29 April 2007
Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid and Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev today sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to do everything in his power to stop the genocide in Darfur. “It is not sufficient for the international community to issue condemnations, and statements via the United Nations, while this Khartoum-sponsored genocide is taking place. Concrete steps must be taken; we must do everything to ensure that the Security Council will decide to send troops to Darfur who will be able to restore security. Every day that passes adds thousands of names to the list of dead,” they wrote.
Today, April 29, marks Global Day for Darfur. For more than three years, genocide under the sponsorship of the Khartoum government has been taking place in Darfur. Since the beginning of the crisis, some 400,000 men, women and children have been murdered, and some 2.5 million people have become displaced. Tens of thousands of women have been raped, and many thousands of sick and wounded die due to lack of medicines. The aid that humanitarian organizations send to Darfur does not always reach those in need, and even that which arrives, is often not enough.
“As the heads of the Jewish people’s central organization for commemorating the Holocaust - a genocide that took place while the world was silent - we feel a special obligation, as we discussed with you during your recent visit to Yad Vashem, to raise the alarm on Darfur. In order to uphold the values and commitments spelled out in the UN Charter, we urge you to use the full moral authority of your office to do everything possible to put an end to the horrific crimes taking place in Darfur,” wrote Lapid and Shalev.
Last month, refugees from Sudan visited Yad Vashem at the initiative of the Committee for the Advancement of Refugees from Darfur.