Part 1 of this mortality assessment (April 28, 2006), surveying all relevant extant data, concludes that since the outbreak of major conflict in Darfur (February 2003), over 450,000 people have died from violence, disease, and malnutrition (see http://www.sudanreeves.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=102). Moreover, despite the “peace agreement” reached in Abuja (Nigeria) last week, there is little reason to believe that the current mortality rate for disease and malnutrition (based on UN data) will decline from a level of almost 7,000 deaths per month (see Part 1). Indeed, this rate will likely soon rise dramatically: such a conclusion seems inevitable in light of a wide range of humanitarian indicators (including rising acute malnutrition rates), insecurity that paralyzes many aid operations, and general debilitation within a conflict-affected population that reaches to almost 4 million in Darfur and eastern Chad. Violent mortality will also explode upwards if no robust international force deploys to Darfur in order to protect civilians and humanitarian operations
Part 2 of this mortality assessment was originally to have provided not only context for understanding the various factors that will determine prospective mortality in Darfur and eastern Chad, but several detailed comments about the data and assumptions that underlie some of the statistical conclusions in Part 1. These more specific commentaries were to have taken form as a series of appendices, including an overview of UN mortality estimates (ranging forward from January 2004, when the figure promulgated was 3,000 total deaths), as well as brief synoptic critiques of other mortality studies. Because of the pressure of current developments in and concerning Darfur, there is only a single appendix, addressing the vexed but statistically critical question of “family size” in the August 2004 assessment of violent mortality by the Coalition for International Justice.
[The materials to have been included in additional appendices may be found at various points in fourteen previous mortality assessments: see especially “Darfur Mortality Update, June 30, 2005,” at http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=515&page=1, as well as articles appearing under: http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=listarticles&secid=9 and http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=listarticles&secid=8]
PROSPECTIVE MORTALITY IN DARFUR
In assessing prospective mortality in Darfur, the most important indicators are not purely statistical, though a raft of grim statistical indicators is at hand, auguring immense human destruction in the weeks and months to come. Even more important than the complex calculus of humanitarian supplies, logistics, and funding are the unrelenting genocidal impulses of the Khartoum regime. Here it cannot be stressed often enough that the National Islamic Front, which now fully controls the nominal “Government of National Unity,” has for over two and a half years relentlessly and remorselessly obstructed humanitarian relief efforts.
This obstructionism, noted yet again in recent days by UN humanitarian aid chief Jan Egeland, as well as in his April 20 report to the Security Council, has seriously attenuated the delivery and efficiency of humanitarian operations. This in turn has cost thousands of lives, and may soon cost tens of thousands of lives. This is deliberate human destruction; and given the keen understanding by Khartoum that those who perish for lack of humanitarian assistance are overwhelmingly from the non-Arab or African tribal populations of Darfur, this destruction must be seen as intentional—in short, as genocidal.
As the UN World Food Program has been forced to cut food rations by 50% (to half what is required to sustain human life), and as acute malnutrition has risen to 15% in South Darfur (a terribly certain harbinger for much of the rest of Darfur), it is important to understand that the food crisis could be averted if Khartoum were to make humane use of the 300,000-500,000 metric tons of grain within its strategic food reserve. Humanitarian logisticians estimate that it requires approximately 17,000 metric tons of food per million people in need per month. There are over 3 million people in need of food in Darfur, and many more just as acutely in need in eastern and southern Sudan. This enormous quantity of grain—which could save many tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Sudanese lives—is sitting idly at various locations in Sudan. Khartoum’s National Islamic Front regime refuses to disperse it, or even to sell it at a reasonable price to the UN’s World Food Program. According to the US Agency for International Development, Khartoum sets a price so high that it is actually cheaper to procure food elsewhere and transport it to Darfur and other places of need.
To deny Sudanese civilians access to Sudanese food at time of critical need offers a powerfully revealing glimpse of what the National Islamic Front represents—and of what, most fundamentally, it means to be “marginalized” in Sudan.
