To the Editor:

Re "In Western Sudan, Fear and Despair Are the Ever-Growing Enemy" (front page, Sept. 2):

The endless tragedies and decades of war in Sudan and other African states clearly illustrate the need for border changes in Africa.

Thus begins the most ridiculous letter to the Editor that I have ever read:
Africa's giants - Sudan, Nigeria and Congo - as well as many smaller countries, are artificial states established along lines to fulfill European commodity requirements. These states are not organic creations of similar peoples with similar worldviews.

This is true.
The groupings of historically dissimilar and opposed peoples only guarantee continued crisis, and Sudan is a perfect example of this.

While rewriting borders is difficult, and could result in great bloodshed in the short term, it will certainly be easier than living continually with states in constant war with themselves.

Guthrie Alberts
Woodside, Queens
Sept. 2, 2004

This is absurd. Even if we accept Mr. Alberts' premise that the artificial borders of African nations are the primary cause of the continent's troubles, his claim that a rearrangement of borders will create peace is ludicrous. Will some international agency supervise the redrawing of the borders, or will the countries negotiate this among themselves? Will the primary criteria for separation be ethnicity, language, or religion? What about the economic ramifications of splitting impoverished nations into even smaller entities? Most importantly, what guarantee is there that the "great bloodshed in the short term" will not continue indefinitely? While rewriting borders may seem like an adequate solution from an armchair in Queens, it would be far more dangerous where the borders would change. Alberts' plan seems more likely to cause eternal civil strife than to stop it.