Sam Dealey in The International Herald Tribune
It was just last month that the House of Representatives passed the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act and the UN Security Council decided to deploy up to 26,000 peacekeepers to Sudan. Both actions were due in no small way to the work of the Save Darfur Coalition. Through aggressive advertising campaigns, this group has done more than any other to focus world attention on the conflict in the Sudanese region.
But with a ruling from Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, Save Darfur now finds itself in the spotlight. Siding with a business group allied with the Sudanese government in Khartoum, the authority ruled that the high death tolls Save Darfur cites in its advertisements breached standards of truthfulness.
The ruling is more than just a minor public relations victory for Khartoum; it exposes a glaring problem in Save Darfur’s strategy.
While the coalition has done an admirable job of raising awareness, it has also hampered aid-delivery groups, discredited American policymakers and diplomats and harmed efforts to respond to future humanitarian crises.