that a problem exists
in "applying partial and insufficiently representative data to larger
populations." But this is not what is said; instead, in the lead (and
italicized) paragraph to the study, the authors say what makes no sense
at all. What editorial supervision attended publication and
promulgation of this "report"? How many authors signed off on such
nonsense? What does it say that the incoherence of the sentence cited
here did not register?

The "report" proceeds to speak of "incompatible time periods" and
offers what purports to be a crude time-line for human mortality in
Darfur: "violent deaths were widespread in the early stages of this
conflict, but a successful, albeit delayed, humanitarian response and a
moderate 2004 rainy season combined to suppress mortality rates by
curtailing disease outbreaks and substantial disruption of aid
deliveries." It is difficult to imagine more distortion and subversion
of the truth in a single sentence.

While it is certainly true that mortality, from both violence as well
as disease and malnutrition, has fluctuated over the course of 26
months, the suggestion here that "violent deaths were widespread in the
early stages of the conflict," but somehow not in more recent months, is
simply false. Though there has been a diminishment in violent
mortality---in part because genocidal warfare has destroyed or displaced
such a large percentage of the non-Arab or African tribal populations of
the region---violence remained (according to the overwhelming consensus
of operational humanitarian organizations) the largest cause of death in
Darfur through mid-summer 2004. And very substantial violent mortality
continues, as evidenced by numerous attacks reported by the UN and AU in
December, January, and February, and continuing through April.

Moreover, the claimed success of the "delayed" humanitarian response
did not forestall the terrible toll from malnutrition and disease in the
camps that the WHO report details: 70,000 from April to October 2004 in
accessible camp areas alone. Though mortality has slowed in many of the
camps, insecurity threatens to accelerate mortality rates in the coming
months of the rainy season, and insecurity is currently creating
precisely the "substantial disruption of aid deliveries" that the State
Department document claims have been avoided. Monthly mortality is
still in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 deaths per month (see below).

The overall view of the Darfur crisis presented by the "report"
comports with neither the history of the conflict, with recent
assessments coming from humanitarian organizations and the UN, nor with
the clear prospect of rapidly accelerating mortality during the
impending rainy season. The "report" takes no cognizance of extremely
acute and rapidly expanding water shortages in many camps. Nor does the
"report" assess the implications of a continuing lack of sanitary
facilities for large percentages of camp populations, and the consequent
threat of immensely destructive outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, and
other water-borne diseases.

All that permits these serial distortions of human destruction in
Darfur is the "report’s" relentless refusal to cite sources. It
declares without apparent intellectual shame that "the following
analysis draws on available information---epidemiological surveys,
displacement trends, and patterns of village destruction to estimate the
progression of the conflict and associated mortality rates throughout
[Darfur]." But then not a single epidemiological survey is cited, let
alone analyzed; "displacement trends" are similarly undocumented in any
fashion; and we learn nothing whatsoever of the "patterns of village
destruction" referred to.

The "report" declares of itself that "separate [mortality] rates were
applied to displaced and otherwise affected populations with different
levels of vulnerability." But these in fact are mere phrases, without
statistical or evidentiary substance. The "report" offers no assessment
of "trends," "levels," or "separate mortality rates." There is not a
single source for any of this purported analysis---not one statistical
derivation is offered. When actual mortality numbers are rendered, they
are merely asserted: "Figures on displaced populations and mortality are
scant, but 4,100-8,800 excess deaths are estimated to have occurred
primary in North and West Darfur [during the period March-September
2003]." Nothing further is provided: no source for these "excess
deaths," no statistical evidence or calculation of any kind.

Moreover, in conceiving of violent mortality in Darfur, the "report"
suggests an egregious misunderstanding of the very subject. Speaking of
the period between April-June 2004, the "report" declares that, "major
battles, resulting in large loss of combatants on either side, sharply
declined," and that from this point on "mortality reflects almost
entirely civilian rather than combatant losses." But this reveals the
grossest misconception: violent mortality in Darfur has from the
beginning been overwhelmingly among the civilian populations, not among
combatants (whether those of the insurgents, the Janjaweed, or
Khartoum’s regular and paramilitary forces). Not to recognize this
basic fact suggests the author(s) of the "report" have failed
fundamentally in understanding the dynamic of violent human destruction
in Darfur.

