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Protest calls for Darfur action
Our Hugh Fitzgerald has been saying for a long time that the effort being spent in Iraq would be more effective if spent in the Sudan protecting Christians, animists and black Muslims from the Janjaweed.
He is ceasing to be a lone voice, although I,m not sure that Hugh Grant is quite the companion he hoped for. Mariella Frostrup may be a different kettle of fish? From The BBC.
Thousands of protesters in London have demanded protection for civilians in Darfur on the fourth anniversary of the start of conflict in the Sudan region. At the event in Whitehall, fake blood flowed from a two-metre hourglass to represent the bloodshed.
During a global day of action 10,000 hourglasses will be turned under the slogan: "Time is up..protect Darfur." . . . the fake blood was to highlight that "in certain parts of Darfur blood is running like water".
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said the world was "looking away as genocide is committed" in Darfur.
An estimated 200,000 people have been killed in the four-year conflict.
Darfur survivor Ismael Jarbo told the protest the situation in the region "has gone from bad to worse. Genocide is really going on today, so we really need to do something now today," he said.
Mr Jarbo called for the international community to act, possibly with military intervention. People are relying on aid agencies. "Aid agencies can't operate as it's not safe. I'm here to raise awareness to the international community," he said. "Women and girls are being raped, young boys are being forced to become child soldiers."
The conflict has led to 16 un-enforced UN resolutions and provoked 60 statements of concern from the EU but, according to campaigners, "zero action". The African Union (AU) peacekeeping force is struggling to halt widespread abuses and violence, but Sudan is rejecting plans for it to hand over to a larger, stronger UN mission.
Sudan's government and the pro-government Arab militias are accused of war crimes against the region's black African population, although the UN has stopped short of calling it genocide.
More than two million people are living in camps after fleeing fighting in the region.