Clooney Says Obama To Appoint Us Envoy To Darfurby Contributor | | 24 February 2009
President Barack Obama plans to appoint a full-time US envoy to the wartorn region of Darfur, according to actor and campaigner George Clooney.
The Ocean's 11 star missed the Oscars to meet with the president and vice president Joe Biden to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, through which some 300,000 people have been displaced and nearly 2.5 million displaced.
Clooney, a United Nations Messenger of Peace, is a long-time advocate for greater aid to Darfur and has visited the region half a dozen times, as well as founding the Not on Our Watch campaign group to raise awareness of the conflict.
Speaking on CNN's Larry King Live, he told the talkshow host he had delivered quarter of a million postcards to the president from US citizens who want greater action on Darfur, and planned to deliver a further 700,000.
"We talked about this being an opportunity, perhaps, not just for the United States, but all of us together to work with the international community in a real diplomatic effort to try and bring some sort of peace to this region," he told King.
"We had a long talk about the idea of, first and foremost, appointing a high level, full-time envoy that reports directly to the White House so that it's not just a temporary - you know, what's happened over the past few years is whenever something spikes, whenever violence spikes, we get an envoy who's very talented to go and try and solve the problems."
He added: "We need somebody working on this, you know, every day - getting up every morning with their sole job to find peace in the area."