As to mortality from disease and malnutrition, the "report" is equally
unconvincing and uncomprehending: "The highest rates of mortality were
already subsiding [ ] when the international community realized the
scope of crisis in Darfur in the spring of 2004." There is simply no
evidence to support this claim, and much that directly contradicts it.
And yet the author(s) of the "report" again offer no sources, no
explanation, no studies or data---simply bald assertion.

A final example of poor prose and illogical thinking may be found under
the entirely unjustified heading, "Why are deaths lower than expected?":
"The fact that many prognosticators overemphasize the degree to which
violent deaths contribute to large-scale mortality in a region as big
and diffuse as Darfur continues to result in grossly overestimated
projections of overall deaths." The size and diffuse nature of Darfur
of course make violent death more difficult to assess---but certainly no
more less likely to occur. The logic by which the authors move from a
reasonable characterization of Darfur geographically to a key conclusion
about "grossly overestimated" morality projections is utterly
incoherent. What constitutes an "overemphasis on violent deaths"? What
is the statistical or epidemiological evidence of such "overemphasis"?
The author(s) offer no answer.

The incoherent and tendentious prose, the gross failures of logic, and
the complete lack of sources and evidence wholly vitiate the State
Department "report," calling into question not only the motives of those
who have compiled it, but the moral and intellectual integrity of those
such as Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick who would cite it.
Even as propaganda if fails.

THE AFRICAN UNION INVITES NATO TO HELP IN DARFUR

A credible assessment of human mortality in Darfur provides the urgent
context in which to assess the recent AU acknowledgment that it is
incapable of protecting civilian populations and humanitarian operations
in Darfur. This acknowledgment, while welcome, is terribly belated.
The AU request for substantial logistical help from NATO is similarly
welcome, but equally belated. Those paying the grim price for this
inexcusable belatedness are innocent civilians and aid workers in
Darfur. While it is important to assess what this AU commitment means
going forward (the subject of the next analysis by this writer, May 6,
2005), it is also important that we see how trammeled by politics this
refusal to speak honestly of AU incapacity has been. An appropriate
snapshot comes from the observer for Human Rights Watch (Belgium) at a
discussion of Darfur in Berlin in early March 2005:

"Lotte Leicht, director of the Brussels office of Human Rights Watch,
argued at the [Darfur] panel discussion [in Berlin] that the AU had
failed to protect the people in Darfur. The AU should accept help from
the EU, she said. ’I have never seen that 25 foreign ministers are
almost down on their knees, begging the AU to take more help from the
EU.’" (Inter Press Service [dateline: Berlin], March 3, 2005)

And yet only now, two months later, has the truth been spoken by the
AU. NATO has been well aware of AU limitations but for its part has
refused to declare this publicly, instead issuing noncommittal
statements:

"NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Thursday suggested the
alliance could play a supporting role in the Sudanese region of Darfur,
but stressed that neither the AU nor the UN had asked it to do so."
(Associated Press, February 4, 2005)

Preliminary reports indicate that the AU will seek to increase its
present force of 2,300 to 7,700 by the end of September 2005, and
possibly to 12,300 by spring 2006 (Reuters [UN, New York], April 29,
2005). But given the painfully slow deployment of the present force
(still only two-thirds of what the AU has been seeking to deploy since
September), and the lack of required equipment, these projections must
be regarded with extreme skepticism. So too the declaration by AU
officials that the force deployed will be given a stronger mandate to
protect civilians. The Khartoum regime has immediately and pointedly
refused to countenance a stronger AU mandate, and no doubt relies on the
hopelessly slow past deployment of AU forces as a guide to what can be
expected in coming months, even with NATO logistical support.

But the most significant reality is that even a successful deployment
of 12,300 AU forces by the spring of 2006 will do nothing to stop
genocide in Darfur now. The required intervention is not represented by
this new, all too nebulous, and distant commitment; people presently
requiring urgent assistance cannot be protected or sustained by possible
deployment a year from now. Aid workers require a much more
substantial force---in the very near term---if they are to accomplish
their vital missions without enduring intolerable levels of insecurity.
Recent announcements from Addis Ababa, Brussels, and New York can do
nothing to change these grim and all too present realities.