PROSPECTS FOR SECURITY
There is no evidence to date that the signing of the Abuja accord will improve the security situation on the ground in either Darfur or eastern Chad (see my May 10, 2006 analysis in The New Republic, at http://www.sudanreeves.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=103). On the contrary, there have been numerous reports of extremely serious violence in connection with the large-scale military offensive launched by Khartoum in the Gereida area (South Darfur) just days before the deadline for the Abuja draft agreement. Reports of violence along the Chad/Darfur border are also increasingly serious, and large numbers of civilians have been moved away from the border area.
Certainly there are no signs that Khartoum intends to end the “climate of impunity” remarked well over a year and a half ago by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour. More recently, Arbour declared that:
“The International Criminal Court must act more decisively to bring to trial those guilty of war crimes in Darfur because Sudanese officials have so far proved incapable of doing so, the top UN human rights official said. [Arbour], just back from a visit to Sudan, said on Thursday [May 11, 2006] that despite government promises no official had been tried and punished for any of the serious human rights violations committed in the vast western region of Africa’s largest state. ‘Progress is invisible,’ she told a news conference. ‘I believe we must call on the ICC to act more robustly, and visibly discharge the mandate…that the UN Security Council has conferred on it.'” (Reuters, May 11, 2006)
What went unsaid by the glib Ms. Arbour is that Khartoum adamantly refuses to permit entry to any of the ICC investigators, and has made abundantly clear that it will not permit the extradition of either witnesses or suspects. For certainly among the 51 names referred to the ICC are a number of the most senior and powerful members of the National Islamic Front: they will obviously not extradite themselves. Further, as lead ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo reported to the Security Council almost a year ago, he was quite aware that his investigation posed a significant risk to both witnesses in Darfur as well as to humanitarians:
“The information currently available highlights the significant security risks facing civilians, local and international humanitarian personnel in Darfur. These issues will present persistent challenges for the investigation.” (ICC Report to UN Security Council, June 2005, page 8)
How does Arbour propose to deal with these “security risks”? How does she propose that the ICC gain access to witnesses of mass executions, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Darfur? Does she imagine that those responsible for these crimes will permit any investigation on Sudanese territory? Yet again, we see a senior UN leader posturing rather than proposing serious responses to ongoing obduracy on the part of Khartoum’s genocidaires.
Importantly, Arbour does highlight Khartoum’s bad faith in undertaking its obligations under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (January 2005) between the regime and the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement:
“‘We are somewhat neglecting the need to support the peace deal in southern Sudan,’ [Arbour] said. Despite the accord, there was ‘no visible improvement either in the physical security or the economic well-being of the people.'”
This critical truth tells us far too much about the meaning of the accord signed in Abuja a week ago. While Khartoum may, for the sake of appearances, temporarily reduce levels of military activity, there is simply no reason to believe that the various provisions for wealth-sharing and power-sharing, or for security arrangements, will be respected over the longer term. This patient regime of genocidaires will simply wait, knowing that so long as the African Union remains the sole guarantor of the various security “guarantees,” there will be no meaningful peace in Darfur, and ethnically-targeted human destruction will continue.
There is unlikely to be a similarly calculated patience on the part of the Janjaweed, as New York Times correspondent Lydia Polgreen courageously reports in a searing dispatch from Menawashie, South Darfur:
“It took three months for Fatouma Moussa to collect enough firewood to justify a trip to sell it in the market town of Shangil Tobayi, half a day’s drive by truck from here. It took just a few moments on Thursday [May 11,2006] for janjaweed militiamen, making a mockery of the new cease-fire, to steal the $40 she had earned on the trip and rape her.”
“Speaking barely in a whisper, Ms. Moussa, who is 18, gave a spare account of her ordeal. ‘We found janjaweed at Amer Jadid,’ she said, naming a village just a few miles north of her own. ‘One woman was killed. I was raped.'”
“Officially, the cease-fire in the Darfur region went into effect last Monday [May 8, 2006]. But the reality was on grim display in this crossroads town, where Ms. Moussa and other villagers were attacked Thursday as they rode home in a bus from Shangil Tobayi. The Arab militiamen who attacked them killed 1 woman, wounded 6 villagers and raped 15 women, witnesses and victims said.” (May 12, 2006)
What are the prospects for a robust international force to protect women like Fatouma Moussa? How likely is it that wealthy nations with modern armed forces will provide the troops and military resources that might serve as guarantor of the Abuja accord and bring true peace to Darfur? In fact, the odds for robust humanitarian intervention or even meaningful peacekeeping remain obscenely long.
