Citizens of Sudan, Yemen Face Highest Mass-Atrocity Risk

EthicsDaily Staff


Citizens of Sudan, Yemen Face Highest Mass-Atrocity Risk | EthicsDaily Staff, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Genocide, Mass Atrocities, Human Rights, Sudan, Darfur, Yemen, Nigeria, Elijah Brown

The Early Warning Project identifies countries at greatest risk of experiencing mass killings. This heat map reflects EWP's 2016 statistical risk assessment. (Map: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website)

Sudan and Yemen are most at risk for state-led mass atrocities, according to the Early Warning Project's (EWP's) annual analysis released on April 12.

Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria and Afghanistan are also among the countries most at risk.

EWP is a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and Dartmouth College, which is designed "to build, run and continually improve a public early warning system for mass atrocities."

The project analyzes historic instances of state-led mass atrocities (1,000 or more civilian deaths) for recurring signs and indicators that are used to assess present-day risks. It also gathers information from both experts and the general public.

"Sudan ranks number one on our list with an estimated 7 percent chance of a new mass killing episode," a press release explained. "The country continues to bear many of the markers of nations that have committed mass killings in the past, including a high risk of a coup attempt or civil war that could lead the government to lash out at its own people."

Elijah Brown, executive vice president of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and general secretary of the North American Baptist Fellowship, wrote a column about the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan, as part of an EthicsDaily.com series for Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.

"Despite the fact that these grisly atrocities were the first in the history of the United States to be recognized as genocide while they were unfolding, today powers around the world are turning a blind eye and rolling back sanctions," Brown stated. "Darfur, the first declared genocide of the 21st century, presses the gruesome question: What is the cost when the world acknowledges an active genocide and still chooses to turn away?"

Data collected by EWP are filtered through three assessment models (explained here) to compile an overall risk assessment, which is an average of the three projections.

"Our early warning system does not focus specifically on genocide, nor do we claim to be able to anticipate exactly when and where crises will occur," according to an EWP FAQ. "Instead, our system is designed to assess countries' risks for onsets of mass killing, some of which could evolve into genocides."

The full rankings are available here. USHMM resources related to genocide and mass atrocities are available here.

Editor's note: This article is part of a series focused on genocide for Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month (April). An introduction to and overview of the series is available here.

The previous articles in the series are:

When the World Acknowledges Genocide, Still Turns Away

The Srebrenica Massacre - When Churches Were Silent

Clergy Made Good, Bad Choices in Rwandan Genocide

To Curb Genocide, You Must Start at Its Simple Roots

Remembering the Holocaust, Vowing Not to Repeat It

How Your Church Can Prevent Future Acts of Genocide