Chicago rally supports peace in Sudan's Darfur region
Daruka Dall, (left) Teresa Dhour (center) and Lydia Mossa dance and sing to celebrate the independence of South Sudan during a rally in Chicago's Diversey Harbor Grove Park on Saturday. (David Pierini, Tribune / July 8, 2011)
The group Youth United for Darfur, along with the Sudanese Community Association of Illinois, organized the 3K walk along Lake Michigan at Diversey Harbor in order to raise money for Darfuri refugee education, promote peace in Sudan's Darfur region and celebrate the official recognition of South Sudan as an independent nation, according to a release from the groups.
Among those scheduled to speak at the event were Sudanese Community Association Executive Director Malual Awak and Meghan Higginbotham from the anti-genocide group the Enough Project.
The Republic of South Sudan formally declared its independence today from the north, its bitter antagonist for generations. In the new nation's capital of Juba, Salva Kiir was sworn in as its first president while standing beside his old nemesis, northern President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes in the western region of Darfur.
Bashir's presence was a powerful sign that he has acceded to the partition, however grudgingly.
The L.A. Times contributed.