Sudan: April 29, 2002


: Over the last year there have been a number of wire service stories and NGO reports about the rate of civilian casualties in the Sudanese civil war. Doctors Without Borders offered another report, and one worth mentioning since it sums many of the other reports quite well. The Doctors Without Borders report has this quote (from AFP): "All parties to the Sudan conflict use violence against civilians -- including rape, murder and assault -- and deny access to humanitarian aid as tactics of war, which have resulted in enormous civilian mortality rates." Heres another good quote: "Thousands of people have died from diseases that can be treated, even during conflict. It is the way the war is waged that limits access to medical services." The Doctors Without Borders report also condemned attacks on health workers. Sure, many NGOs have a track record for scare headlines and overstatement, in order to attract international attention to a particular crisis (or in more cynical cases, attract attention to themselves). That is not the case here. You can go to the bank with this particular Doctors Without Borders statement. What theyre reporting is the hard, awful truth. 


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