Sudan: Darfuri refugees march in Sydney

Sydney_(dpa) _ Members of Australia's 600-strong Darfuri refugee community chose World Refugee Day Wednesday to march to Prime Minister John Howard's Sydney office to urge him to send troops to their troubled region in Sudan.

The demonstration took place in the centre of Sydney and drew around 150 marchers dressed in Noise for Darfur T-shirts.

The demonstrators also urged Howard to expedite reunions with their friends and relatives left behind in the squalid refugee camps.

"It just seems impossible sometimes," Abueldasim Adam told local radio. "I left Sudan because they force us to join the army and I would have ended up killing my brothers - people just like me."

They failed to hand a letter to Howard urging Australia to intervene in Darfur.

Darfur Australia Network spokeswoman Jane Woolford said there was disappointment that Howard would not agree to accept the letter personally.

"These people have come here as refugees and considering its World Refugee Day, it would have been nice to see more of a personal touch," she said.

Australia is one of only eight countries that accepts refugees through the United Nations humanitarian programme. Around 12,000 are resettled in Australia every year. Africans currently form a majority on the programme. dpa sa jh


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