From George Clooney to JK Rowling and Angelina Jolie, the brutal civil war in Sudan’s vast Darfur region has prompted prominent celebrities to speak out for its long-suffering civilians.
Here’s a sneak peek, as the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur comes to an end:
– George Clooney –
Hollywood megastar George Clooney has campaigned relentlessly to draw attention to the conflict in Darfur, which he called “genocide” in 2012, accusing Khartoum of crimes against humanity.
In 2010, he was named United Nations Messenger of Peace by then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in recognition of his work.
He created “Not on Our Watch,” a humanitarian group that focuses global attention on Darfur and has raised over $ 9 million for the region, along with fellow “Ocean’s Thirteen” filmmates Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle.
– Do they know it’s Christmas? –
British pop stars re-recorded in 2004 ‘Do they Know its Christmas’, the hit song that raised funds for famine victims in Ethiopia 20 years earlier, this time to raise funds for the hundreds of thousands of displaced people in Darfur.
Midge Ure, the frontman of Ultravox who wrote the original Band Aid single with Sir Bob Geldoff, participated, along with Bono, Dido and Robbie Williams and Sir Paul McCartney.
– JK Rowling –
In 2008, children’s writers, including Harry Potter author JK Rowling, signed an open letter calling on world leaders to take urgent action in Darfur to protect children in the disaster area.
“Children barely old enough to walk, let alone run, saw their homes burned down and razed, their mothers raped and their fathers killed,” reads the letter from the 15 authors, including Judy Blume and Cornelia Funke.
– Angelina Jolie –
Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie visited Darfur in 2004 as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), later saying she was shocked by the “unbelievably horrible” conditions.
In 2017, she met a Darfurian teenager in a refugee camp in neighboring Chad who said he wanted those responsible to be brought to justice.
“I hope those responsible for the atrocities in Darfur will be held to account, not only for this young man, but for the world,” she said.
strawberries / jmy / dw / hc
© 2020 AFP