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Global protesters support Darfur

by
02 November 2006

CHRISTIANS and other believers rallied in their millions last Sunday tsupport the global Day for Darfur - an international protest to put pressure on Sudan to let UN peacekeepers protect refugee camps in its war-torwestern provinc
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Sunday was the first anniversary of the UN General Assembly's acceptance othe "Responsibility to protect" doctrine to end genocide. It is undeincreasing pressure to send a strong peacekeeping force to Darfur, with owithout Sudan's agreement
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 Twenty five foreign ministers, including Margaret Beckett, were duto meet in New York today. The US was planning to seek an extension of the UN'mandate in southern Sudan to the Darfur region.
 
 ThPresident of Sudan, Omar al- Bashir, reiterated his refusal to give permissioat the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. But he said that the African Union forccould stay and be "augmented".
 
UN Secretary General, Kofi Annantold the assembly: "The continuing spectacle of men, women, and children drivefrom their homes by murder, rape, and the burning of villages makes a mockerof our claim, as an international community, to shield people from the worsabuses." Observers fear that Sudan will use its own troops and its Janajaweemilitia against the camps.
 
While prayers were said for Darfur ichurches across England on Sunday, faith leaders or their representatives frothe Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions prayed outside 10 DowninStreet.
 
The Revd David Peck, representing the Archbishop oCanterbury, read a prayer by Dr Williams. Bishop Douglas of the New TestamenChurch read a prayer by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Archbishop Tutu had earlietold listeners to BBC's Radio Five Live that a "horrendous tragedy" waunfolding, and called for sanctions against Sudan if it did not agree to the Uforc
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A prayer by the Roman Catholic bishop, whose diocese covers Darfur, the RRevd Antonio Menegazzo, was also read: it called for a just and fair peac"immediately"
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Rabbi Barry Marcus, representing the Chief Rabbi, warned: "We must nosleepwalk into another Rwanda
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The RC Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, saithat the innocent people of Darfur were desperate. "It will be on thconscience of the world if we allow Darfur to descend further into suffering
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Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, chairman of the interfaith-relations committee at thMuslim Council of Britain, said the international community should do somethinpositiv
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The faith leaders handed their prayers to the Leader of the House of LordsBaroness Amos. She said the Prime Minister, who was not present, had sent message saying that Sudan must agree to the UN forc

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