Sunday, April 13, 2008

Activists Mark Darfur Anniversary

LONDON (AP) — About 3,000 protesters rallied outside Sudan's Embassy in London on Sunday to demand an end to the five-year conflict and the quick deployment of an international peacekeeping force to the region.

The demonstration came on the Global Day for Darfur, a day observed by activists, celebrities and survivors across the world who are trying to raise awareness of the suffering in the western Sudanese region. The day marks the fifth anniversary of the start of the conflict.

With rock music playing, the protesters in London chanted and raised up their palms, which were painted white in a symbolic call for peace.

"Don't be Deaf to Darfur," one placard read.

Ikhlass Mohamed, a mother of three who fled the conflict in 2004, said it was vital to keep the tragedy in the public eye.

"We came here looking for peace," she said. "Physically we may have peace, but mentally we will never be at peace until we see Darfuri people having a peaceful life."

Fighting has raged in Darfur since 2003, when ethnic African tribesman took up arms, complaining of decades of neglect and discrimination by the Sudanese Arab-dominated government.

Khartoum is accused of unleashing janjaweed militia forces to commit atrocities against ethnic African communities in the fight with rebel groups — charges the government denies. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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