In a global “Day for Darfur” on Sunday, September 17, activists in thirty-seven countries will speak out to demand intervention in the escalating humanitarian crisis in western Sudan. Protesters will be calling for introduction of UN peacekeeping forces in Darfur by the end of the month, when the current African Union security forces are scheduled to leave. In a statement last Wednesday, UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland pronounced “collapse” of the region imminent unless UN forces are permitted to intervene.
Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir rejected last month’s UN decision to introduce 20,000 UN peacekeeping troops, accusing the UN of trying to “recolonize” Sudan, Reuters reports. Without security forces, humanitarian agencies now providing aid to millions of displaced people would be compelled to leave the country, precipitating the death of approximately 100,000 Darfuris per month, according to Egeland.
Protesters participating in the massive day of action will wear blue hats to symbolize the need for UN peacekeeping forces, who typically wear blue berets or helmets. Tens of thousands of protesters are expected at the rally in New York City, where former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will be among the speakers demanding that the international community put pressure on Sudan.
For more information see www.dayfordarfur.org or www.savedarfur.org