Mia Farrow plans hunger strike over Darfur

Published on The Guardian, by Ben Child, 22 April 2009.

Actor Mia Farrow is to begin a hunger strike next week as a “personal expression of outrage” at the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Darfur …

… Thirteen aid organisations were expelled by the Sudanese government in March after the international criminal court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for president Omar al-Bashir. Bashir is accused of causing the deaths of 35,000 members of three non-Arab ethnic groups that he said supported a Darfur rebel uprising in 2003.

A spokesman for Farrow said the strike, which the actor will begin next Monday, would go on for as long as the actor was able to survive without food. Sudan’s ambassador to the UN said Farrow, who has been a high-profile activist on behalf of Darfuri refugees since 2004, should use her fame “to put pressure on the rebel groups to come to the negotiating table”, rather than undertaking the fast. 

Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem told Reuters: “The government is committed to the welfare of its own citizens and doesn’t need anybody to remind it of that. Darfur should cease to be an arena for those seeking fame and publicity.” UN officials say that up to 300,000 people have been killed during the conflict in Darfur, while more than 2.7 million have been displaced.

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