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Sudanese Archbishop in London to back new drive for peace in Sudan

Sudanese Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of Sudan is visiting the UK this week to support a new international campaign calling on world leaders to take urgent action to support peace in Sudan.

On Saturday 9th, the Archbishop will address hundreds of activists gathered outside Downing Street in London for the launch of the Sudan365 campaign, named to reflect the one year remaining until an historic referendum which will decide the country’s future.

Last year saw violence that left 2,500 dead and 350,000 displaced from their homes in the south of the country. Instability continues in the Darfur region and it is feared that the situation across Sudan could worsen in the coming months.

At the Downing Street demonstration, the Archbishop will be joined by Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek, Faithless drummer Jamie Catto and other professional drummers who will perform a ‘beat for peace’, in an echo of similar demonstrations including drumming taking place in 14 other countries around the world.

On Monday 11th January, Archbishop Deng and Archbishop Rowan Williams will together meet UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to share their concerns.

Experts fear that instability in the run up to the referendum or its aftermath could reignite Sudan’s civil war, which has already killed more than two million people, unless international efforts are intensified to find a peaceful path through the next 12 months.

While he is in the UK, Archbishop Deng will also meet MPs and members of the Sudanese Diaspora, as well as preaching at Salisbury Cathedral (see details below).

In addition to the musicians who will play outside Downing Street on 9th January, the Sudan365 campaign is also supported by other famous drummers, including Phil Selway of Radiohead; Stewart Copeland of The Police; Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Jonny Quinn of Snow Patrol.

They and other celebrity drummers have created a ‘beat for peace’ in Sudan, a film of which will be released to coincide with the launch of the campaign.

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Notes to Editors:

For more information and to seek an interview with Archbishop Daniel Deng, please contact Rachel Baird in the Christian Aid press office on 0207 523 2446 or rbaird@christian-aid.org Please note that the Archbishop’s time for interviews is very limited and that his availability will depend on the rest of his schedule.

For copies of the campaign video featuring the beat for peace, still photographs of famous drummers, a VNR from South Sudan and pre-recorded video quotes from Phil Selway, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Ojos de Bruno, please contact Crisis Action on 0207 269 9450 or 07951 244 362.

Archbishop Daniel Deng will participate in the following events during his UK visit:

Saturday 9 January:

12.00-14.00: Demonstration of hundreds of activists outside Downing Street, during which the Archbishop will speak at approximately 13.20. He will be available for interview at the event and also for a short period afterwards, at a Sudanese Diaspora event in St John’s Church, Waterloo.

Sunday 10th January:

10.30: Archbishop Daniel Deng will preach the sermon at a service in Salisbury Cathedral. 

Monday 11th January:

14.30: Archbishop Daniel Deng and Archbishop Rowan Williams will participate in a media briefing at Lambeth Palace. If you wish to attend, it is essential to pre-register with Lambeth Palace via david.brownlie-marshall@lambethpalace.org.uk

16.30: Archbishop Daniel Deng and Archbishop Rowan Williams meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Downing Street.

18.00: Archbishop Daniel Deng presentation to members of Christians in Politics, at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster.

Tuesday 12 January:

10.00: Archbishop Daniel Deng attends a hearing of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sudan, in the House of Commons. Interested journalists should check with the Committee whether its meeting is open to the media.

19.00: Archbishop Daniel Deng will be on a panel of speakers at the Frontline Club in Paddington, London.

Wednesday 13th January:

13.30: Archbishop Daniel Deng will attend the launch of an International Rescue Committee report on Sudan, at Chatham House in London.

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