"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Would you make a single phone call if it could stop the genocide in Darfur?
Would you be willing to make that same phone call every day until the killing stopped?
In 2005, General Romeo Dallaire, who led a small UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda and made a heroic attempt to warn the world of the impending genocide, estimated that a protection force of 44,000 -with a mandate to protect innocent civilians- could stop the cycle of violence in Darfur. He emphasized that we possess the collective capacity to exert our will on our government leaders, if only we would use that power. It is in the spirit of General Dallaire's words that we ask you to make a pledge on behalf of the people of Darfur.
Please Take The ETHIC's Darfur Pledge:
Until an international protection force of at least 44,000 has been deployed in Darfur, I pledge to take the following actions:
1) EVERY DAY, I will call the White House switchboard (202-456-1414) and ask to leave a message for the President: "A protection force of at least forty-four thousand is needed in Darfur now - with or without permission from Sudan's government. Please act immediately. Genocide is not negotiable." If calling long distance is a hardship or if I can't get through, I will send a daily email to President [at] WhiteHouse.gov with the same message.
2) I will recruit at least ONE other person to take this pledge.
3) To ensure that my actions are counted, I will register my pledge with The ETHIC by emailing my name and address to DarfurPledge [at] peacemail.com.
Read John Morlino's article: Darfur Supporters' Actions Looking More Like Willful Neglect (San Francisco Chronicle, August 19, 2007)
“The best article on Darfur anybody has written in a long time. A superb analysis.” – Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, President of Genocide Watch
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"I applaud The ETHIC's Darfur Pledge campaign for having the courage to call for what is truly necessary: a dramatic increase in the number of peacekeepers deployed in Darfur -- to stop the cycle of violence, allow for effective humanitarian aid and create the conditions necessary for a meaningful peace agreement."
-- Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Problem from Hell": America & the Age of Genocide
The Situation in Darfur:
Now entering its fifth year, the tragedy in Darfur continues to worsen. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese have been systematically slaughtered in attacks orchestrated by their own government. Millions more have been displaced and face the prospect of death from disease, starvation, or further attacks. Women and young girls who have thus far survived continue to risk being raped whenever they leave refugee camps in search of firewood. The United States and the international community have done virtually nothing to stop this death and destruction -- arguing about the viability of sanctions and resolutions against the Khartoum government, debating the definition of genocide, and deliberating over the appropriate level of intervention while the perpetrators continue their methodical work.
The people of Darfur need four basic steps to take place to end their nightmare:
FIRST, an international protection force of tens of thousands with a mandate to protect civilians must be deployed to stop the cycle of violence - regardless of Sudan's posturing. Currently, there are only about 7000 African Union observers who cannot stem the tide of violence in a region the size of Texas.
SECOND, donor nations must increase the supply of humanitarian aid to the region. With a protection force in place, the aid will stand a better chance of reaching --and saving the lives of-- those who need it most.
THIRD, the Sudanese government must allow displaced persons to return safely. The protection force should remain in place to ensure the immediate security of returnees.
FINALLY, the UN and the US must help to broker a comprehensive peace accord that covers all of Sudan. Insecurity over the north-south peace agreement contributed to the current tragedy in Darfur, and similar crises have begun to erupt in other parts of the country.
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