UN INTERVENTION TO HALT THE KILLING IN DARFUR?
The latest reports from the UN suggest that the US has encountered serious difficulties in passing a Security Council resolution authorizing deployment of a meaningful peacekeeping force to Darfur. The situation will become clearer following Monday’s (May 15, 2006) meeting in Addis Ababa of the African Union Peace and Security Council. But even prior to that meeting—in which the AU may continue to cleave to a shamefully belated September 30, 2006 handover to the UN—there are signs that the Security Council will balk at providing anything remotely adequate to the security needs of civilians and humanitarians. An especially well-informed Associated Press dispatch reports:
“The US has run into strong resistance in its bid for a Security Council resolution that would give the United Nations immediate control over peacekeepers in Darfur, diplomats said Friday [May 12, 2006]. Objections from China, Russia and several African nations have forced the United States to strip out much of the most powerful language of the draft, possibly delaying the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the troubled Sudanese region.” (May 12, 2006)
Indeed, a close look at the revised US draft reveals a thoroughly gutted document, one that commits the UN in no meaningful way. This will have the effect of further emboldening Khartoum, which had disingenuously suggested before the conclusion of the Abuja accord that it would admit UN peacekeepers once a peace agreement had been signed. Now, with the “peace agreement” in hand and international murmurs of approval, Khartoum has begun to renege on its commitment to permit UN peacekeepers. Notably, the regime is still denying visas to an assessment team from the UN Department of Peacekeeping operations. Moreover, various senior officials in the National Islamic Front regime insist that no decision has been made on whether to admit UN forces, and that in any event, the decision will be entirely Khartoum’s. This means, at the very least, that the regime will demand it be allowed to dictate the size and mandate of any UN force—another way of ensuring that there is no meaningful UN force.
The AP dispatch also assessed US claims that the new draft resolution was somehow still a significant move forward:
“But several diplomats said objections [to the draft] remained. They portrayed the latest draft more as a US effort to show progress on Darfur than as a text that will move any closer to a UN-led mission there. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the draft publicly.”
Such Bush administration posturing on Darfur at the UN smacks of the same politically motivated contrivance that saw President Bush declare there would be “NATO stewardship” for a Darfur mission. On February 17, 2006, Bush asserted that a security force for Darfur will require “NATO stewardship, planning, facilitating, organizing, probably double the number of peacekeepers that are there now, in order to start bringing some sense of security” (New York Times, February 17, 2006).
But as NATO officials in Brussels were quick to insist at the time, “NATO stewardship” actually means deploying a few dozen advisers. More recently NATO officials have again suggested only a minimal presence in Darfur for the alliance:
“‘The consensus is that the NATO footprint should be as limited as possible,’ said one observer of the foreign ministers’ talks in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.” (Reuters [dateline: Sofia, Bulgaria], April 28, 2006)
And as if US disingenuousness and posturing weren’t enough to compromise the chances for real diplomatic consensus on the central issue in the Darfur crisis, AP concludes its recent dispatch by noting that, “China and Russia, two veto-wielding members of the council, also oppose the draft’s being written under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which could make it legally binding and enforceable by sanctions.” Those expecting that the UN will take urgent and robust action, with meaningful authority to stop the genocide in Darfur and end the killing, will wait in vain.
HOW SERIOUS IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION ABOUT CONFRONTING KHARTOUM’S GENOCIDAIRES?
A telling story appears in today’s Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/12/AR2006051201977.html), and reports on the US State Department decision to grant an extended personal visa to one of Khartoum’s most vicious genocidaires. If we want to understand why Khartoum remains emboldened in its conduct of genocide in Darfur, why a “climate of impunity” continues to reign in Darfur, why the voice of the US is so compromised, we must see the implications of admitting to this country Ali Ahmed Karti, former head of the notoriously brutal Popular Defense Forces (PDF), paramilitary militias organized and funded by Khartoum, and recently often fighting alongside the better known Janjaweed militia forces. Indeed, many Janjaweed have been recycled into the PDF.
