Worldwide: Protests around the world mark grim four-year anniversary of Darfur conflict

Protests will take place on Sunday (29 April) in over 35 capitals around the world to mark the fourth anniversary of the deadly conflict in Darfur.

Around the world 10,000 hourglasses filled with fake blood will be turned over by activists to mark the start of the conflict four years ago. Events will be staged from Mongolia to Iceland, the US 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.”

In London, thousands of people will gather outside Downing Street to urge the UK Government to continue to push for an effective peacekeeping force in the region. There will be a large ‘bloody’ hourglass symbolising that time is running out for the people of Darfur.

Former Sudanese child soldier Emmanuel Jal will also be speaking at Sunday's event in London.

During the demonstration the valve of the two-metre high hourglass, which is filled with fake blood and the ‘blood’ will filter through the hourglass throughout the demonstration.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“For four years now, the Sudanese Government has allowed these vicious crimes against humanity to persist and as a result, hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions have been uprooted from their homes. Enough is enough. It is time for the rest of the international community to take effective action.

“It’s vital that the UK Government takes a much stronger lead in securing an effective peacekeeping force in the region.“

Dr James Smith, chief executive of The Aegis Trust said:

“Darfur is a legacy issue for our Prime Minister, like other world leaders. The response to this crisis will be determined not on their words but by their actions.

“Tony Blair should outline what the British Government is actually going to do to protect civilians in Darfur. Time is of the essence, with aid agencies pulling out and the violence spiralling out of control, every minute lost places millions of human beings at risk.”

Massive forced displacements and other human rights violations have deepened the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. The Sudanese government continues to support Janjawid militias, which, along with Sudanese forces, are responsible for grave human rights violations in Darfur.

Armed opposition groups have also been responsible for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

Despite an overwhelming international consensus on the need to deploy a hybrid UN/AU force to protect civilians in Darfur, the Sudanese government continues to refuse to allow such a deployment.

More than 200,000 people have died in the last four years since the current conflict began, and more than 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes. Since the beginning of the year, the situation has deteriorated even further, and the conflict has spread beyond Sudan's borders to eastern Chad.

Kate Allen continued:

“We will continue to call for the immediate deployment of an effective peacekeeping force to protect the people of Darfur.”

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Notes to the editor

  • Events are scheduled in the following locations and more are expected to join before Sunday:

    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

  • An audio email with a harrowing story of a child in Darfur has been launched on the Globe for Darfur website, calling on UN Secretary General to do more to protect the people of Darfur. You can download the audio from: www.globefordarfur.org/act_now.html

  • Previous Global Day for Darfur events attracted tens of thousands of supporters from around the world. In September 2006, events focused on the need to deploy U.N. peacekeeping troops into Darfur. The second Global Day in December highlighted the use of sexual violence against the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights of Darfur. For more information about the events on April 29, please visit www.globefordarfur.org /li>

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