Faith and humanitarian coalition pushes for end to Darfur crisis

By staff writers
April 18, 2006

Faith and humanitarian coalition pushes for end to Darfur crisis

-18/04/06

Some 160 religious, human rights and humanitarian organisations have joined together in a coalition to highlight the continuing plight of people in Darfur, Sudan, where hundreds of thousands of people have died in what some claim is genocide.

The United Nations' chief humanitarian coordinator, Jan Egeland, declared at the beginning of April that the situation in Darfur ìis changing dramatically for the worseî once again, and that African Union is inadequately equipped to cope with the situation.

The US-based Darfur Coalition is comprised of the American Jewish World Service, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, Amnesty International, the United States Holocaust Museum, the National Black Church Initiative and a number of regional and local organizations.

After a revolt broke out in Darfur in 2003, the Sudanese government began arming citizen militias, known as the Janjaweed, and sent them to restore order in the rural areas. But the militias have since committed murder and rape on a widespread basis, and critics say that the government has failed to reign in on the terror ñ and has even encouraged it for political purposes.

The country is still geographically and politically divided between Muslims on the one hand and Christians and members of traditional African religions on the other. But in recent months there have been steps towards a settlement of some long-standing disputes.

Still the Darfur crisis continues, however. NGOs and lobbyists in Europe are also concerned and are pushing hard for a solution. But some dissent from the use of the word ëgenocideí and believe that calls for NATO involvement are misplaced and would not improve the situation. The solution must come from Africa itself, they declare ñ citing earlier, disastrous, outside interventions.

In the US a major demonstration will take place on 30 April 2006 under the slogan, ìRally to Stop Genocideî. It will gather between 2-4pm on the National Mall, between Third and Fourth streets in front of the US Capitol Metro Station Federal Centre SW.

Speakers will include Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Paul Rusesabagina, who risked his life to save more than 1,000 people at the hotel he managed during the genocide in Rwanda. Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders will also address the rally.

[Also on Ekklesia: UN warns of worsening situation in Darfur; Churches seek to respond to Darfur attacks; Darfur development workers kidnapped as situation worsens; Agencies and churches urge UN action on Darfur; Christian aid agencies unite for Sudan; US church aid agency chief backs action on Darfur; Captors release Darfur emergency workers; Christian agencies welcome Sudan peace but warn over Darfur; Churches urge Sudan government to end hostilities; Christian aid partners address UN over Sudan]

Faith and humanitarian coalition pushes for end to Darfur crisis

-18/04/06

Some 160 religious, human rights and humanitarian organisations have joined together in a coalition to highlight the continuing plight of people in Darfur, Sudan, where hundreds of thousands of people have died in what some claim is genocide.

The United Nations' chief humanitarian coordinator, Jan Egeland, declared at the beginning of April that the situation in Darfur ìis changing dramatically for the worseî once again, and that African Union is inadequately equipped to cope with the situation.

The US-based Darfur Coalition is comprised of the American Jewish World Service, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, Amnesty International, the United States Holocaust Museum, the National Black Church Initiative and a number of regional and local organizations.

After a revolt broke out in Darfur in 2003, the Sudanese government began arming citizen militias, known as the Janjaweed, and sent them to restore order in the rural areas. But the militias have since committed murder and rape on a widespread basis, and critics say that the government has failed to reign in on the terror ñ and has even encouraged it for political purposes.

The country is still geographically and politically divided between Muslims on the one hand and Christians and members of traditional African religions on the other. But in recent months there have been steps towards a settlement of some long-standing disputes.

Still the Darfur crisis continues, however. NGOs and lobbyists in Europe are also concerned and are pushing hard for a solution. But some dissent from the use of the word ëgenocideí and believe that calls for NATO involvement are misplaced and would not improve the situation. The solution must come from Africa itself, they declare ñ citing earlier, disastrous, outside interventions.

In the US a major demonstration will take place on 30 April 2006 under the slogan, ìRally to Stop Genocideî. It will gather between 2-4pm on the National Mall, between Third and Fourth streets in front of the US Capitol Metro Station Federal Centre SW.

Speakers will include Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Paul Rusesabagina, who risked his life to save more than 1,000 people at the hotel he managed during the genocide in Rwanda. Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders will also address the rally.

[Also on Ekklesia: UN warns of worsening situation in Darfur; Churches seek to respond to Darfur attacks; Darfur development workers kidnapped as situation worsens; Agencies and churches urge UN action on Darfur; Christian aid agencies unite for Sudan; US church aid agency chief backs action on Darfur; Captors release Darfur emergency workers; Christian agencies welcome Sudan peace but warn over Darfur; Churches urge Sudan government to end hostilities; Christian aid partners address UN over Sudan]

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