Copyright 2004

[ October 27th 2004 ]

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie on Wednesday described the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region as "unbelievably horrible" after a three-day visit to region. Jolie, a good will ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, has visited refugees in many conflict-torn countries but said Darfur struck her as the worst she had seen because the rights abuses and violence continued and nowhere was safe. "I'd say this is the worst situation I've seen and what's happening to the people here... is unbelievably horrible. The fact is it is just one of the worst things that has happened on the planet to a people," she said.

The United Nations says conflict in Darfur, which has uprooted some 1.6 million people from their homes, has created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. The world body has threatened Sudan with sanctions if it fails to stop the violence which the United States has called genocide. Jolie, who has starred in films such as Tomb Raider and Girl Interrupted, has visited and donated money to Sudanese refugees in Egypt and Chad, and met refugees in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Cambodia, and Kosovo among others.

She said the Darfur conflict was complex and difficult to understand, but it was clear there was no place in the vast region that was 100 percent safe. "I've never been in something (like this) that seems that it is not a finished situation - it's very much going on now," Jolie told reporters in Khartoum. "It's not over and now aid is coming in. It's continuous." She said she had spoken to many women who had been raped, while children told her they only wanted security to live their lives in peace. Jolie appealed to the international community to fully fund the many aid organizations working in Darfur.

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