A real threat of an upsurge of violence in Sudan

Today’s report published by ten aid agencies about the volatile situation in Sudan has kick-started the debate about the need for greater international attention to be paid to that country this year.

Simon Tisdall’s briefing in today’s Guardian suggests that there’s a degree of exaggeration about the level of concern being voiced about Sudan. But when you reflect on the fragile history of the country and the current threat of instability, the threat of an upsurge of violence in Sudan is very real. Read Ros Wynne-Jones' comment for an alternative synopsis.

For 22 years Sudan was caught in the grip of horrendous conflict. Around two million people were killed and more than four million were forced from their homes.

However for most of those two decades the rest of the world pretty much ignored the devastation.  Not only did the enduring conflict have a devastating impact on the country of Sudan, it also destabilised much of the region.  

As well as the north-south conflict, the seven-year conflict that raged in Darfur still has a dreadful impact on millions of people who are still living in makeshift houses. In that conflict around 300,000 people died and more than two and a half million people were displaced.

Unless the ship is steadied over the course of the next 12 months in Sudan – particularly during elections in the country in April and in the run up to the 2011 referendum – Amnesty fears that there could be a rapid decline into further devastation and conflict once again.

This Saturday will see the start of an international campaign to demand worldwide attention and effort to protect the people of Sudan. The campaign sudan365 will begin with a Global Day of Action for Sudan when thousands of activists and celebrities will be gathering in around 15 cities around the world.

The website www.sudan365 will be up and running on Saturday so log on there to see the action you can take. Alternatively, if you’re free on Saturday, why not join a merry throng of campaigners opposite Downing Street who will be sending a rather loud message to the government that every effort must be given to ensure the protection of people in Sudan.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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