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Sudanese artists stand against post-referendum violence

A new campaign by Sudanese intellectuals and artists aims to pre-empt violence by dialogue

Asmaa Husseini , Sunday 26 Dec 2010
Ballots
A southern Sudanese police officer stands guard over recently delivered ballot papers at the airport in Juba, southern Sudan on Wednesday, 22 December 2010. (AP)
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Sudanese artists will launch a campaign to counter violence that may erupt during the referendum on southern independence scheduled for 9 January, an official of the Sudanese Artists Union (SAU) said.

The campaign will include peaceful demonstrations, plays and seminars to urge Sudanese from different ethnic and religious groups to stand against violence and to use dialogue to resolve their disputes.  

"Violence is not part of the Sudanese personality; it is a temporarily mood, and fighting it is the duty of every Sudanese. So we will use our popularity as artists and intellectuals to convince the people to stand against it," said Ali Mahdy, SAU president.

Mahdy added in interview with Ahram Online that many artists and writers in Sudan agreed to invest time and effort to make the campaign successful.

The SAU led another campaign in 2005 to promote peace between the south and north through presenting plays and seminars in conflict areas. The campaign included moves to promote peace in Darfur through a three-day march from Khartoum to Darfur.

"We will fight violence by peace, and will be among the people in order to protect them during the referendum," Mahdy added.

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