Actor George Clooney arrives for the premiere of
the film 'The Good German,' Monday, Dec. 4, 2006, in Los Angeles. [AP]
CAIRO, Egypt - George Clooney arrived in Egypt on Tuesday, campaigning to
raise awareness about killings in Sudan's Darfur region. The Oscar-winning actor
was joined by fellow actor Don Cheadle and two former Olympians. He came to
Egypt from China, where he has been since Friday, his publicist Stan Rosenfield
Clooney organized the trip to make a personal plea to Chinese and Egyptian
officials to use their ties with the Sudanese government to help stop the
violence, Rosenfield said.
Egypt has been a key mediator with neighboring Sudan, trying to convince the
Khartoum government to allow a larger peacekeeping force into the war-torn
region, where 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million have
been driven from their homes in more than three years of warfare.
Clooney was expected to meet Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit on
China is a close ally of the Sudanese government and has become a major trade
partner, buying Sudanese oil. It has opposed sanctions on Sudan to force it to
accept a U.N. peacekeeping force.
Clooney, a liberal Democrat, is well known for his activism and has been
urging Congress and the United Nations to help end atrocities in Darfur.
In September, Clooney and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel met with U.N.
Security Council members to urge them to act on Darfur. The actor and his
father, Nick Clooney, visited the Sudanese region in April.
The Darfur conflict began in early 2003 when rebels of ethnic African tribes
took up arms against the Arab-dominated government, complaining of
discrimination and mistreatment. The government is accused of responding with a
brutal counterinsurgency led by Arab militias.
Among those traveling with Clooney were Kenyan Olympian Tegla Loroupe, who
serves as a U.N. ambassador of sport; American speed skater and Olympic gold
medal winner Joey Cheek; Cheadle, one of Clooney's "Ocean's 11" co-stars and an
Academy Award nominee for "Hotel Rwanda"; and David Pressman, a human rights
lawyer and former aide to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Clooney was to return to the United States on Thursday.