I\'m A Badass Caption: I can haz links, style or anything that is valid markup :)

Artist News: Peter Gabriel Joins Sudanese War Child's Campaign For A Peaceful Referendum

Posted on Saturday, January 08 @ 14:00:00 UTC by nightowl

After producing the string arrangements on ex-Sudanese war child Emmanuel Jal's "We Want Peace" charity single, music icon Peter Gabriel has joined a host of other celebrity names in raising awareness to ensure the Sudanese referendum on Sunday January 9th remains a peaceful affair.

"I have been horrified at the reports of the potential for civil war in the Sudan after the election," says Gabriel. "Emmanuel Jal is an inspiring and charismatic young musician and, considering most of the fighting in these wars is actually carried out by young people, I believe Emmanuel's impassioned campaign for peace will be much more likely to reach them."

Alongside Peter Gabriel, Jal has gathered further support from the likes of George Clooney, Alicia Keys, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Richard Branson, all of whom appear in the music video for "We Want Peace," which was directed by Gabriel's daughter, Anna Gabriel. Annie Lennox and MC Hammer are also supporting Emmanuel's "We Want Peace" campaign via Twitter and Facebook.

Says Emmanuel Jal, "It is a simple concept. If people around the world don't know what is happening in Sudan, their governments will not feel compelled to concern themselves, either. This Sunday, a referendum will take place in my country that will almost inevitably be controversial, causing anything from tension to wide-scale war and genocide... Had the world known that 6 million Jews would die during the Second World War then they would have done something about it. We need to shine as bright a light as possible on Sudan in the coming days so that the impending evil of war simply cannot prevail."

View Video

The song is available to download from all leading digital download retailers or from the official website www.we-want-peace.com. Emmanuel Jal is encouraging people around the world to visit the official website, to become "peace soldiers" and sign a peace awareness petition that will call for a timely, free and fair referendum in Southern Sudan and equality, freedom, and justice for all Sudanese.

"The main objective is for supporters from around the world to visit the official 'We Want Peace' website and sign up to become 'Peace Soldiers,'" says Jal. The politically aware, pro-peace, feel-good hip-hop anthem is timed for release during the build up to the Sudanese referenda on 9th January 2011. On this day the citizens of Southern Sudan and Abyei, as promised by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, will participate in referenda that will determine the fate of Sudan.

This is being hailed as a significant date in the 2011 calendar, as political analysts around the globe are citing the potential of the birth of a new African nation in the making.

George Clooney recently appeared on Good Morning America to raise awareness about the possible renewal of civil ware in Sudan because of an impending vote for independence by the southern half of the African nation. Earlier this year Clooney returned from a week-long trip to Southern Sudan, a region that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton calls "a ticking time bomb." Click here to view Clooney’s appearance on Good Morning America.

The "We Want Peace" campaign is the brainchild of the internationally recognised Sudanese musician and former child soldier, Emmanuel Jal, whose main aim is to mobilise support for Sudan through a universal call for peace. The hip-hop anthem "We Want Peace" is central to the campaign.

The Sudanese referenda is historically and politically significant, but also potentially dangerous given the North’s evident reluctance to part with the vast resources of the South and its penchant for achieving its objectives through extreme violence. It is only through intense and sustained pressure by the international community that the people of Southern Sudan and Abyei can hope to exercise their right to vote in free, fair and peaceful referendum.

"There are two goals to the 'We Want Peace' campaign," says Emmanuel Jal. "The first is to raise awareness about the referendum, and the second is to provide a way for people to respond."

The campaign will provide opportunities for organizations to engage at different levels – from posting links to the song and action steps on the organization’s website to live performances by Emmanuel at high profile events and in strategic locations.

The campaign will make its way to the Darfur refugee camps in Chad, to the streets of Juba and the towns of Abyei to help build a sense of solidarity and commitment to peace while also providing an opportunity for the residents to express to the international community their desperate hope for peace and justice.

Jal’s main objective is for the song to outlive the referenda and be used as a catalyst for peace in countries around the world. In 1985, Michael Jackson’s "We Are the World" provided an outlet for people around the world to identify with and respond to a devastating famine that, in most cases, was thousands of miles away from their own personal experience.

"I believe that 'We Want Peace' has a similar potential," says Jal. "The Sudanese referenda may have little meaning for many people living outside of Africa. However, everyone longs for freedom, justice and peace during these turbulent times. Given the opportunity, 'We Want Peace' is a plea for peace that will tap into the hopes that we share universally while mobilising the world to respond to the immediate needs of the Sudanese people."

"I want the song to be widely available to organizations to incorporate into their own campaigns that support the referendum and the marginalized people of Sudan," says Emmanuel Jal. "In addition, the theme and song could be carried over and used by organizations that provide basic services for the people of Sudan who have been displaced by genocide and war and who hope the referenda will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity."

[Source: Noble PR]

Posted in Band News (tours, comings/goings, etc)