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Global Day of Action for Darfur: Sep. 17

August 25, 2006
Global Day of Action for Darfur: September 17

Thousands to Wear a Blue Hat to Call for UN Action in Darfur

NEW YORK, NY— In exactly 30 days time campaigners will hold the biggest campaigning day for Darfur since the start of the conflict. Thousands of people in dozens of cities will call on their governments to do more to protect civilians in Darfur.

September 17th marks the one-year anniversary of the United Nations’ pledge to provide security for civilians around the world. People all over the world will gather to remind the UN of its unfulfilled responsibility and the continuing suffering in Darfur.

”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.”

In New York, London, Paris, Abuja, Toronto, Cairo, Kigali, Moscow, and many other cities, events ranging from small candlelight vigils to mass concerts will bring citizens together to urge their governments to pressure the UN Security Council into taking immediate action to protect the people of Darfur as it promised.

Participants in the September 17 events will wear “blue hats,” the internationally recognized icon of UN peacekeeping forces.

“The African Union has been struggling to do its job in Darfur. The UN 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.

The “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), passed the UN General Assembly in 2005, but has yet to be implemented. The R2P pledges to “take collective action...if national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

“Tens of thousands of people in capital cities from around the world will be calling again for the killings to stop.” said Dr. James Smith, Executive Director of the Aegis Trust. “We are indignant at Darfur’s slow death; its time for us to express our outrage.”

Go to www.DayForDarfur.org to find out more about the range of international groups involved.