Clooney, Cheadle Meet With Annan On Darfur

Secretary-General Kofi Annan met with actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle, and Olympians Tegla Loroupe and Joey Cheek at United Nations headquarters to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

Just two days ago, the actors were in Cairo where they lobbied for Egypt's help in getting protection for victims of Darfur's increasing violence.

"I wish we could stand here today and say that everything is moving forward. It's not," Clooney said addressing reporters at a press conference beside Cheadle, Loroupe and Cheek. "There are talks and more talks about who started the fight, who's responsible, who's to blame, and the only people who didn't start this fight are not responsible and are not to blame, suffer and die. We believe that everyone we spoke to wants the same thing, the fighting to stop and the protection of innocent civilians."

Photos: George Clooney
"Our call today is that priorities be linked to human survival, not political processes," Clooney said. "Because someday this will end. Whether it's soon or years from now, whether it's 50,000 new dead or 2 million, there will come a time when its all sorted out and justice is handed down, and the question then will be asked, where did the nations of these united nations stand? On the right side of history or on inaction?"

Cheadle told reporters that he last visited the region over a year and a half ago.

"The problem is not getting better, it's worsening," Cheadle said. "you don't control your papers I know, the editors (do). But we need to press that these stories not be small paragraphs on page 17 but that they at least have as much time as Britney Spears not wearing underwear. I mean, where are our priorities?"

Just two days ago, the Secretary-General welcomed the action taken by the Human Rights Council to address the human rights situation in Darfur. Annan said the decision of the Council sends a united message that "nightmare violence" must end.

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