Genocide Intervention Network (endgenocide) wrote in hotel_rwanda,
Genocide Intervention Network
endgenocide
hotel_rwanda

Progress on Darfur -- Help Us Across the Finish Line

It is rare that we receive any good news out of Darfur, but last week a glimmer of light broke through the shadows after New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson brokered a 60-day ceasefire deal between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and several of the rebel groups who had not signed the May 2006 peace accord. Achieving a resolution between the government and rebels is a key step in ending the genocide.

Gov. Richardson's trip was made possible through the tireless efforts of the Save Darfur Coalition and its supporters -- including many of you -- another demonstration of the power that we have as activists to create positive changes on the ground.

In an article about the landmark agreement, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote:

Most striking, it's clear that the cease-fire was a consequence of all those armbands and lawn signs. Mr. Richardson told me that Mr. Bashir was motivated by concern at the way the killings have been spotlighted by Darfur activists. Mr. Richardson quoted him as saying, "These guys have caused me a lot of damage."

Ken Bacon, who heads Refugees International and accompanied Mr. Richardson, said of President Bashir: "One thing that was very clear was that the Save Darfur movement has gotten under his skin. The vilification of the Khartoum regime in columns and editorials and ads is making a difference."

So cherish this historical moment. The long record of genocide is one overwhelmingly of acquiescence, but this time ordinary citizens are trying to write a different ending.

But as Save Darfur rightly notes, this agreement in no way means that Darfur's civilians are out of harm's way. As activists, we must all remain engaged. We can only expect the parties to uphold this or any other agreement if they are forced to do so by sustained international pressure. UN peacekeepers are still required to ensure that the twenty-first century's first -- and hopefully last -- genocide is finally stopped!

Keep Up the Pressure -- Get Your Community Involved!

Our goal is within our reach, but we need to redouble our efforts in a final sprint that will take us across the finish line. Now is the time to get your friends and neighbors involved, when we can make the most difference in Darfur.

Sprint for Darfur

Help us to get this message across by taking part in our Sprint for Darfur campaign. Join us in organizing a sprint in your local area, or consider partnering with a local track team to facilitate venue and participation. You don't need to be an athlete to participate in the race. The purpose is to increase community awareness about the genocide in Darfur, raise money to directly fund the protection of victims of the genocide, and advocate for the immediate deployment of additional peacekeepers.

Sprint for Darfur is steadily picking up steam. Along with our partner, Africa Action, we have already received nearly $8,000 in online pledges, and we currently have activists in Washington, DC; New York; New Jersey; Georgia; Arizona and California, each of whom are looking to partner with other individuals to organize an event. If you are in one of these areas, and would like to help organize a sprint, participate in a race, or help with collecting pledges, please contact us so we can make those connections. No matter where you are, we hope you will consider participating.

Our greatest need is for organizers. We have created an organizing toolkit that will guide you through planning an event. Please let us know if you are willing to take the lead in your community by registering online. Signing up will help us connect you with other Sprint for Darfur activists in your area.

You can visit www.SprintForDarfur.com to make an online donation, download personalized flyers, print pledge sheets and stay informed on the project.

If you are participating or interested in getting involved, please visit the website today and register so we can keep you updated on the latest developments and opportunities.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Warm Regards,
Colin, Ivan and the rest of the GI-Net team

Mia Farrow Calls for Sudan Divestment on Today Show

Mia Farrow speaking on behalf of Save Darfur; image courtesy of Save Darfur

Last week on NBC's Today Show, actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow advocated targeted divestment from Sudan. "Divestment is one of the best tools people can use to effectively combat genocide," Farrow told the Genocide Intervention Network.

Farrow recently returned from the region on a trip with Save Darfur Executive Director David Rubenstein. She also spoke to Martha Stewart about her work to stop the genocide.

Over the next two months, at least 19 states will be introducing targeted Sudan divestment legislation. The Sudan Divestment Task Force, a project of the Genocide Intervention Network, serves as the national clearinghouse for the Sudan divestment movement, and is actively involved in dozens of campaigns across the country at the university, city and state levels.

Read the blog from Darfur written by Mia Farrow and her son, GI-Net Representative Ronan Farrow.


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