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Forum Aims to Re-Energize Darfur Movement

When South Sudan separated from the North to form an independent country in 2011, the fight didn’t end.

In fact, it may be stronger than ever.

In an effort to promote advocacy, the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (PDEC) is hosting a forum on South Sudan and Sudan on Sunday.

The event will bring together members of the Sudanese diaspora in Pittsburgh and speakers, including Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills) and Jacqueline Burns of the U.S. State Department, to discuss developments in Sudan and how to reenergize the Save Darfur movement.

The tensions in Sudan are still high, according to PDEC coordinator David Rosenberg. South Sudan is on the brink of civil war, and in the north, a group called the Sudan Revolutionary Front is forming. Also, the Sudan government has bombed civilian areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.

“People should be focused on this,” Rosenberg said. “The U.S. has invested a tremendous amount of resources and aid to Darfur and a tremendous amount of diplomacy in bringing about an independent South Sudan.”

The conflict in Sudan garnered international attention in the late 2000s. Since then, “people’s attention wandered,” and advocacy groups noticed media attention dwindling, Rosenberg said. This led groups to shift their resources into a generalized anti-genocide movement.

But with events such as Sunday’s forum, the PDEC aims to “bring back a little of that spirit that existed in the early 2000s,” Rosenberg said.

“Even if people don’t know what the precise solution is, they need to encourage U.S. government, which is invested heavily in this, to really speed on and redouble its efforts to bring some solutions here,” Rosenberg said.

The forum will start at 2 p.m. Sunday at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church.