Beyond its depredations in Darfur, the PDF was a key military instrument in the scorched-earth clearances in southern Sudan during the most brutal phase of the north/south conflict in the oil regions of Upper Nile Province, as well as in neighboring Bahr el-Ghazal Province. As the Washington Post reports, Human Rights Watch offered a telling vignette of Karti in 1999:
“PDF coordinating director Ali Ahmad Karti read out the names of the brigades that had been sent to the field, including the ‘Protectors of the Oil Brigade,’ and promised that more brigades would be created.”
These “brigades” engaged in unspeakable acts of violence and human destruction, including attacks on humanitarian workers. As this writer reported in the International Herald Tribune (January 23, 2001):
“The International Committee of the Red Cross—the very symbol of neutral, international humanitarian aid—was savagely attacked at its medical base in Chelkou, southern Sudan, on January 12, . The attack was carried out by militia forces allied with the radical National Islamic Front regime that rules from Khartoum. All buildings were destroyed, all expatriate workers withdrawn, villagers have been killed, and the ICRC is deeply concerned about the fate of their Sudanese workers.”
“This act of barbarism by the Khartoum-backed Popular Defense Forces (PDF) completely destroyed the ICRC medical facilities at an important humanitarian site in the southern province of Bahr el-Ghazal. Reuters newswire, as well as extremely reliable sources from the ground, reported the destruction.”
Yet the man ultimately responsible for the actions of these PDF “brigades” has now been officially granted an extended personal visa to visit the US, even as he is almost certainly under indictment by the International Criminal Court in its investigations of crimes in Darfur. The Washington Post reports that Karti was scheduled to meet yesterday with US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, one of several Bush administration officials to distinguish herself with disingenuousness and foolishness in speaking about Darfur:
“Frazer planned to meet Friday at the State Department with a top Sudanese official linked by human rights groups to the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region that the Bush administration has labeled as genocide. But the official, deputy foreign minister Ali Ahmed Karti, did not show up for the meeting, a State Department spokesman said.”
“David Sims, a spokesman for the Africa bureau headed by Frazer, said a meeting had been planned but Karti ‘just decided he didn’t want to make it.’ Frazer, who last week was in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, for intensive talks that led to a tentative peace agreement on Darfur, did not have qualms about meeting with Karti, Sims said.”
Ms. Frazer had “no qualms” about meeting this brutal genocidaire, and Mr. Karti had “no qualms” about blowing off an appointment with a senior State Department official: this tells us a great deal about Bush administration Darfur policy, and how it is perceived in Khartoum.
Karti’s leisurely visit to the US comes just a year after the CIA flew another of Khartoum’s senior genocidaires to Washington: Major General Saleh Abdalla Gosh, head of Khartoum’s notorious Mukhabarat (the National Security and Intelligence Service [NSIS]). Gosh is one of the primary architects of the Darfur genocide, and his name appears on a recent (January 2006) confidential annex produced by a UN panel of experts commissioned to determine responsibility for ongoing violence and civilian destruction in Darfur. The panel cited Gosh for “failure to take action as Director of NSIS to identify, neutralize, and disarm non-state armed militia groups in Darfur [the Janjaweed]” and for “command responsibility for acts or arbitrary detention, harassment, torture, denial of right to fair trial.”
Failure to disarm the Janjaweed, so largely under his control, puts Saleh Gosh directly at odds with the only demand of significance yet made of Khartoum, in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 1556 (July 30, 2004). But why should Gosh fear consequences from the UN—or the US? After all, his central role in the Darfur genocide was not enough to prevent the CIA from flying him to Washington last April (at his request) for a briefing on terrorism intelligence.
Certainly the feeble and exceedingly short list of those sanctioned on April 25, 2006 (per Security Council Resolution 1591, March 2005) does not begin to touch any of the senior NIF genocidaires, including Gosh, Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein (current defense minister and former minister of the interior), Elzubeir Bashir Taha (current minister of the interior), and Major General Ismat Zain al-Din (director of military operations of the Sudanese Armed Forces). Here again, the most important consequences of moral and political cowardice take the form of emboldened political calculations in Khartoum. Far from being an action that will change the regime’s thinking, such a painfully weak sanctions resolution signals only that there is no international political ability or diplomatic will to punish those most directly responsible for genocide in Darfur.
