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Africa Action Honors Rwandan Genocide with Increased Public Mobilization to Stop the Genocide in Darfur
Hundreds to Attend Special Events as the Demand to Stop the Genocide Swells
WASHINGTON - April 9 -
This month Africa Action honors the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide by hosting several special events designed to mobilize public pressure and strengthen collective efforts to demand peace and justice in Darfur and all of Sudan. The events are a part of Africa Action's intensified campaign, JUST L.E.A.D. (LEARN. EDUCATE. ACT. DAILY).
Just as the world witnessed more than 800,000 people die in Rwanda 15 years ago, the genocide of the 21st century takes place in Darfur, Sudan. Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action said today, "In 100 days a chronology of events transpired in Rwanda that resulted in nearly one million people being slaughtered. Today President Obama and the U.S. Congress must now fulfill their promise to act expediently with "unstinting resolve" to end genocide in Darfur. President Obama must ensure that U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, Scott Gration, has a full team of dedicated junior and senior staff. Gration must have access to unconstrained, constant communication and dialogue with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton."
Africa Action calls on U.S. to lead bilateral and U.S.-led multilateral diplomatic pressure that will ensure the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) implementation. The U.S. must pursue an all-Sudan strategy where both Darfur and the CPA are top priorities. Furthermore, full deployment of UN peacekeepers on the ground is vital in ensuring civilian protection and long-lasting peace. The U.S. should continue to engage with the "Friends of UNAMID" working group to match troop-contributing countries (TCCs) with appropriate training and logistical support from donors.
Michael Stulman, Associate Director for Policy and Communications at Africa Action said today, "We have outlined the necessary steps to stop the genocide in Darfur for six years. President Obama must adopt these recommendations to bring about peace in the region so that the atrocities that took place in Rwanda are no longer recurring in Sudan."
To raise awareness and mobilize public pressure on the U.S. to exert leadership, Africa Action will be hosting several events this month.
In Washington, D.C. the Children of Darfur exhibit is being hosted at the Martin Luther King Library all month. Children are the youngest survivors of the genocide in Darfur, and their drawings depict the atrocities they endure. Dr. Jerry Ehrlich, a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders in 2004, was working at a medical center for internally displaced persons in Darfur, Sudan. He collected drawings from children while he was working in one of the camps. Africa Action has converted these drawings into an exhibit to help remind people of the on-going genocide in Darfur.
"I wanted to document the plight of the people through the eyes of children. I brought with me 25 boxes of crayons and about 400 pieces of drawing paper. They were given out to children between the ages of 8 and 12. I asked them to draw about their lives in Darfur and return 7-8 drawings for me to take home as a remembrance...As you view the drawings their message is obvious. They depict the atrocities these children have gone through and still unfortunately live with," said Dr. Jerry Ehrlich. For more information on the exhibit, visit www.africaaction.org
In New York, Africa Action's Briggs Bomba will emcee a special benefit concert in New York: Rock to Save Darfur. The April 14th event featuring hip-hop artist Immortal Technique and DJ Static intends to raise funds and awareness for Africa Action and other groups working for peace and human security in Darfur and throughout Sudan. Visit our website, www.africaaction.org for ticket information.
Also in Washington, DC, Africa Action will host Chiwoniso Maraire, an accomplished singer, songwriter and human rights' activist. With Maraire will be Comrade Fatso, one of Zimbabwe's most popular and controversial poets. Together they will present a concert performance April 18th. Details will be announced on our website shortly.