Lesson: Understanding the Human Catastrophe in Darfur


The current situation in Darfur, the westernmost province of Sudan, bordering Chad and Libya, remains one of the world's most serious human catastrophes. More than two million people have been displaced in and outside of Sudan by this conflict. This module offers lecture and resource material to help guide a classroom discussion of the humanitarian catastrophe and international response, providing resources to help locate the crisis in the context of Sudan's complex politics, and enable teachers and students to confidently assess the continuing flood of media analysis and imagery.


Intriguing Questions

    1. What is different about the Darfur conflict and the resultant human suffering?
    2. Is this a conflict between African and Arabs, as sometimes portrayed in the media?
    3. How are human rights violations and conflict-related casualties measured?
    4. How can an understanding of history help resolve the conflict?
    5. Is some kind of military intervention the solution?

Do you have an intriguing question? Contact us.

This teaching module is coordinated by Michael Kevane

Last Updated: May 1, 2009

Module Teaching Resources: Resource created by the Understanding Sudan project.

Class Assignment


Lecture Materials


Reviews and Teaching Tips


Sudanese Arabic - Lessons and Vocabulary

      No Arabic currently available.

Multimedia Resources




    • Darfur Rising. An audio slideshow by Shane Bauer, 2007.
    • Rebels & Refugees of Darfur: Enemy Combatant Radio interviews Shane Bauer Independent journalist and UC Berkeley student Shane Bauer visited Darfur and eastern Chad in Summer 2006. In this segment, Fault Lines' Liam O'Donoghue interviews Bauer about the origins of the genocide, the rebels' struggles against the Sudanese government and the environmental devastation in the region.


    • Darfur - Google Earth Presentation In collaboration with Google Earth, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum created this presentation. Using Additional "layers" created from data provided by the U.S. Government, United Nations agencies, non governmental organizations, and photographers, this reveals the scope and personal impact of the genocide in Darfur and its continuing spillover into Chad.
    • Map of Darfur. Originally from Human Rights Watch.



Current News Items

HOA Project Resource