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J.K. Rowling Joins Children's Authors to Urge Intervention in Darfur

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: Melissa
April 12, 2008, 01:07 AM

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, along with other leading children’s book authors including Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, Cornelia Funke and Louis Sachar, today published an open letter “demanding the world wake up to childhood under attack in Darfur.”

The letter comes on the eve of Global Day for Darfur, marking the fifth anniversary of the conflict, and is signed by 14 children’s authors from North America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, demanding action from the international community.

The letter says: “Children barely old enough to walk, let alone run, have seen their homes burnt and razed to the ground, their mothers raped and their fathers killed. Most are now holed up in sprawling camps, traumatised and living in fear…It is time to change the narrative. It is time to tell a different story. This April many children in Darfur will be reaching their fifth birthdays without ever having known peace. The world needs to wake up. For too long it has let these children suffer. Our politicians need to act on Darfur….The children of Darfur didn’t ask for this war, but are living their days caught in the crossfire of reverberating bullets. They must be allowed to be children again. Despite the daily terror they face, they still have hopes and dreams. The world needs to act now to give the children of Darfur a future.”

It calls for an immediate ceasefire, full deployment of the U.N. peacekeeping fore, action against anyone blocking such deployment, and support for a just peacae process.

The full text of the letter follows:

In Darfur there is a story that is being told, re-told, and told again. It is a story of loss, fear, and trauma. Of children’s fates being dictated by armed men. It is a not a story that we want to tell you. But it is a story you must hear.

Today is the Day for Darfur, which marks the fifth anniversary of one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. Over 200,000 people have been killed and over two million have been forced to flee from their homes and villages. Children barely old enough to walk, yet alone run, have seen their homes burnt and razed to the ground, their mothers raped and their fathers killed. Most are now holed up in sprawling camps, traumatised and living in fear. Children in Darfur draw pictures of bombs and guns. It is all they have ever known. Childhood is under attack in Darfur.

It is time to change the narrative. It is time to tell a different story. This April many children in Darfur will be reaching their fifth birthdays without ever having known peace. The world needs to wake up. For too long it has let these children suffer. Our politicians need to act on Darfur. It is time they demanded an immediate ceasefire, fully supported by the peacekeepers, and punish anyone who tries to block their deployment. They must also do more to support a peace process based on justice and human rights, so there can be hope of an end to the suffering.

The children of Darfur didn’t ask for this war, but are living their days caught in the crossfire of reverberating bullets. They must be allowed to be children again. Despite the daily terror they face, they still have hopes and dreams. The world needs to act now to give the children of Darfur a future.

Signatories:

Mike Berenstain

Judy Blume

Gillian Cross

Anne Fine

Cornelia Funke

Julia Golding

Michael Morpugo

J.K. Rowling

Louis Sachar

Rawya Sadek

Amanda Sthers

R.L. Stine

Tracey West

Daniel Pennac

For more info, visit SaveDarfur.org, and to use your love of Harry Potter to get involved in this effort, visit The HP Alliance, who works with many of the organizations who organized Global Day for Darfur.

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