Worldwide: Actors and musicians call for action on Darfur

An unprecedented coalition of actors and musicians has today (Sunday) called on the international community to do more to protect the civilians of Darfur.

The artists, including Sir Elton John, George Clooney, Sir Bob Geldof, Hugh Grant, Mia Farrow, Don Cheadle and Sir Mick Jagger, accuse the international community of having simply watched as, “over two hundred thousand civilians were slaughtered.”

The statement, released to coincide with the Global Day for Darfur - marking the fourth anniversary of the conflict - demands that, “the International Community must end its stalling and take decisive action. The perpetrators who carry out these atrocities must be challenged and stopped.”

The statement comes as the situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate and the Government of Sudan continues to refuse to allow an effective peacekeeping force to be deployed.

Many of the artists have also been photographed smashing hourglasses filled with blood to publicise their message that, “every second of delay is another second in which more blood is spilt.”

Around the world today (Sunday) 10,000 hourglasses filled with fake blood will be turned by activists to mark the start of the conflict four years ago. Events will be staged from Mongolia to Iceland, the U.S. to the Ukraine.

Ismail Jarbo, a survivor from Darfur who will be taking part in the events said, “Four years after the start of the conflict the blood of more than two hundred thousand murdered Darfuri’s stains the deserts of Darfur. The lives of the local population lie in tatters, as does the reputation of the international community.”

The artists’ statement in full:

For four years, the Darfur crisis - the globe’s worst humanitarian disaster - has dragged on and the world has watched as over two hundred thousand civilians were slaughtered.

As we mark the fourth anniversary of the start of the killing, we have come together to say that time is up.

The International Community must end its stalling and take decisive action. The perpetrators who carry out these atrocities must be challenged and stopped. While a long-term political process is pursued, there must be an immediate ceasefire, an end to attacks on civilians and full access for aid agencies.

Unless we all insist on it, this will not happen.

This Sunday, a Global Day for Darfur will seek to instigate the end to this terrible status quo. From London to LA, from Berlin to Bahrain, right across the globe this date will be marked by events that will share in our indignation at the death and destruction. We urge anyone who shares our outrage to stand up and take part.

Blood-filled hourglasses will be held aloft around the world today, making it clear that time is up. The International Community must live up to its responsibility to protect civilians.

Every second they delay is another second in which more blood is spilt.

Signatories

George Clooney, Hugh Grant, Sir Bob Geldof, Don Cheadle, Sir Elton John, David Furnish, Sir Mick Jagger, Mark Knopfler, Thandie Newton, Emmanuel Jal, Mia Farrow, Mariella Frostrup, Alex James.

Note to Editor

1) In the last four year the Darfur conflict has:

  • Spread to two other countries (Chad and the Central African Republic)
  • Led to 16 un-enforced UN resolutions
  • Provoked 60 statements of concern from the EU but zero action
  • Killed over 200,000 people
  • Forced 230,000 people to flee the country
  • Cut off an estimated 900,000 from aid
  • Made two million people homeless
  • Ruined the lives of over four million people

2) Events will be held in the following locations:

Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritius, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, USA.

3) Pictures are available of many of the signatories smashing hour-glasses filled with fake blood. These photographs were taken at Jasmine Studios in London on 26th April and taken by Jane Hodson www.JaneHodson.com All photographs must be credited www.janehodson.com

4) A VNR from the shoot is also available.

For copies of the photographs or the VNR or for further details please contact:
Crisis Action: + 44 207 324 4747 / 8/ 9 or mail@crisisaction.org /p>

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