UN-backed 'Smile Darfur' campaign wraps up with call to end violence

7 June 2009

The week-long “Smile Darfur” outreach scheme, backed by the hybrid African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Sudanese region, has wrapped up with a call for peace and an end to the violence.

The week-long “Smile Darfur” outreach scheme, backed by the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Sudanese region, has wrapped up with a call for peace and an end to the violence.

At yesterday’s closing ceremony for “Ibtasim [Smile] Darfur,” Henry Anyidoho, Deputy Joint Special Representative of the mission, known as UNAMID, urged Darfurians, as well as all Sudanese, to “join your hands and hearts together to work for the peace, development and prosperity of your land.”

He also emphasized that UNAMID will support efforts, in line with the Mission's mandate, to end the suffering of the people of Darfur, where some 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million forced from their homes in more than five years of fighting, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.

Mr. Anyihodo also underscored that although the international community would do as much as it could, ultimately, only Darfurians can ensure the peace process' success.

The campaign featured art exhibitions, music performances, poetry recitals and drama performances, as well as a football match yesterday in El Fasher between two teams from the nearby Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“Smile Darfur” was part of the celebrations to mark this year's International Day of Peacekeepers on 29 May, the date in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission, the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), began operations in Palestine.

 

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