Save Timbuktu - Save peace Campaign

In just a few hours our call in support of Presidents Chirac and Diouf appeal "Sauver Tombouctou pour sauver la paix" has received many signatures.

It becomes urgent to strengthen this initiative, so if you haven't signed the appeal you can do it by filling the form on this page. Please help: share the appeal with your friends.

Dear  ..............,

on different occasions, at the recent meetings of the General Council of the Radical Party, our fellow African members have raised the issue of a specific action directed at their continent. During one of such meetings in Rome, they also drafted a comprehensive resolution concerning Africa's concerns. After the election of Demba Traoré as secretary it is clear that Africa will represent an important front for the Radical Party for the weeks and months ahead.

Over the last few months, Demba has visited Brussels and Rome to brief national and international institutions on what is happening in Mali. In September there will be a meeting at the International Criminal Court in the Hague to collaborate with the Office of the Prosecutor on the violations of International Humanitarian Law in Mali. More events are scheduled at the UN in Geneva on the matter.

Today we write in particular to seek our signature on an urgent appeal launched by President Chirac, who, starting from the recent tragic events in Mali, believes it necessary to launch a real "Marshall Plan for the Sahel". "The security crisis" he writes "is sadly pushing aside the dramatic food crisis that has affected the entire region for three years now". We totally agree with such a predicament.

Over 30 years have passed since our trans-national campaign against starvation and war in Africa was endorsed by hundreds of Nobelists and intellectuals and supported by thousands of legislators from all over the world; we are of the opinion that in 2012 the time has come to undertake a new mobilization on Africa, and we believe that Mr. Chirac's document is a good start.

Should you agree with the appeal, we urge you to reply to this email immediately so that we can circulate it to all democratic parliaments and present it before the upcoming UN Council on Human Rights in Geneva in September.

As of today, the appeal has been signed by:

Jacques Chira c, Former President of the French Republic, President of the Foundation
Abdou Diouf, Former President of the Republic of Senegal, Secretary general of La
Francophonie, member of the Honor committee of the Foundation Chirac
Louise Arbour, Laureate of the 2011 Foundation Chirac Special Jury Prize for Conflict
Prevention, former High Commissioner to the United Nations for Human Rights, First Chief
Prosecutor of the ICTY and the ICTR, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group
Imam Muhammad Ashafa Nurayn and Pastor James Movel Wuye, Laureates of the 2009
Foundation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention, founders of the Interfaith Mediation Center
Marguerite Barankitse, Laureate of the 2011 Foundation Chirac Prize for Conflict
Prevention, founder of Maison Shalom (Burundi)
Lakhdar Brahimi, Laureate of the 2010 Foundation Chirac Special Jury Prize for Conflict
Prevention, Former Special Representative of the United Nations' Secretary General
Mario Giro, Laureate of the 2010 Foundation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention, Head of
International Relations within the Community of Sant'Egidio
Park Jae Kyu, Laureate of the 2009 Foundation Chirac Special Jury Prize for Conflict
Prevention, Former Minister of Unification of the Republic of Korea, President of Kyungnam
Naguib Sawiris, Member of the partners committee of the Foundation Chirac, Executive
Chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding S.A.E

Save Timbuktu - Save peace

A country with no past can have no future.

As extremist groups destroy Timbuktu's mosques and mausoleums and threaten the manuscripts conserved in this city - irreplaceable heritage of Islam and the world - Sahel's future is being played out.

This totalitarian act is a crime against Africa. A crime against thought. A crime against the very idea of humanity.

This is a global threat. Indifference is not possib le. Should a handful of extremists manage to impose their law in this area that is fighting to maintain its fragile balance, they will destabilize all Sahel countries. The consequences will be fatal, first for the local population and then for all the partners of these countries, with Mali's neighbours and Europe leading the list. The fight against terrorism and extremism is taking place now, in Timbuktu. They are struggling for humanism, for peace. They are battling for tolerance and respect. The time for action is now.

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution presented by France, expressing support for ECOWAS and the African Union's mediation efforts to restore constitutional order. This is a first step. More must be done. Mali must not be abandoned to its fate.

Before all else, all legal steps to prevent the extremists' deadly goals must be implemented. A new Marshall Plan for the Sahel must be launched. The security crisis is sadly pushing aside the dramatic food crisis that has affected the entire region for three years now.

These crises, beyond the present emergency that requires immediate responses, are certainly preludes to even bigger crises, for Africa's population will double by 2050, representing 22% of the world's population.

Africans are resolving their debt crisis with sacrifices to which more favored populations would never have agreed. For the past decade, the continent has once again enjoyed strong and sustained growth. An educated and enterprising middle class is emerging. Today, African youths are entrusted with the hopes of an entire continent. We can choose to help these nations grow and to encourage the world to finally commit to developing equitable, shared growth, or we can choose to disappoint the continent at the risk of the greatest perils.

Africa is not asking for charity but for justice. We are appealing to the international community's sense of responsibility and unity to con front this crisis; we are calling on countries that have traditionally been involved in Africa as well as on emerging powers.

Africa's failure will be our collective failure. Should we forget this fact today, Africa's youth will remind us tomorrow.