WASHINGTON, April 20, 2006 — Internationally acclaimed actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie yesterday called on Americans to urge Congress to protect civilians in Darfur, Sudan. Genocide there has claimed more than 400,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million people. “The situation in Darfur has been going on far too long. It’s only getting worse,” she says in an interview in People magazine. “If people are aware of the facts, I believe many will be driven to action.”
Jolie plans to publish an advertisement in the USA Today newspaper next week.
“We can stop this, but only if government leaders make it a high priority,” she writes in the advertisement. “We know what is happening in Darfur. We know how to stop it.” Jolie then encourages readers to contact their members of Congress.
“We are pleased that Ms. Jolie is adding her voice to the growing anti-genocide movement,” says GI-Net Chief Executive Mark Hanis. “Every person can help protect civilians in Darfur by following her lead and pressuring Congress to act.”
In addition, Hanis says, individuals can help support the peacekeepers in Darfur by making a contribution to the Genocide Intervention Network, which donates more than half of its proceeds directly to the peacekeeping force.
Rallies are planned for April 30 in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the anti-genocide movement and highlighting leaders in Darfur activism — including Sen. Sam Brownback, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel and U.S. Olympian Joey Cheek. GI-Net is a co-sponsor of the rallies, and will be facilitating a two-day student training conference immediately prior to the demonstrations.
The Genocide Intervention Network works to mobilize an anti-genocide constituency in the United States and Canada to raise the costs for inaction by politicians in the face of genocide. Accessible online at www.GenocideIntervention.net, GI-Net empowers its members with the tools to support initiatives that prevent and stop genocidal violence, in particular by protecting civilians in Darfur, Sudan.