Sunday, September 17, 2006
Worldwide rallies for peace in Darfur.
From Cambodia to South Africa to London, thousands of people are expected to gather in protest and call out to the Sudanese authorities to allow UN peacekeepers into Darfur, where tens of thousands of people have been killed. Up to two million have been displaced in three years of conflict in Darfur. France and the US are already calling the conflict a genocide and the US has publicly and directly accused Khartoum of responsibility.
In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, devastated by the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 1970s, a candle-lit vigil was held in the capital. Among those involved are Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, who headed the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda during that country's genocide in 1994 and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
"Unfortunately, the people there in the West, in Europe and the United States are moved by the media and the media is unfortunately moved by political agendas," Khartoum says. Sudan's junior foreign minister, Ali Karti, said the demonstrators were misunderstanding the situation in Darfur as the country is "defending the territorial integrity of Sudan against rebels backed by neighbouring Chad."