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Darfur Awareness Campaign in SVG

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More than 400,000 Africans have died in the Darfur region of Sudan since February 2003. Over 2.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Most take refuge in the neighbouring country of Chad, where they live in refugee camps without adequate food, water, or medical care. Thousands have been killed and raped, and thousands more have died from starvation and disease.{{more}}

Rebel groups began attacking government targets in the capital Khartoum in 2003, accusing the Sudanese government of decades of discrimination against ethnic African tribes. The government retaliated with a military campaign against innocent civilians in the Darfur region. The government enlisted the help of a militia of Arab nomadic tribes, known as the Janjaweed. The conflict continues to this day.

According to CNN.com, the United Nations has offered to send peacekeeping troops to Darfur, but the Sudanese government refuses to give its consent. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has publicly denies responsibility for the human rights abuses taking place. The African Union currently has 7,000 troops stationed in Darfur, but they lack the resources needed to control the conflict.

Dr. The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves addressed the Darfur crisis in September 2004 during his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Dr. Gonsalves made a plea to the international community and the Sudanese government to

take action against the genocide in Darfur. “We must save those who can still be saved in what has become the killing fields of Africa,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

Three years have passed, and despite continuing pressure on powerful international leaders to take action, the people of Darfur continue to suffer.

On April 27, 2007, Peace Corps volunteers Rachel Beatty, Tyler Petersen, Amanda Nace, and Deborah Gordon-Messer will be in Heritage Square kicking off their Darfur Awareness and Action Campaign in SVG.

“Our goal is to make the people of SVG aware of the crisis in Darfur, and provide them the opportunity to take action to help end the genocide,” said Tyler Petersen.

Miss Rachel Beatty said, “We believe that knowledge is power. The more people who are aware of international crises such as Darfur, the more voices will be heard speaking out against unjustified murder and oppression.”

The group will be giving presentations in secondary schools and resource centres throughout the country beginning in May.

For more information about Darfur visit Heritage Square on April 27, 2007, or visit SaveDarfur.org and DarfurGenocide.org.

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