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Save Darfur rallies set for September 17

New York, September 15, 2006 Thousands of Americans will gather in cities across the country this Sunday (Sept. 17) calling on nations to prevent further genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. 

The Save Darfur Coalition (SDC) is supporting rallies in more than 18 states.  The National Council of Churches USA is a founding member of the SDC. 

A rally here in Central Park (East Meadow, 2 p.m. EDT) is the centerpiece of this global day of action.  Rallies are planned throughout the world. 

Film and television actor/director George Clooney challenged the U.N. yesterday to prevent any further genocide. Clooney told the world's diplomats that this is happening "on their watch" and it is up to them to act.  Clooney, who recently visited Darfur, said many of the 2.5 million displaced residents of Darfur will die if relief workers are forced to withdraw.

"This is a critical time in Darfur," said Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC's associate general secretary for international affairs and peace. 

"The government of Sudan has told the African Union troops to be out of the country by October 1," said Kireopoulos, who is speaking at Sunday's Central Park rally.  "But while the United Nations has already passed a resolution authorizing a peacekeeping force, the United States and other countries need to press the Sudanese government to allow U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur, otherwise there will be no protection for the people of Darfur " said Kireopoulos.

It is estimated nearly a half million people have been killed in Darfur by roving militias called the janjaweed   with the support of  the Sudanese government.  Several relief agencies have expressed grave concern that further genocide will  continue when the African Union troops pull out. 

Information on Sunday's rallies can be found at the SDC website.

NCC News contact:  Dan Webster, 212.870.2252,


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