- Eric Reeves
- Smith College
- Northampton, MA 01063
- Tel: 413-585-3326
- Email: ereeves@smith.edu
- Website: www.sudanreeves.org

- -

APPENDIX 1: Data assembled by the Coalition for International Justice
(comprising 1,134 interviews with Darfuri refugees along the Chad/Darfur
border, August 2004) offers what remains the most important means of
understanding violent mortality in Darfur, and a new independent
assessment of this data must be welcome. Previous assessments of the
CIJ data have been undertaken by this writer and by Jan Coebergh (see
above). Nonetheless, the new academic review of CIJ data, undertaken by
John Hagan (Northwestern University) and Patricia Parker (University of
Toronto), is marked by significant methodological problems and a clearly
untenable figure for total displacement at the defining moment for the
two studies reviewed (the August CIJ report and the September/October
2004 WHO assessment). The results of these shortcomings are a
significant understatement of violent mortality and a significant
overstatement of mortality from disease and malnutrition. (Relevant
documents for the Kagan/Parker study are available at
http://www.cij.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=homepage).

VIOLENT MORTALITY

The key weakness in the assessment offer by Hagan and Parker is the
figure of 1.5 million for total displaced Darfuris in refugee camps in
Chad and camps for displaced persons in Darfur. This represents not
only a significant factual error (i.e., failure simply to add the extant
figures available from the UN High Commission for Refugees and the UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), but ignores what
was clear at the time: huge numbers of displaced persons were not
counted, either because they had not been registered by the UN World
Food Program (WFP) or were inaccessible to humanitarian relief and
registration.

What is a credible number for total displacement at the end of August
2004, the point of reference for the CIJ study by Hagan and Parker?
OCHA indicated in Darfur Humanitarian Profile No. 6 (September 1, 2004)
that over 1.45 million were internally displaced, even as UNHCR
indicated that there were over 200,000 were refugees in Chad. OCHA
would report 1.6 million internally displaced persons in Darfur
Humanitarian Profile No. 7 (October 1, 2004). It is clear, then, that
1.7 million is the appropriate figure for Hagan and Parker to use in
representing the total UN census for September 1, 2004, and yet they
deploy as their denominator for the study the figure of 1.5 million.
This is a serious, finally indefensible understatement.

Just as significant is the failure to attempt to account for human
displacement that did not figure directly in the UN census, though was
known to exist on a very substantial scale. For example, Darfur
Humanitarian Profile No. 6 "estimates that an additional 500,000
conflict-affected persons are in need of assistance based on preliminary
reports" from insurgency-held territory to which there was no
humanitarian access. Other estimates range as high as 1 million, given
the pre-war population estimates for Darfur (6 to 6.5 million). It is
certainly the case that if preliminary estimates indicated "500,000
conflict-affected persons in need of assistance," the majority of them
had been displaced. Between under-counting/under-registration in the
camps and this large, inaccessible population of "conflict-affected
persons" in rural Darfur, an additional 300,000 displaced persons should
be added to the formal UN census.

Thus a total figure of (at least) 2 million internally displaced
persons and refugees is required to represent the actual situation on
the ground at the end of August 2004. This in turn strongly suggests
that the Hagan/Parker derivation (from CIJ data and a denominator of 1.5
million displaced persons) of approximately 143,000 violent deaths
understates by 33%. Using the more fully justified denominator of 2
million, their study yields a total for violent mortality of 190,000,
well within the range established by Coebergh’s study ("between
172,542-232,269 violent deaths," Parliamentary Brief, February 2005),
and generally consonant with the current figure offered by this writer
(200,000-240,000 violent deaths; see March 11, 2005 mortality
assessment, Appendix 1 at:
http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=497&page=1).

MORTALITY FROM DISEASE AND MALNUTRITION

The CIJ-commissioned study by Hagan and Parker analyzes only one other
study bearing on Darfur’s global mortality, the WHO study of deaths from
disease and malnutrition in accessible camps in Darfur from April
through September 2004. Though the study is of very considerable
importance if understood not to be a global mortality figure, it must
still be deployed with caution, and Hagan and Parker are surprisingly
incautious. In relying exclusively upon the WHO study to calculate
mortality from disease and malnutrition over 26 months, they homogenize
humanitarian conditions that have varied quite widely. Initially in the
conflict, disease and malnutrition were not nearly as consequential for
the affected population, though deaths from health-related causes
certainly quickly appeared. The food and medical crisis accelerated
over the first year of conflict, but did not emerge full-blown in
February 2003.

And yet the statistical methods used by Hagan and Parker create
precisely such a scenario, one in which a high-point in food- and
health-related mortality is assumed to be equally relevant for the
beginning months of the humanitarian crisis as well as for the past few
months. This mechanical deployment of the WHO study is inappropriate,
and the figure of 253,619 deaths from health causes is unjustifiably
high, given the single study analyzed.

