Darfur protest Sudan Levinsky_311.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Hundreds gathered in South Tel Aviv's Levinsky Park on Friday for a celebration held to commemorate Global Day for Darfur 2011.
Voyage of the damned and Sudanese refugees
Participants wore t-shirts with a map of Darfur and held signs decrying Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, with slogans reading "Bashir is a criminal", "Bashir is a terrorist", and "No-fly zone for Darfur", among others, while a group of young children waved flags of the Darfur Liberation Front.
The rally was called by “Bnai Darfur,” the organization for Darfurian migrants in Israel, and included a moment of silence for the victims of the fighting in Darfur, as well as speeches describing the situation on the ground in the region of Western Sudan.
Bnai Darfur activist, Bahar Eldin-Adam, said the event “is very important for us in order to raise awareness for the situation in Darfur.”
When asked if Darfur wants to follow the example of South Sudan – which is scheduled to become an independent country on July 9, following a national referendum held in January – Eldin-Adam said “actually, the last option is for a referendum to separate Darfur from the rest of the country.
“What we want is for the international community to do what they did in Libya also in Darfur, and make a no-fly zone in Darfur because we are following the situation every day in Darfur and the government helicopters are still killing people and many, many villages are being burned down.”
Since the fighting between Darfur rebel groups and Sudanese government troops and state-supported militias began in February 2003, anywhere between 150,000 and 400,000 people have been killed by violence and disease.
According to a report released by the Population Immigration and Borders Authority, in January 2011, 8,256 Sudanese from Darfur and South Sudan live in Israel.