HUMANITARIAN MORTALITY INDICATORS
There is no simple way to capture the extraordinary urgency conveyed by increasingly numerous dispatches from UN and nongovernmental humanitarian organizations. But Kofi Annan, who has done more than his share of posturing on Darfur, offers a blunt assessment of the current funding crisis for Darfur and eastern Chad (where only 16% of total funding needs have been met, even as food needs are skyrocketing because of the insecurity deriving mainly from Khartoum-backed violence): “Without massive and immediate support, the humanitarian agencies will be unable to continue their work, which means that hundreds of thousands more will die from hunger, malnutrition, and disease” (UN News Service, May 9, 2006).
“Hundreds of thousands more will die.” With a grim irony, given his role at the time, Annan went on to declare that “Darfur was potentially the [UN Security] council’s biggest test since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda” (The Guardian [UK], May 11, 2006). To Annan’s credit, there is very little more that can be said either about prospective mortality in Darfur and eastern Chad—or about the implications of our ongoing failure to respond with a robust humanitarian intervention.
Amidst this overwhelming crisis, it is important to recall again that the Khartoum regime controls a national food stockpile of 300,000 to 500,000 metric tons of grain, according to officials at the US Agency for International Development. Instead of releasing this grain for humanitarian purposes, Khartoum keeps grain prices artificially high, thus making it impossible for the UN’s World Food Program to buy food in-country. This adds enormously to the cost of food, and these increased costs ultimately diminish humanitarian capacity—and thus translate into human death through malnutrition and related diseases.
A wholesale implosion of humanitarian operations also remains a distinct possibility, one highlighted in a recent interview offered by Jan Egeland:
“Everybody now discusses the optimal kind of UN mission—for next year for nine months from now. This whole thing could unravel in nine days or nine weeks because we have no money to continue lifesaving humanitarian work.” (Interview with The New Republic [on-line], May 12, 2006)
It was Egeland who also highlighted in an April 20, 2006 report to the Security Council 14 categories of Khartoum’s obstruction, impeding, and harassment of humanitarian workers and operations—obstructionism that severely attenuates humanitarian efficiency and thereby also increases costs (see “Fact Sheet on Access Restrictions in Darfur and Other Parts of Sudan,” UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, April 20, 2006). At a time of such desperate financial shortfall, such obstructionism is a tool of genocide.
Jan Egeland’s record is one of singular honesty among UN officials who were in senior positions two years ago, when the genocide in Darfur was so clearly before the eyes of the world. His retrospective glance in a recent Wall Street Journal op/ed gives us all too clear an image of our failure:
“I first spoke to the UN Security Council on Darfur two years ago, calling it ethnic cleansing of the worst kind. Today, I could simply hit the rewind button on much of that earlier briefing. The world’s largest aid effort now hangs in the balance, unsustainable under present conditions. If we are to avoid an imminent, massive loss of life, we need immediate action—from the Government of Sudan, the rebels, UN Security Council members and donor governments.” (May 5, 2006)
Such “action” is nowhere in prospect, and we must accept the terrible truth that “imminent, massive loss of life” has already begun. “The worst form of ethnic cleansing”—and here even those who cannot pronounce Darfur and the “g-word” together must find a near synonymous phrase for “genocide”—proceeds apace.
Appendix 1: “Family size” in Darfur
The primary source of comprehensive, statistically significant data on violent mortality in Darfur remains the September 2004 study by the Coalition for International Justice (“Documenting Atrocities in Darfur,” September 2004 at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/36028.htm). On the basis of 1,136 carefully randomized interviews, conducted among the Darfuri refugee population in Chad at a number of camp locations along the border, the Coalition for International Justice (CIJ) found that “sixty-one percent [of those interviewed] reported witnessing the killing of a family member.”
