Press Releases

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Two Leading Darfur Experts Speak at U.S. National Holocaust Museum

On Wednesday, May 30, the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., hosted a public program, "What to do about Darfur?" featuring two of the leading analysts on the crisis: Alex de Waal of the Social Science Research Council and John Prendergast of Enough!.

"It's been almost three years since the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum declared a genocide for Darfur and since that time thousands have played a critical role in responding to the situation," said John Heffernan, director of the museum's Genocide Prevention Initiative. "But as lives continue to hang in the balance, we need to continuously ask ourselves what else can be done."

Both de Waal and Prendergast appeared before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 19 to give testimony on what to do about Darfur. Their discussion on May 30 -- which was cosponsored by the SSRC, Enough!, and the Genocide Intervention Network -- provided a chance to elaborate on the opinions each of them expressed on that occasion. The discussion between these two leading experts is especially timely given President Bush's announcement today of broader sanctions on the Sudanese government.

Prendergast recently released a position paper stating his strategy: "A Plan B with Teeth for Darfur." De Waal has responded with "Darfur: Necessary Knowledge for Effective Action." Both papers can be read online.

"What to do about Darfur?" took place on Wednesday, May 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Theater (Concourse, USHMM) of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Audio will be available at: http://blogs.ushmm.org/index.php/COC2/.

For more information, go to the Committee on Conscience calendar.

About the Speakers

Alex de Waal is a program director at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), engaged in projects on HIV/AIDS and humanitarian action. For more than 20 years, he has studied the social, political and health dimensions of famine, war, and HIV/AIDS in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes. Most recently, he has been active in mobilizing African and international responses to the Darfur crisis.

A former official on African affairs in the Clinton administration, John Prendergast has been a special adviser on the Darfur crisis to the International Crisis Group and is now on leave to work on Enough!, a campaign he co-founded last year to abolish genocide and mass atrocities. Like de Waal, he has worked on crisis issues in Africa for the past two decades.

alex-de-waal

Alex de Waal of the SSRC will present five points of “necessary knowledge” for taking effective action in Darfur.

photo: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard News Office

john-prendergast

John Prendergast of Enough! will present his Plan B “with teeth” for Darfur.

photo: Ed Schipul