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Sam Davidson's blog

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The Bracelet Stays On

In hopes of raising awareness about the reality of genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, Sam writes every Monday about a key issue in an attempt to stop the atrocity. Doing so may not bring about a wave of change, but it is a small ripple that represents the tide that needs turning.

I was tempted nearly two months ago to take off my green bracelet.

I wear one of those rubber bracelets that nearly everyone has. I’d seen them for a while and decided I wanted to wear one for a really important cause, and I decided that once I found one, I would wear it until the point of wearing it was over. After learning more about Darfur and learning that a green bracelet was available to raise awareness, I decided that’s the one I wanted. I’ve worn it everywhere – to weddings, to work, to the beach – and on more than one occasion I’ve been asked what it means, and I’m always happy to share.

After the signing of a peace deal over 60 days ago, it looked like the bracelet would come off and I’d have to pick another cause. One of the rebel factions and the Sudanese government had hammered out a last-minute pressure-packed deal, and a lot of the world thought the genocide would end and we could go about our merry way and fight injustice elsewhere.

And then the BBC carried these words today:

Two months ago, in their haste to get a deal, the international community pushed through a peace agreement involving just one of Darfur's rebel factions - that of Mr. Minnawi.

The size of that mistake is now becoming clear.

Reports today describe violent fighting among rebel groups in northern Darfur. Many are dead. Relief workers can’t access the sight yet to assess the damage.

As I’ve written before, peace deals aren’t easy or quick, and as soon as international attention shifts because something as been signed, things can get worse very rapidly.

Pray for the peace of Darfur. And hope beyond all hope that new excitement and energy can be invested in a new and workable solution. And go get a bracelet.