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Grassroots organisations take to the streets to raise awareness for Sudan

Youth-led organisations advocating for peace and stability in Sudan will take to the streets once again this weekend to raise awareness of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

London for Sudan and Madaniya are set to demonstrate outside the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Grosvenor Crescent, Belgravia, tomorrow from 12.30pm.

On April 15, 2023, violent clashes erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan, resulting in the displacement of more than 8.6million people.

Protesters march from Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square on April 13 (Picture: Sadatu Futa)

The conflict exacerbated many of Sudan’s existing challenges, including ongoing conflicts, disease outbreaks, economic and political instability and climate emergencies. 

According to the World Food Programme nearly 18million people are facing acute hunger in Sudan, five million of whom are in emergency levels of hunger. 

The protest in Central London aims to draw attention to the dire humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s western region, Darfur – where atrocities are being committed along ethnic lines – and the UAE’s role in the ongoing conflict.

On Tuesday, during a U.N. security council meeting, the Sudanese Government accused the UAE of fueling the 14-month war in the African country by providing weapons to a rival paramilitary force. 

Protestor holds placards calling for peace in Sudan on April 13 (Picture: Sadatu Futa)

The UAE dismissed the allegation as “ludicrous,” calling “a shameful abuse by one of the warring parties.”

In an open letter to Foreign Secretary David Cameron, London for Sudan called on the UK Government to intensify diplomatic efforts towards an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful resolution to the crisis. 

The letter wrote: “We are also advocating for sanctions, divestment, and exclusion of the UAE and its services for its role in exacerbating the conflict in Sudan.”

The protest follows three days of action by the groups on April 13 and 15, which saw around 1,000 demonstrators march from marble Arch to Trafalgar Square. 

A third protest held on May 11, marched from the BBC broadcasting house to 10 Downing Street, highlighting the lack of media attention surrounding the crisis.

A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “The SAF and RSF have dragged Sudan into an unjustified war, with an utter disregard for the Sudanese people. We will do all we can to ensure that they are both held accountable.

“The UK continues to pursue all diplomatic avenues to end the violence – to prevent further atrocities from occurring, to press both the parties into a permanent ceasefire, to allow unrestricted humanitarian access, to protect civilians, and to commit to a sustained and meaningful peace process.”

Pictured top: Protesters in Trafalgar Square on April 13 (Picture: Sadatu Futa)

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