APPENDIX 2: This writer has offered a 2004 year-end global mortality
figure of 340,000 (see Darfur Humanitarian Update, February 10, 2005 at
http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=490&page=1),
and suggested that the primary task in ongoing mortality assessment is
establishing the most credible monthly mortality rate. The previous
mortality assessment (March 11, 2005) argues that monthly excess
mortality, for all populations in the humanitarian theater, is
approximately 15,000.

The UN figure promulgated by Jan Egeland is currently 10,000 excess
deaths per month, though it must be said that Egeland’s Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has proved inconsistent in speaking
about mortality estimates. Some of this is apparently frustration with
broader UN failure to offer credible mortality figures: shortly before
promulgating the current UN figure (which may or may not include violent
mortality: accounts vary), Egeland declared that "the old figure of
70,000 dead from last March [2004] to late summer [2004] was unhelpful.
’Is [the global figure for mortality in Darfur] three times that
[70,000]? Is it five times [i.e., 350,000 dead]? I don’t know, but it’s
several times the number of 70,000 that have died altogether,’ [Egeland
told reporters]" (Reuters, March 9, 2005).

The Hagan/Parker figure for a monthly mortality rate is 15,000, but the
authority of this figure is again compromised by the study’s implausibly
homogeneous picture of health-related deaths over the past 26 months.

In the absence of more compelling and fuller data, a calculation of
monthly mortality must consider the following:

Evidence from a variety of sources suggests that mortality rates have
in recent months come down significantly in camps for the displaced in
Darfur. The WHO estimate of excess mortality up to 10,000 per month in
the camps (September/October 2004) is no longer relevant for the larger,
(relatively) more secure camps.

But if mortality rates have dropped in the camps, the number of
conflict-affected persons in Darfur has grown dramatically: from 1.84
million in (Darfur Humanitarian Profile No. 6; September 1, 2004) to
over 2.6 million currently (US Agency for International Development
Darfur "fact sheet," April 22, 2005, citing UN OCHA figures). To this
must be added the 200,000 refugees in Chad, and hundreds of thousands
who remain in inaccessible rural areas of Darfur. There are currently
many more than 3 million conflict-affected persons in the greater Darfur
humanitarian theater, and this number is rising relentlessly and very
rapidly. UN estimates for the impending rainy season are between 3.5
and 4 million persons in need of aid; Egeland has suggested the number
may exceed 4 million.

If we take these figures seriously, and if we accept that there are
very large and extremely vulnerable rural populations not presently
captured in UN estimates, then even a Crude Mortality Rate significantly
lower than that obtaining in September/October 2004 indicates a very
high monthly mortality rate (the Crude Mortality Rate [CMR] indicates
deaths per day per 10,000 of population). Darfur Humanitarian Profile
No. 7 (October 1, 2004), in addition to recording high Global Acute
Malnutrition (22%) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (4%), reported a CMR of
1.5 for North Darfur and 2.9 for West Darfur (South Darfur, where
violence was then and now greatest, was too insecure for assessment,
though there are strong indications that the CMR was in excess of 3.0).

An ongoing average CMR of even 1.5 for a conflict-affected population
of 3 million (including the most vulnerable rural populations) would
indicate a monthly excess mortality rate of over 13,000 human beings.
Continuing violent mortality (including the consequences of violent
displacement) in Darfur almost certainly brings total monthly mortality
to over 15,000, or 60,000 for the current year. Total mortality is thus
approximately 400,000.



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Cholera in Sudan: Open letter to WHO Director 2017-07-25 00:15:38 An Open Letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the UN’s World Health Organization United Nations Office at Geneva | Palais des Nations, 1211 | Genève, Switzerland Dr. (...)


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Latest Press Releases


HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)

Statement by South Sudanese Communist Party on the National Dialoguel 2017-03-22 05:44:42 The Communist Party of South Sudan On the Initiative of the National Dialogue The initiative taken by the President of the Republic of South Sudan declaring a need for a national dialogue is an (...)

An Appeal to President of the Republic of South Sudan 2017-03-15 07:22:45 Dear. Mr. President, I write to appeal to you for the release of political detainees now in the custody of the National Security Service at Jebel and other detention facilities. In doing this, I (...)


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