Join Cry! Peace and Freedom! and a coalition of partners for a march and rally for Sudan in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 1st, 2008.

For logistical details, click here.

The celebration of the new year also marks the 51st celebration of Sudanese independence. Yet today very few Sudanese people reap the benefits of independence. Fewer still know the true joys of peace and freedom.

Genocide continues in Darfur, while the threat of genocide remains constant through the rest the country, in Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, Beja, and elsewhere. Violence, slavery, and fear are common far beyond the borders of Darfur.

Sudan is at a crossroads: down one path lies further tyranny and oppression. Down the other lies democracy and liberty.

Join us in Iowa as we call on those campaigning to lead our country to help bring peace and freedom to Sudan, not with more guns and bombs but with urgent focus and principled engagement.

The United States facilitated the so-called “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” that was supposed to end Sudan’s decades-long civil war, yet since then we have done little more than complain about the Sudanese government’s utter failure to implement the terms of the agreement.

Sudan needs a truly “comprehensive” peace agreement, covering the entire country and leading inexorably to democracy. The United States must again facilitate the peace process, and when necessary we must not be afraid to pressure, cajole, and coerce the Sudanese government into cooperation. We have waited far too long to act.

The presidential candidates have all been invited to speak at our rally. John Edwards and Chris Dodd may attend, while Pulitzer Prize-winning author (of A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide) Dr. Samantha Power will speak on behalf of Senator Obama, and former Governor of South Carolina David Beasley, who has visited Sudan many times, will speak on behalf of Mike Huckabee. We hope others will decide to join us in Des Moines, even at the last minute.

Already planning to attend are former NBA star and Sudanese activist Manute Bol, author and activist Francis Bok, organizers Simon Deng, Nathan Kleinman, Tom Prichard, and Sudanese leaders from across the Midwest.

There are thousands of Sudanese people living in and around Iowa. Many of them also vote. On January 3rd, they will make their voices heard.

On January 1st, with activists from around the country, they will cry aloud for peace and freedom in Sudan.

[For more information about our group, click here. For a statement of solidarity from the marginalized people of Sudan, and video from a recent Sudanese reconciliation conference, click here. And for details about the march and rally in Iowa on January 1st, click here. Thank you very much.]

Cry! Peace and Freedom for Sudan!

– Nathan Kleinman

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