1998 Sudan famine

1998 Sudan famine

The famine in Sudan in 1998 was a humanitarian disaster caused mainly by human rights abuses, as well as drought and the failure of the international community to react to the famine risk with adequate speed. [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/sudan/SUDAWEB2.htm#P374_19682 Famine In Sudan, 1998] Human Rights Watch, Accessed May 25 2006 ] The worst affected area was Bahr El Ghazal in southwestern Sudan. In this region over 70,000Fact|date=February 2007 people diedFact|date=February 2007 during the famine.


The famine was caused almost entirely by human rights abuse and the war in Southern Sudan. [http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/africa/9807/31/sudan.famine/ Despite aid effort, Sudan famine squeezing life from dozens daily] CNN, Accessed May 25 2006 ] Despite the Sudanese government's claims that only the rebel groups were to blame, [http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/980803/1998080337.html 70 Sudanese dying daily due to famine] Arabicnews.com Accessed May 25 2006] Human Rights Watch blamed the following groups:

* The government of Sudan
* The Baggara militia
* Sudan People's Liberation Army
* Dinka warlord Kerubino Kuanyin Bol

The government and Kuanyin Bol are blamed for their role in destroying the local agriculture during their attempt to take the city of Wau. [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/sudan/SUDAWEB2-10.htm#P488_51738 The 1998 Famine In Bahr El Ghazal] Human Rights Watch, Accessed May 25 2006 ] The SPLA are blamed for their maintenance of slavery and pilfering of aid.

This was worsened by the late arrival of the rainy season and a failure to respond to the situation by the international community. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/11/newsid_2510000/2510999.stm 1998: UN warns of famine in Sudan] BBC Accessed May 25 2006 ]


The effects on the region were massive, with the excess mortality estimated at about 70 000 people. [http://www.ids.ac.uk/ids/bookshop/dp/dp369.pdf Famine in the Sudan: Causes, Preparedness and Response] Luka Biong Deng, Institute of Development Studies, 1999, accessed August 29 2006] ] Many more are thought to have been displaced, with over 72 000 people reported as migrating from the threatened rural zones to Wau alone from May 1998 to August 1998. [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/sudan/SUDAWEB2-01.htm Bahr El Ghazal and the Famine of 1998] Human Rights Watch, Accessed May 25 2006] ]


A ceasefire was signed on July 15 1998, some eight months after the Sudanese government had first warned of a possible famine. After numerous extensions, this ceasefire lasted nearly a year, until April 1999. However, the Baggara militia continued to ignore the ceasefire, reducing the ability of aid agencies to help. [ [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/sudan/SUDAWEB2-47.htm#P1714_319942 Cease-fire Brought Relief] Human Rights Watch, Accessed May 25 2006 ] Thanks to a good crop and this ceasefire, however, the situation was brought under control by the end of 1998. [ [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/sudan/SUDAWEB2-49.htm#P1735_324735 Political Complications Boding Ill For Future Relief: The 1998 Famine in Bahr El Ghazal is Brought Under Control] Human Rights Watch, Accessed May 25 2006 ] However, the area has remained in trouble and a number of famine warnings have come since the end of 1998.

See also

* Second Sudanese Civil War
* Darfur conflict

Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/sudan/index.htm#TopOfPage Human Rights Watch Report on the Famine]
* [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40C1EF83C5D0C7A8EDDAE0894DC494D81&showabstract=1#TopOfPage Report of the Pullitzer-winning photographer's death who shot the NY Times cover about the Sudan Femine- baby toddler crawling for food with the vulture waiting around for him/her to die to eat it]

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