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.
NPR’s Nairobi-based correspondent Frank Langfitt produced a captivating four-part series on Somalia, looking at the long war there from the angle of the peacekeepers vs. Shabaab, peacekeeper training in Uganda, Shabaab’s influence in neighboring Kenya, and the toll of the fighting on civilians and structures of Mogadishu. Langfitt also shot some spectacular photos during his recent embed with AMISOM.
International hip hop star Emmanuel Jal made an unconventional book tour stop during his recent visit to Washington, D.C. He spent the afternoon with 16- and 17-year-old convicts at D.C.’s Correctional Treatment Facility. The Washington Post published an account of the intimate interaction between Jal, a former child soldier who fought during Sudan’s civil war, and the members of the book club. "Most of you guys are hard-core. I can tell from the look," Jal told them. "You put me in the orange jumpsuit, and I am one of you."
Having made it out alive from one of Africa’s most protracted wars, Somalis living in South Africa are finding that they’ve become targets for violence even in their places of refuge. Al Jazeera reports.
Writing for Slate, Rebecca Hamilton highlights a concern increasingly on the minds of those working on preparations for the likely independence of southern Sudan: What’s to come of southerners who have made their lives in the North? The story of southern women who make their living brewing and selling marissa, a traditional southern beer that is illegal under sharia law in the North, lays bare the cultural clash palpable even when the 2005 peace agreement explicitly set out provisions to protect the rights of non-Muslims. "Do you see a people of unity?" one southerner asked.
In “Alms Dealers,” a cleverly titled book review in The New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch discusses and critiques Linda Polman’s “The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid.” It’s a popular theme in international affairs these days, and Polman provides example after example to support a “persuasive case” that humanitarian aid in many conflicts has done as much, if not more, harm than good:
The scenes of suffering that we tend to call humanitarian crises are almost always symptoms of political circumstances and there’s no apolitical way of responding to them – no way to act without having a political effect. At the very least, the role of the officially neutral, apolitical aid worker in most contemporary conflicts is, as Nightingale forewarned, that of a caterer: humanitarianism relieves the warring parties of many of the burdens (administrative and financial) of waging war, diminishing the demands of governing while fighting, cutting the cost of taking casualties, and supplying food, medicine, and logistical support that keep armies going.