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Ever again? The United States, genocide suppression, and the crisis in Darfur

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This paper focuses on the United States and its policy on the Darfur crisis, which in 2004 was acknowledged as a case of genocide by both the US administration and Congress. It explores a range of questions, issues and themes, and their relevance to US policies on genocide suppression between April and November 2004, as manifested in regard to the crisis in Darfur. It is proposed that constraining effects of the war in Iraq, a deadlocked Security Council, a multifaceted defensive Sudanese government campaign against intervention aided by the existence of at least two key American interests in the country, and the perceived risks of military intervention have combined to impede a meaningful US action to stop the first genocide of the twenty-first century. It is however also argued that while the US government could and should have been much more active, non-militarily, on the issue of Darfur, its rhetoric and actions during 2004 did exhibit a certain increase of willingness, although for as yet uncertain motives, to attempt engagement in acts of genocide suppression. The study discusses the motives, obstacles and political realities that have led to a policy of, in fact, non-intervention.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-09-01

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