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Darfur in the news

Yesterday saw thousands rally to draw attention to the genocide in Darfur, where (as I’ve outlined on this blog before) millions are living in horrible conditions in IDP camps after being driven from their villages, livelihood and homes by the civil war in Sudan - often by the Janjaweed, an Arab militia recruited from local tribes and armed by the government. Hundreds of thousands are effectively cut off from aid because of the region’s remoteness. Tens of thousands have already died of starvation and disease while those who live in the camps and surrounding areas continue to face killings, torture and rape by government forces and militias.

Here are a couple of reports about the rallies (courtesy of Coalition for Darfur). I’ve included the first paragraph or two of each. The first is from the NY Times:
WASHINGTON, April 30 — In front of thousands of people rallying on Sunday on the Mall, religious leaders, politicians and celebrities urged the American people and the Bush administration to do more to help end the ethnic and political conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The rally here was one of nearly 20 events across the country sponsored by the Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of more than 160 organizations. . . .
Passion of the Present collected four articles here and these two below (with their notes in [brackets]:

Two stories concerning today's San Francisco rally:

From the "Contra Costa Times"...

Several thousand people formed a garland across the Golden Gate Bridge today [Sunday], hands joined and raised skyward, in silence. . . .

From NBC O&O KNTV...

San Francisco was the focus of West Coast events Sunday to protest what organizers called “ethnic cleansing” in the Darfur region of Sudan. Darfur is the only African Muslim region in the otherwise Arab Muslim Sudan. [That description leaves out southern Sudan, which is largely African Christian/animist. - EJM]

Events for “Day of Conscience for Darfur” included a large rally at San Francisco’s Crissy Field and a silent vigil on the east sidewalk of the Golden Gate Bridge. . . .

The Washington Post:
Monday, May 1, 2006; Page A01 -- Clutching signs that read "Never Again," thousands of protesters from across religious and political divides descended on the Mall yesterday along with celebrities and politicians to urge President Bush to take stronger measures to end the violence in Sudan's Darfur region that the United States has labeled genocide.

They wore skullcaps, turbans, headscarves, yarmulkes, baseball hats and bandanas. There were pastors, rabbis, imams, youths from churches and youths from synagogues. They cried out phrases in Arabic and held signs in Hebrew. . . .
Related are these stories (again compiled by Coalition for Darfur), which deal with current issues and news in Darfur, particularly the expiration of the deadline for a peace accord in the region:
Darfur: Zoellick Headed to Stalled Negotiations (Bloomberg): May 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick will leave today for Abuja, Nigeria, to try to salvage African Union-brokered peace negotiations to end the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, two State Department officials said. . . .

Darfur: Accord Hopes Dim With Departure (NY Times): KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 1 —Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick announced today that he was rushing to Nigera, to push the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels to reach agreement on a treaty intended to bring an end to the carnage in Darfur, Sudan. . . .

Darfur: No Progress Made During Extended Negotiations (AP/USA Today): ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The first day of an extended deadline for reaching a peace deal in Sudan's Darfur region saw no progress, with rebels still pushing the government Monday to accept their demands for autonomy and a vice president. . . .

Chad: Armed Men Attack Eastern Village (Reuters): N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Around 150 armed men on horseback attacked a village in eastern Chad early on Monday, killing at least four people and wounding six, two days before a presidential election, the U.N. refugee agency said. . . .
So, you see the need for continual attention being placed on this issue. If you’d like to learn more and find out what you can do to help end this crisis, visit World Vision, SaveDarfur, Wikipedia, or see Chuck Colson’s recent column.

(Image: Wikipedia)

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