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Darfur—the crisis explained

The collapse last year of African Union-led talks aimed at resolving the Darfur crisis leaves a solution as far away as ever. A Sudan expert who advised the AU during the talks explains the background to the conflict and asks whether it constitutes genocide

By Alex De Waal   March 2007

The war in Sudan’s Darfur region has perplexed experts on Africa and experienced diplomats alike, so it is unsurprising that it has bewildered the wider public. This guide to the conflict answers ten simple questions.

1. Where is Darfur? Darfur is the westernmost region of Sudan, Africa’s largest country. It straddles the Sahara desert, the dry savannahs and the forests of central Africa. Darfur borders Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic, and is equidistant from Africa’s coasts at the Red sea and Atlantic ocean. It is as large as France, though sparsely populated.…

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