The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur Consortium Events

Activists and celebrities demand end of destruction of childhood in Darfur

Thousands of people in over thirty countries across the globe marked five years of war in Darfur with protests and events on April 12-13, 2008.

Sunday’s Global Day for Darfur – organised by an international coalition of human rights groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Save Darfur Coalition – is highlighting how over one million Sudanese children have been caught up in the bloodshed, displacement and killing in the region.

“Five years on the killings in Darfur continue because world leaders have let Sudan – and some rebels – get away with murder,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Millions of Darfuris are struggling to survive on aid handouts under the daily threat of being raped, beaten or killed. Sudanese leaders need to know they will pay a heavy price for continuing to defy the UN Security Council.”

The global day, the fifth since the conflict began in 2003, was backed by children’s authors including J.K. Rowling and Judy Blume who released a letter demanding the world bring back childhood to Darfur, and celebrities including actor Matt Damon and Thandie Newton who were pictured destroying emblems of childhood to highlight that childhood is under attack.

George Clooney who also backed the day said, "Days like this matter because they keep what is happening in the eyes of the international community. If we all raise our voices the international community will have to listen and respond. We need sustained international engagement if we're to see real progress on the ground."

Drawings of the war by children who witnessed the conflict first-hand are being exhibited online to mark five years of fighting

Supporters of the Global Day for Darfur were calling for:

  • All parties to immediately stop attacking civilians
  • Full deployment of an adequately resourced UN peace-keeping force.
  • UNAMID to actively protect all civilians and especially children.

Dismas Nkunda from the Darfur Consortium – a coalition of African and Middle-Eastern groups working on Darfur – said:

“The people of Darfur are hungry for change. They have been the victims of a belligerent government and an inept international response. Above all it has been children who have suffered and it is they who we must now rally to protect before we lose an entire generation to violence.”

Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Program Director for the Africa Program, from Amnesty International added:

“We are determined to ensure that Darfur is not added to the list of conflicts that the world forgot. Five years in we mustn’t forget what war means for ordinary people, particularly the most vulnerable. It means fear, suffering and deprivation. Five years is enough.”Editor’s Notes:
  • Countries marking the global day include: Belgium, France, Canada, South Africa, Gambia, Rwanda, Senegal, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Australia, Sierra Leone, Germany, UK, USA, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Israel, Switzerland, Hungary, Mali, Ireland, Tunisia, Togo, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Japan.
  • About 200,000 people are thought to have died due to the conflict since 2003 and over 2.3 million are internally displaced.
  • On 1 January 2008, the UN-AU hybrid force (UNAMID – UN African Mission in Darfur) was expected to be deployed to the region. But deployment has been hampered by obstruction by the Sudanese government and delay on the part of the international community to provide appropriate resources.

The following are available:

  • Pictures (stills) and video news release of celebrities including Matt Damon smashing emblems of childhood.
  • Drawings by Darfuri Children and their stories.

Interviewees included:

  • Salih Mahmoud OsmanWinner of the 2007 Sakharov Prize, human rights lawyer; member of Sudanese parliament; (Arabic and English)
  • Georgette Gagnon, Human Rights Watch, Africa Director
  • Tawanda Hondora – Amnesty International, Africa Deputy Programme Director;
  • Sheikh Adam Turdjok – Darfuri Imam (Arabic and English)

For more information on these events please contact:

London - Crisis Action – Brendan Cox - + 44 20 7269 9450 or + 44 7957 120 853

Washington - Save Darfur – Allyn Brooks – La Sure - + 1202 478 6174

Cairo – Human Rights Watch - Gasser Abdel Razek +20 22 794 5036, or +20 10502 9999

Kampala – Darfur Consortium – Dismas Nkunda - + 256 78 231 0404

To read what Consortium members organized click the following links:


South Africa



African Voices
Join the Darfur Consortium

Action Professionals Association for the People

Aegis Trust Rwanda

African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies

African Center for Development

African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR)

African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)

The Ahueni Foundation

Alliances for Africa

Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies

Andalus Institute for Tolerance

Anti-Slavery International

Arab Program for Human Rights Activists

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE)

Centre for Research Education and Development of Freedom of Expression and Associated Rights (CREDO)

Citizens for Global Solutions

Conseil National Pour les Libertés en Tunisie

Darfur Alert Coalition (DAC)

Darfur Centre for Human Rights and Development

Darfur Reconciliation and Development Organization (DRDO)

Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre

Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Femmes Africa Solidarité

La Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH)

Human Rights First

Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)

Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa

Institute for Security Studies

Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH)


International Refugee Rights Initiative

Justice Africa

Justice and Peace Commission

Lawyers for Human Rights

Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections

Legal Resources Consortium-Nigeria

Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme

Makumira University College, Tumaini University

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

Minority Rights Group

National Association of Seadogs

Never Again International

Open Society Justice Initiative

Pan-African Movement

People Against Injustice (PAIN)

Rencontre Africaine Pour la Defense des Droits de l'Homme (RADDHO)

Sierra Leone STAND Chapter

Sisters' Arabic Forum for Human Rights (SAF)

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)

Sudan Organization Against Torture (SOAT)

Syrian Organization for Human Rights

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

Universal Human Rights Network


Women Initiative Nigeria (WIN)

©2007 Darfur Consortium. Design by Deirdre Reznik