Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.
We’ve highlighted the Sudan Radio Project at Swarthmore College a few times, including through guest posts by some of the producers. Their final podcast of the school year was recently released, focused on the theme “Channels of Peace.” The episode includes four stories: a profile of My Sister’s Keeper, an organization that works to amplify women’s voices in peace processes in Sudan, most recently in the Darfur peace talks in Doha; a story about the challenge of clearing landmines; one about political representation of Sudan’s large internally displaced population; and finally, a story about the impact of Catholic radio stations.
The NYTimes’ Nick Kristof confronts head-on the controversial topic of missionaries in the developing world, drawing specifically from his recent interactions with Catholic missionaries in southern Sudan. “[T]here seem to be two Catholic Churches, the old boys’ club of the Vatican and the grass-roots network of humble priests, nuns and laity in places like Sudan,” he wrote. He goes on to describe some of these individuals who “would make a great pope.” Some people will still wholeheartedly disagree with Kristof’s praise for the church’s grassroots network, but his column does draw attention to the reality that many of those serving the world’s most vulnerable people are of the church.
This BBC report from Madhol in southern Sudan describes the experiences of a family of former slaves who are trying to rebuild a life from nothing. Arek Anyiel Deng is a single mother of five who was abducted and forced into slavery when she was just 10 years old. The story focuses on one of Anyiel’s middle children, a boy named Khalid, who dropped out of school and found a job because he found he was too hungry to study.
Reporting for the Atlantic, Howard French traveled by train from Tanzania to Zambia via the Tazara railway, which at the time it was built by the Chinese in the 1970s was the third largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Africa. On a quest to witness and assess China’s current role as Africa’s key benefactor, French found that China’s condition-less stance on aid distribution reinforces some of the ills of an earlier colonial era, prompting people to begin to question how much better off they’ll truly be once China has come and gone.
Writing about tribal tension is certainly tricky business because of the tendency in much of the world to reduce, and dismiss, conflicts in Africa to ancient tribal rivalries. And while it’s important to not reinforce stereotypes, those of us who write about conflict must find ways to fully address the various dynamics driving hostilities. With that in mind, read this piece in the Economist on the relevant topic of the dominant Dinka culture in southern Sudan. It raises some valuable points (and you can consider the few uncomfortable moments – like the quote from “a seasoned observer in Juba” – as… thought-provoking?)