This month, thousands of people across dozens of cities worldwide will take part in the largest campaigning day for peace in Darfur since the start of the conflict, the World Evangelical Alliance has announced.
Campaigners are urging those taking part in the Global Day of Action for Darfur on Sept. 17 to call on their governments to do more to protect civilians in the troubled region of Sudan.
”From Abuja, to New York, this will be a chance for people across the globe to show that they care about Darfur,” said Jill Savitt, Campaign Director of Human Rights First, one of the organizations coordinating the events. “September 17 is going to be a day of international solidarity to bring hope to the people of Darfur.”
Sept. 17 marks the one-year anniversary of the United Nations’ pledge to provide security for civilians around the world. Campaigners hope the upcoming cross-global effort will be a poignant reminder to the U.N. of its as yet unfulfilled responsibility and the continuing suffering in Darfur.
Some of the cities to host events on the global day of action are New York, Paris, Cairo, Moscow and Kigali.
Events will range from small and intimate candlelight vigils to mass concerts bringing together thousands. Whatever the size, the purpose is the same, bringing citizens together to urge their governments to pressure the U.N. Security Council into taking immediate action to protect the people of Darfur as it promised.
Participants at the events will also wear the internationally recognized icon of U.N. peacekeeping forces – the “blue hats”.
“The African Union has been struggling to do its job in Darfur. The U.N. must deploy peacekeepers as soon as possible with a strong mandate to protect civilians,” said Dismas Nkunda, a spokesperson for the Darfur Consortium, a coalition of more than thirty Africa-based and Africa-focused organizations.
Dr. James Smith, executive director of the Aegis Trust, said: “Tens of thousands of people in capital cities from around the world will be calling again for the killings to stop.
“We are indignant at Darfur’s slow death; its time for us to express our outrage.”