Some have raised legitimate questions about the meaning of “family member”—in particular, whether this refers to nuclear or extended family. Much confusion might have been avoided if this distinction had been made clearly by the CIJ investigators, but they did not. Even so, their data are far too important to ignore, given the scale and comprehensiveness of the study.
This writer has argued that it is statistically reasonable to use “nuclear family” size (for Darfur, five to six) as the basis for calculating violent mortality through August 2004, and as establishing a base rate for subsequent violent mortality. The justifications for this assumption are complex and partially arbitrary (though, I would argue, cautious); but together I believe they suggest that deployment of a figure equivalent in value to “family size” (five to six) works conservatively in governing the calculation of violent mortality.
It is critical to understand first how significant the under-reporting of violent mortality is when the category includes only those interviewees who “reported witnessing the killing of a family member.” For excluded from consideration are all families in which mortality (from all causes) was complete, thus leaving no possibility of a reporting presence in Chad. The number of families destroyed in their entirety is not known; but it is certainly a very high number, given the anecdotal evidence for a large (and thus revealing) number of surviving families in which only one member reports being alive. This alone could push the violent mortality total much higher.
Also not included in reports of those “witnessing the killing of a family member” are deaths that followed violent attack. This is true, even as the CIJ study reports that 28% of those interviewed “directly witnessed” persons dying from the consequences of violent displacement before reaching Chad. These deaths must be considered the direct consequence of violence, if not violent deaths per se, and would also significantly increase violent mortality totals.
But as significant as these factors are in under-reporting of violent mortality, they don’t speak directly to the question of family size. Here we must look at the nature of the interviews conducted by CIJ, and what they reveal beyond the bare fact that “sixty-one percent [of those interviewed] reported witnessing the killing of [at least one] family member.” One detailed assessment by a genocide scholar who was among those conducting the CIJ interviews is especially revealing:
“For me, [asking about the witnessing of family members killed] was the single most painful part of the whole interviewing experience, because the vast majority had indeed witnessed more than one family member being killed, and it obviously pained the respondents to recite the names, relationship, cause of death (shooting, death from the bombing, stabbing, burning, clubbing). I usually stopped writing the information down after the fifth person, both because I ran out of space on the questionnaire form and because I didn’t want to prolong the ordeal for the respondent.”
“My clear recollection is that the types of relationship mentioned by our respondents were: son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father, grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle, or cousin. I don’t recall cases of more distant relatives being mentioned. This may be because they started with more immediate family and then I stopped after five. I don’t really know. But my impression is that most of our respondents lost multiple members of their nuclear families as well as grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. Bottom line: the 61% who said they had witnessed a family member killed is a gross under-indication of the extent of killing.” (email communication to this writer by CIJ investigator, May 1, 2006)
This investigator is confident, on the basis of communications with other investigators, that his experience was not anomalous.
In turn, a simple way of conceiving of the statistical significance of such reporting is the following:
If instead of construing the meaning of “sixty-one percent reported witnessing the killing of a family member” as meaning “one and only one family member,” we reasonably assume that these data represent an average of two “family” members seen killed, then even if “family” represents “extended family,” this “extended family” could be as large as ten to twelve and the calculations by this writer using a “nuclear family” figure (five to six) would hold true. If the average number of “family” members seen killed were as great as three, then the calculations for violent mortality would hold for an “extended family” figure of fifteen to eighteen.
Again, these calculations do not include violent mortality experienced by families that perished in their entirety—or violent mortality represented by the 28% of those interviewed who “directly witnessed” persons dying from the consequences of violent displacement before reaching Chad. Statistically, the effect of any attempt to include these deaths in the figures for “families” reporting “witnessing the killing of a family member” is to increase the size of the statistical range for “extended family,” and thus a figure that would continue to yield mortality in the range of 160,000 to 210,000 human beings as of early September 2004 (see statistical derivation in Part 1).
In the absence of additional statistically significant data, we must make assumptions about continuing levels of violent human destruction on the basis of rates from September 2004. Assuming an average 50% decline in violent mortality for the remaining months of 2004, and a 75% decline in violent mortality for 2005 and 2006 to date, this still yields an additional 60,000 violent deaths. This in turn yields a range of 220,000 to 270,000 total violent deaths since the outbreak of major conflict.