Ethnic Cleansing or Resource Struggle in Darfur? An empirical analysis
The con‡ict in Darfur has been described both as an ethnic cleansing campaign, carried out by the Sudanese government and its allied militias, and as a local struggle over dwindling natural resources between African farmers and Arab herders. In this paper, we construct a theoretical framework for understanding the choice between ethnic cleansing and resource capture and use a previously unexploited data set on 530 villages in Southwestern Darfur to analyze the determinants of attacks in the region. Our results clearly indicate that Janjaweed attacks have been targeted at villages dominated by the major rebel tribes, resulting in a massive displacement of those populations. Resource variables, capturing access to water and land quality, also have some explanatory power but are not consistently significant. These patterns suggest that attacks in the area had ethnic cleansing as a primary objective.
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