Peter Gabriel joins fast for Darfur

Regions: Africa, Sudan

Issues: Armed conflict, Humanitarian, War crimes

Tags: darfur, genocide, icc, International Justice, janjaweed, mia farrow, Omar al-Bashir, peter gabriel, refugees, violence

On April 19, actress and activist Mia Farrow announced that she would begin a fast in solidarity with the people of Darfur.  Here's Mia explaining her decision:



More than 80 people joined Mia on that first day, including Pam Omidyar of Humanity United and Shannon Sedgwick Davis of the Bridgeway Foundation - both of whom are now on Day 27 of their fasts.  "We have a choice [to do this]," said Mia in one of her posts, "the people of Darfur do not." 

Here's a video from that shows what one family in Camp Djabal, Eastern Chad, receives to survive for weeks at a time:



The humanitarian crisis in Darfur worsened dramatically after March 4, when Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir expelled 13 humanitarian organizations from Sudan in retaliation to the International Criminal Court's decision to issue a warrant for his arrest on the charges of "war crimes and crimes against humanity." 

On April 3, Hussein Abu Sharati, who represents a network of refugee camp leaders in Darfur and Chad, sent an open letter to U.S. president Barack Obama appealing for urgent intervention and warning that Bashir's explusion of aid groups was part of the Khartoum regime's "final goal and deadly blow to accelerate our death by slow motion through starvation, malnutrition and diseases."   

One of Mia's wishes before she began her fast was that, when she could no longer continue, "another would take my place, and another, and another, until finally there is justice and peace for Darfur's people." 

That request has been heard. 

Today, over 400 people from 25 countries are fasting together in solidarity with the people of Darfur.  Yesterday, WITNESS founder Peter Gabriel joined the movement

"The people of Darfur have suffered horribly in the last six years and despite many campaigns, protests and the judgement of the International Criminal Court, there has been insufficient international response to stop the suffering.  For that reason, I really hope that the Darfur Darfur Fast for Life campaign puts the plight of the Darfuris back on the world's priority list.  I also believe it is enormously important that there is sufficient international backing for the ICC to bring President Bashir to trial." 


In other words, much more needs to be done - and fast.  Here's a message from one Darfurian to the international community, courtesy of 24 Hours for Darfur:




Contact your leaders, write to local media outlets, and help strengthen the call for immediate action.  Darfur Fast for Life lists more than 10 ways you can get involved and demand urgent action for the people of Darfur.  To learn more about the history of the crisis in Darfur, watch these videos and read these posts.