Powell Calls Sudan ‘Genocide,’ Activists Rally at UN

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Gloria Steinem, Curtis Sliwa, refugees to decry UN inaction on genocide in Sudan

As Secretary of State Colin Powell declared the atrocities unfolding in Sudan to be "genocide," a coalition of Sudanese refugees, human rights activists and other concerned Americans prepared to rally at the United Nations on Sunday, Sept. 12 to tell international leaders to stop standing by and start saving lives.

The rally, organized by the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG), begins at 2 pm in Dag Hammarskjold Park at the UN Plaza, 47th Street, New York City. Speakers include women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, Congressional Black Caucus founder Rev. Walter Fauntroy, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, and Alan Hevesi, Comptroller of New York. They will be joined by leaders of the Sudanese community in America, including survivors of genocide. "My village was totally destroyed - some of my family were shot, raped, or burned alive," said Mohamed Adam Yahya of the Representatives of the Masaleit Community in Exile. "Our goal is for the people of Darfur to be protected, saved and freed, so as to live with dignity and peace."

A day after New Yorkers commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, they will stand in solidarity with Sudanese victims of terror. Activists will demand UN intervention to stop government-backed militias, insist that Sudanese leaders be tried for war crimes, and call for the liberation of thousands abducted into slavery. "The mass murder of Blacks in Darfur is the first genocide of the 21st century," said Tommy Calvert, AASG chief of external operations. "50,000 have been slaughtered, 2 million displaced, and thousands raped and enslaved. In the South, the Shiluk Kingdom faces extermination. Across Sudan, millions of Blacks forced from their homes now live in refugee camps. Yet the Security Council has allowed the Government of Sudan to ignore the Aug. 29 deadline for stopping the violence."

The rally occurs just before the UN reconvenes, reminding leaders that their first order of business must be to avert another Rwanda in Sudan. In June, AASG rallied during Kofi Annan’s visit to Harvard University to protest his inaction on Sudan’s genocide. "Go to Sudan, Not Harvard" was the rally’s slogan - two weeks later Annan went to Sudan.

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