The Elders mark International Peace Day

The Elders

The Elders,an initiative of Virgin Unite, have come together on International Peace Day to call for a truce in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, Sudan.

The International Day of Peace, held on September 21st every year, is a United Nations initiative, dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

Today, The Elders are hoping to highlight the plight of the children, women and men caught in the on-going fighting that broke out onc again in June 2011 between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), in the border areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, in Sudan.

According to the UN, around 700,000 people have been displaced or severely affected by the fighting in these two states, including about 200,000 refugees who have fled to camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

After more than a year of fighting, humanitarian access is still to be granted to civilians affected by the conflict.

The Chair of The Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:

In July this year Martti Ahtisaari, Mary Robinson and I visited Yusuf Batil, a refugee camp in South Sudan, on the border with Sudan. We saw first-hand the fragility of life for those who had crossed the border into South Sudan, fleeing the violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. A truce there would allow vital humanitarian assistance to reach those who are unreachable.

This is a day to realise the noblest dream there is: peace; an end to violence everywhere, within our homes, on our streets and between our societies, for the safety and dignity of all. This dream must always stay with us, even in the midst of so much tragedy.

For more information about how The Elders are marking International Peace Day, read Mary Robinson's blog on The Elders website.

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