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Drummers Come Together to Raise Awareness About Sudan

A pro-Sudan demonstration in London

Five years after a comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan was signed ending the longest running war in Africa, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Sudan is at a critical juncture. The peace agreement left many issues undetermined, such as the border between the north and south, and the sharing of oil revenues. A number of human rights and humanitarian groups have launched a campaign to raise awareness about Sudan with what they call a global drumbeat. One launch event was held in London.

Making noise in pursuit of peace. This is the London Launch of Sudan 365 - a global campaign to raise awareness about Sudan in a critical year, says one of the organizers, James Smith of the Aegis trust

"It's like an alarm to bring people together to call people together, to focus the world's attention on the dangers that Sudan faces today," said Smith.

The dangers are many, a five-year-old peace agreement has largely stopped the fighting in Sudan but many issues remain unresolved, such as allocation of oil revenue and how the country will run it's first elections in 24 years, expected this April.

"We need a sharing of oils to be done in a fair way, we need elections to be done in a democratic manner and this is the thing which will show that we have democracy in the country," said Archbishop of Sudan the Most Reverend Daniel Deng.

Priscilla Rubin fled Sudan in 1993. She says she was born in war and hopes peace might allow her to go home. She wants her daugher Annette to have a sense of her Sudanese heritage.

"This thing is our symbol of Sudan: women carry water in it," she said. "We want to go home and teach our children how they can carry water in this thing."

The global beat isn't just happening in London - it's taking place in more than a dozen cities. The beat for peace campaign is supported on video by some of the world's most famous drummers from around the world.

Campaign organizers hope in the coming year governments will provide diplomatic support for Sudan as it tries to work through unresolved elements of the peace deal. The United States, Norway and Britain have already pledged their support.