Red light to color fountain


Tribune De Genève, 18 Juillet 2007

The Jet d’Eau, the landmark fountain In Lake Geneva, will be illuminated in red on Tuesday evening to draw attention to the tragic situation in Darfur. The city of Geneva agreed to the project in response to a request from TRIAL (Track Impunity Always), a Swiss non-governmental organization. Lighting up the 140-meter high fountain in red is a “strong gesture” to raise consciousness about the situation in the wartorn region of Sudan, Geneva Mayor Patrice Mugny said at a press conference Monday.

The symbolic action aims to “break the silence” around the Darfur tragedy, Mugny said. He added that he hoped other cities would take similar steps to focus attention on the situation in the African country, where the government and militia groups have been fighting rebel groups for more than four years. The United Nations estimates 450,000 people have died from violence and disease and 2.5 million people have been displaced, while NGOs accuse the Sudanese government of gross violations of human rights.

“The respect for international law and the resolutions of the (UN) security council by Sudan is imperative,” said Mahor Chiche, president of Sauver le Darfour association. Bombing by the Sudanese army of the Darfur region has recently restarted and it is necessary to establish “no-fly” zones there, Chiche said.

TRIAL wants the UN’s human rights committee to seek the co-operation of the Sudanese government with the International Criminal Court to ensure that human rights violations are tracked down.