Celebrities and Activists Caution One Year to Prevent War in Sudan
9 January 2010 thousands of activists are gathering at events in 15 countries in a global coordinated effort, calling on world leaders to take urgent steps to prevent a return to severe and widespread conflict in Sudan.
Sudan365 (www.sudan365.org ), a year of campaigning for Sudan, has been organised by a coalition of groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Save Darfur Coalition, FIDH, Refugees International, Darfur Consortium and Arab Coalition for Darfur.
The effort comes with one year remaining until a referendum that will decide the future of Sudan and marks the five year anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan and called for this referendum.
With many highly contentious issues still to be resolved and amidst increasing inter-ethnic violence in the South and continued attacks on civilians in Darfur, there is a real risk of a return to conflict that could destabilise the entire region and place civilians in grave danger.
Sudan365 is being supported by some of the world’s most famous drummers - including Phil Selway, Radiohead; Stewart Copeland, The Police; Nick Mason, Pink Floyd; Jonny Quinn, Snow Patrol; Caroline Corr; Richard Jupp, Elbow; Middle Eastern star Mohammed Mounir and Mustapha Tettey Addy who has been drumming since the 1970s.
The celebrity drummers are coming together to create a ‘beat for peace’ in Sudan. A film of this global beat for peace, featuring drummers from five continents, will be released to coincide with the launch of the campaign.
Activists will also drum along at events worldwide to call on governments to take action to prevent worsening violence and ensure civilians are protected.
Activists are calling on world leaders to dramatically increase their engagement to:
- Provide intensive and coherent diplomatic support to Northern and Southern Sudanese parties on unresolved issues such as wealth sharing and borders and security
- Increase international monitoring and reporting on human rights violations throughout Sudan in the run-up to the April elections and referendum, and support measures to protect civilians from potential violence related to these events
- Push the United Nations Security Council to strengthen the civilian protection mandate of the Sudan peacekeeping force (UNMIS) by increasing its presence in remote and volatile areas and by rapidly deploying its personnel to conflict-prone areas.
The 2011 referendum will determine whether or not the Southern region of Sudan becomes independent from the North. Experts fear that instability in the run-up to the referendum or its aftermath could reignite a civil war and cause massive human rights abuses unless international efforts are intensified to find a peaceful path through the next 12 months.