April 27, 2009
Posted: 12:55 PM ET
Mia Farrow will be a guest on tonight's "Larry King Live." Her commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive.
Today is the first day of my hunger strike. I have never undertaken anything remotely like this and so I have little sense of what to expect, and although I have set a goal of three weeks, I really don’t know how long I will be able to continue. I will be drinking lots of water.
People have asked me why I am doing this and what I hope to accomplish. I am fasting in solidarity with the people of Darfur and as a personal expression of outrage at a world that is somehow able to stand by and watch innocent men, women and children needlessly die of starvation, thirst and disease.
Last March, when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his role in the murder, rape, torture and displacement of millions, al-Bashir retaliated by expelling sixteen key international aid agencies from Darfur. They include Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, CARE, Oxfam and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Despite the fact that for six years the world has taken no effective action to protect Darfur’s people, it seemed that this abominable act, the severance of the lifeline to more than 4 million people would surely trigger a response. But while the US Envoy Scott Gration said, "We need to come up with creative ways immediately, and when I say immediately I mean in the next weeks, to be able to compensate (for the expelled aid agencies),” the weeks are passing and word from the camps is that people are already suffering. The water pumps at well sites are breaking down because there is no one to repair them, latrines are overflowing, food stockpiles are dwindling and there is no medical assistance.
Hussein Abu Sharati, spokesman for a network of refugee-camps leaders sent a letter to President Obama. "Mr. President," Abu Sharati wrote, "We need quick and immediate intervention to save us from the imminent death...(the expulsion of international humanitarian organizations ) is the regime's final goal and the deadly blow to accelerate our death by slow motion through starvation, malnutrition and diseases."
I am undertaking this fast in the heartfelt hope that world leaders will call upon the Government of Sudan to urgently readmit all of the expelled agencies or otherwise insure that the gap is filled, giving aid workers unimpeded access to the populations before they die in numbers that could dwarf the Rwandan genocide. Non-action is an act of acquiescence.
I invite citizens of conscience around the world to join me some form of fasting, even if for one day. And when I can no longer continue, I pray another will take my place, and another– until finally there is justice and peace for Darfur’s people.
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