George Clooney campaigns in Egypt, China

(AP)
Updated: 2006-12-13 09:16

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 said.

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 Wednesday.

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.



Related Stories  
Top Entertaiment News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours