Mira Sorvino Speaks to Congress on Darfur

09/21/2006 at 10:25 AM EDT

Mira Sorvino Speaks to Congress on Darfur
Sorvino in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 20
Joshua Roberts/Getty
Mira Sorvino urged Congress on Wednesday to back sending United Nations peacekeepers into Darfur and establish a no-fly zone banning Sudanese military flights over the war-torn province.

Sorvino, who has spent two years crusading to end the violence in the African region, told a House subcommittee examining the issue, "we stand at a crucial crossroads in the Darfur crisis.

"The U.N. peacekeeping troops must be allowed to take over the mission as planned in October," said Sorvino, a good will ambassador for Amnesty International. "Until that point, the African Union troops must remain and the U.S. should take a leadership role in supplying them and supporting their infrastructure."

Sorvino, a Harvard graduate, said "pregnant women have been slashed in the stomach and killed because they carry 'the child of the enemy.' Children themselves are not immune to extremely cruel forms of killing."

Hundreds of thousands have died and more than two million have been displaced since conflict began in Darfur three years ago. Sorvino said "the situation on the ground worsens every day," with the World Food Program warning that 350,000 people in Northern Darfur will be cut off from food supplies because of the fighting.

"We must stop closing a blind eye to their behavior," Sorvino said of the Sudanese government. "By forgiving them their monstrosities because of their help in the war on terror, we wash our hands in the blood of the innocent.

"We have all chanted, 'Never Again' in response to various mass atrocities that have occurred in the past century," she said. "Unfortunately, 'again' is now."

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