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Safe Keeping Darfur & Protecting Victims in Sudan

cameras_delivered.jpgSince gaining independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956, Sudan has experienced more years of conflict than peace. These conflicts, fought between the Sudanese government and movements arising in Sudan’s peripheries, are commonly rooted in the exploitative leadership of Khartoum, and the unequal distribution of power and wealth among the Sudanese population.

In Darfur, more than 2.5 million people have been displaced by the conflict. Innocent people, mostly women and children, are abused, raped and murdered daily in this region. The international community has been slow to respond in helping the local population and to bringing the criminals to justice.

In response to this situation the Cinema for Peace Foundation started the project “Safekeeping Darfur” together with the Slovenian humanitarian organization H.O.P.E. and peace activist Tomo Križnar. The aim of the project is to provide humanitarian workers with digital mini-cameras to distribute them to local people to record events, providing protection, evidence and live satellite transmissions for the real-time delivery of information to the world about atrocities and emergencies in Darfur. Data recorded under this program will be forwarded to the International Criminal Court to be used as evidence in criminal trials and will also be used in a documentary to raise awareness of the situation in Darfur.

The cameras are difficult to detect and switch on silently when they detect noise. Local people have reported that cameras are circulating through the camps and as awareness of the cameras has increased, incidences of crimes have decreased by 80 to 100 percent.

Since the situation further deteriorated in 2011 and human rights violations increased in other Sudanese regions such as Kordofan, the Nuba Mountains near the boarder region to South Sudan and the Blue Nile State, the project was expanded to trouble spots in this region and the project was renamed “Safekeeping Darfur & Protecting Victims in Sudan”. We hope to equip and train people in the largest possible area since help and protection are urgently required in these regions.

So far, Cinema for Peace has delivered 200 mini-cameras, 30 high-definition photo and video cameras, 13 laptop computers and additional satellite internet equipment.

 

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