Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, actor George Clooney to address Security Council on Darfur

Annan addresses the Security Council

13 September 2006 – Nobel Laureate and United Nations Messenger of Peace Elie Wiesel, along with actor George Clooney will address the Security Council on the crisis in Darfur during a closed-door session on Thursday, officials with the world body announced today.

On Monday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned the Security Council that the situation in Darfur has reached a critical moment. “It is vital that we all speak candidly about what is happening, and about what it will take to bring an end to the suffering of so many millions of people,” he said, appealing for the Sudanese Government to accept a UN force, but the Khartoum Government remains opposed.

Mr. Wiesel has urged the Security Council to act to protect the people of Darfur. “There is no choice but to act in defense of defenseless people,” he has said. “Those who commit genocide must not be allowed to hide behind national borders and claims of sovereignty.”

Almost 2 million people are displaced as a result of the brutal conflict that has engulfed Darfur, an impoverished region on Sudan’s western flank, since 2003, while nearly 3 million people there depend on international aid for food, shelter and health care.

The situation has worsened considerably since the signing in May of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) between the Government and some of the rebel groups it has been fighting. In the past two months, 12 aid workers have been killed – more than in the entire previous two years.

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