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Genocide And State-Induced Famine: Global Ethics And Western Responsibility For Mass Atrocities In Africa

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Chapter Summary

Genocide and famine in Africa compound the suffering caused by poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, HIV/AIDS, and poor governance. State-induced famine is a rarely recognized form of genocide. If a government starves its people to death rather than actually murdering them outright, it can pretend that the deliberate deaths were accidental. This chapter talks about colonial genocide in South-West Africa and Congo; post-colonial genocide in Rwanda and Darfur; and state-induced famine in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. It differentiates core, contributory, and circumstantial responsibility for genocide and famine, arguing that except for the two colonial genocides, African political actors bear core responsibility. Nevertheless, the West is responsible for protecting the human rights of all Africans, regardless of which political actors caused their suffering. The chapter concludes with a discussion on empathy and interest as means to persuade Western actors to devote more attention to Africa.

Keywords: Africa; Darfur; genocide; human rights; Rwanda; state-induced famine; Western responsibility



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