Arkansas Genocide Scholar Returns From Darfur Refugee Camp

Story by:Guest Contributor

First posted on 08-08-2007

University of Arkansas professor Samuel Totten brings new insights from collecting oral histories of Darfur refugees

Samuel Totten, a genocide scholar at the University of Arkansas, returned in early August from his second visit to the Darfur refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border where he had collected oral histories from a dozen survivors of the genocidal violence in Darfur. The in-depth, two- to four-hour interviews provided Totten with new insights about the Darfur situation. For example, he learned that many of the black Africans in the camps had fled to Chad after experiencing numerous major attacks – sometimes four or more – as far back as the mid-1990s.

Totten plans to return to the camps to record more lengthy interviews as research for two upcoming books, one a collection of oral histories and the other an examination of the Darfur situation. He is scheduled to speak this fall about Darfur at the University of Minnesota, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Southern Methodist University and Carleton College in Canada.

Totten has written extensively about genocide with an emphasis on prevention and intervention of genocides. As a member of the U.S. State Department’s Darfur Atrocities Documentation Project in 2004, he conducted part of a randomized survey of refugees from Darfur in Chad. His most recent books are Genocide at the Millennium, Century of Genocide and Genocide in Darfur: Investigating Atrocities in the Sudan.