Darfur is Calling –a London Demo in Solidarity with the Victims of West Darfur Massacre – Report (Saturday, 23rd January 2016)
On the backdrop of hideous atrocities committed by the pro-government militias against the people of Sudan in Darfur, in particular over the last few days, where a number of casualties were reported between dead and injured in the El-Genenia and some of its localities, the Sudanese diaspora in the United Kingdom and friends of Darfur descended to London to join a peaceful demonstration on Saturday the 23rd of January 2016, in front of the Sudanese Embassy. The demo was organised by Darfur Union in the United Kingdom, in coordination with a number of civil societies from across the UK. The crowds were diverse, and their coming together reflected the concerned shared by all towards the latest escalations of violence against the innocent population in Darfur.
The masses were keen to made their voices heard; the following slogans were repeated throughout the day:-
Al-Bashir to ICC
Stop the war in Darfur
Stop the war in Nuba Mountains
Stop the war in Blue Nile
Justice Justice For Sudan,
Peace Peace for Sudan
All the criminals to ICC
End the Genocide Now
UK UN Action now
No to Darfur Referendum
The crowds then moved in a peaceful march from the Sudanese Embassy to the square opposite to Downing Street, where representatives from the Darfur Union in the UK and the Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad handed a letter to the custodian of the Prime Minister at the door of number 10. The letter detailed the second wave of war crimes inflected upon the people of Darfur and Nuba mountains.
The letter’s main points included
• The coming together of people to mark the new waves of violence and atrocities committed by the Field Marshall Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir , the President of Sudan, and his National Islamic Front government against the people of Sudan in Darfur. On the wake of the heinous crimes committed by the pro government militia in Muly and Tia villages, West Darfur, reports from the ground of at least 51 civilian Sudanese citizens between dead and injured. This is by no means was an isolated incident. It is a continuation of the government plan to implement demographic changes in Darfur Province by displacing the native population. The violence and aggression against civilians is not exclusive to the Darfur region, the Sudan government has waged a vicious war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States over the last five years.
- United Kingdom played an instrumental role in raising the just case of the people of Sudan in Darfur in the UN Security Council back in 2003, and continued to raise the issue in multiple platforms, most memorably by giving support to the investigating team of the International Criminal Court, to pursue the perpetrators of war crimes, this action in one way or another has led to the indictment of the sitting president of Sudan back on March the 4th, 2009. Since then, the case has slowly disappeared from the priority list of the international community. We plea to the UK, to stand with the people of Darfur, by putting pressure on the government of Sudan, to allow aid and humanitarian agencies to have full access to the affected areas.
- Another request is to give the ICC the necessary supports to opening new investigations into breaches of international laws in Darfur and Nuba Mountains.
- Most importantly, the support that is given by the UK to the UNAMID forces, we asked that is continue in conjunction with reform in the organisation that will enable the force to execute the UN mandate in Darfur.
• All the previous ‘peace agreement’, including the Doha Document for Peace have failed to bring about hint of peace to the region. Mass killing, mass rape, enforced displacement of people has continued. A long lasting peace process requires the UK government to play its diplomatic role, in bring all involved parties, including civil societies to have the voices of the masses heard.
• Other points and deep concerns raised on the letter to the PM included Sudan government’s plans to dismantle the IDP camps across Darfur, and Darfur Referendum on April 2016.
The crowds/ rally was also addressed by representative of civil societies including the executive office of Darfur Union, The Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad, plus political parties, NGOs and friends of Darfur.
Below are links to photos and videos of the Demo.
Deputy Press Secretary, Darfur Union in the United Kingdom.
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