Actor Clooney urges Obama to act on Darfur

Other News Materials 25 February 2009 05:12 (UTC +04:00)

Actor George Clooney urged US President Barack Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to end the violence in Darfur, in a private meeting with the US leader, the Save Darfur Coalition said Tuesday.

Clooney met the president for 15 minutes in the Oval Office, a week after visiting the troubled region where the Sudanese government has waged a brutal war against local militias for the last six years, during which an estimated 300,000 people have been killed through combat, disease or malnutrition according to the United Nations, dpa reported.

An additional 2.7 million people have fled their homes because of fighting among rebels, government forces and their allied Janjaweed militias.

In his meeting with Obama, Clooney delivered the names of 250,000 US petitioners calling on the president to fulfill his promise to pursue an end to the Darfur genocide with "unstinting resolve."

Clooney described what he saw on his trip last week to eastern Chad and called on Obama to appoint a full-time Sudan envoy in advance of the International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, which is likely to be issued next week.

He called on the US to persuade China to leverage its investment status in Darfur to push for peace and to press Egypt, the African Union and Europe to boost their diplomatic efforts in the region.

The Save Darfur Coalition welcomed Clooney's advocacy.

"His message that the Obama administration should engage in a sustained diplomatic effort to bring peace to Sudan is all the more critical given the Sudanese government's ominous threats of violence in response to the International Criminal Court's impending arrest warrant for President Bashir," coalition President Jerry Fowler said.