Saturday, December 8, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 8,2007) - American actress and UNICEF Ambassador Mia Farrow joined genocide survivors from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica and activists at a torch-lighting ceremony in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo yesterday calling on Olympic host China to help end abuses in Darfur. Mia Farrow and Hatidza Mehmedovic, who lost her husband and two young sons in genocide in Srebrenica, lit a torch as a symbol of peace and solidarity with the victims in Sudan.

"We are passing this torch to call for an end to the ongoing crime of genocide in Darfur," Farrow told the crowd in Sarajevo.

"I have no words to describe what happened to the people of Bosnia. The international community failed you. My country failed you. The United Nations failed you. The world betrayed you," Farrow said yesterday.

In July 1995 the genocidal Serbian aggressor mass murdered 10,000 Bosnian civilians from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

"You owe the world nothing but you understand the suffering, the pain our brothers and sisters are enduring as we speak," Mia Farrow added.

Farrow, along with the head of the New York-based Dream for Darfur advocacy group, Jill Savitt, called on China to use its influence and press the Sudanese government to end the atrocities in Darfur.

"We are calling upon China to end the suffering in Darfur by forcing Khartoum to allow a protection force in Sudan," she said

Critics say China's military aid to and oil purchases from Sudan give it influence it could use to push Khartoum to halt the violence in Darfur, where some 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million driven from their homes in fighting since rebellion broke out in 2003.

The Sarajevo event was part of an Olympic-style torch relay, the "Olympic Dream for Darfur" campaign, led by Farrow and launched last August at the Chad-Darfur border to press for action by China, which hosts the Olympic Games next year.

The relay has already passed through genocide sites in Darfur, Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia and Germany. Next month the torch will be lit in Cambodia and the last destination will be Hong Kong.

"China is the host of the 2008 Olympic games and China is also an accomplice in Darfur genocide," Farrow said."

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