Angelina Jolie On Wolf Blitzer Reports 6/17

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Postby admin » Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:29 pm

BLITZER: Thanks, very much, Zain.

And joining us now here in our Washington studio, Angelina Jolie. She's the Academy Award-winning actress, the U.N. goodwill ambassador.

Angelina, thanks very much for joining us. You just got back recently from the border between Chad and Sudan. A, why did you go there?

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: Well, I wanted to -- I think like most people, I've been hearing bits about it, but I wanted -- I wanted to try to get a more full understanding of what the situation was. And I've been working with UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency for a long time, and it's a very large humanitarian crisis -- refugee crisis. So I wanted to go.

BLITZER: This is not an easy decision, because it's dangerous along that border. Yet you were willing to go.

JOLIE: It is. I've -- but I've worked with many people in the field who spend every day of their life there, and I kind of feel like I can -- I can risk a few days. They spend their lives there, and, you know, obviously a lot of humanitarian workers have lost their lives there.

BLITZER: So what did you see when you were there? How bad is it?

JOLIE: It's -- the most frustrating thing is that there are 160,000 people who have crossed into Chad. But that is one small percentage of the people that are displaced. There's a million people estimated to be displaced inside Darfur that nobody has access to. So everybody you see coming across, you know, they feel they're the lucky ones, and they're just more concerned about everybody back there.

And, you know, there's a desperate need to -- there's the rains are going to start. It's a logistical nightmare. It's desert, there's dead animals, there's dust everywhere, there's people trying to drill wells, and there's people moving, pregnant women in convoys trying to get to safer -- you know, away from the border. It's just this rush to survive and to keep people -- you know, keep people going that they've -- that they've found and been able to -- to get in contact with.

BLITZER: I assume that the disease is awful rampant where you were. What precautions did you take?

JOLIE: I had a Yellow Fever vaccination. That was about it.

BLITZER: That was about it?

JOLIE: I had it a long time ago, yes. I don't take malaria pills. I don't -- I don't trust them.

BLITZER: All right. Because I've taken those, and they're not very pleasant...

JOLIE: Yes.

BLITZER: ... and especially if you have to do it for a long period of time. What is the single most important lesson that you learned that the world needs to learn now to deal with this crisis?

JOLIE: Well, that if, in fact -- there's been this big discussion of, is this ethnic cleansing, is this genocide, what is happening inside, why are these one people being attacked? And if they've -- they've been attacked to the extent that they are and they, you know, do not receive aid and we're not able to get to them, which has been the case, then they will be wiped out. An entire people will be wiped out if we're too late.

We all know what happened in Rwanda. A lot of people are terrified that you only call it genocide when it's too late.

BLITZER: Is it genocide yet?

JOLIE: I don't know. I'm not the expert on that. I know that every time you ask the people why they were attacked, they -- they don't know, other than from the region they were and from the background thereof. They weren't fighting; there were no hostilities between the two tribes. There was just -- they were just attacked, and they were also -- spoke of being bombed from the air.

And there's a -- you know, is the Sudanese government involved? If they are, are they going to be held accountable? How can there be discussions of a Sudanese peace talk and an agreement when you haven't included what's happening in Darfur? I don't personally understand that. So -- but mainly it's just all of us need to get together to make sure that we try to get in there, see what's going on, and get aid to these people as quickly as possible before there is a horrible, horrible statistic that suddenly wakes everybody up.

BLITZER: So your basic message is education, let the world know what's going on?

JOLIE: Let's get into Darfur, let's see what's happening. Let's get the U.N. Security Council, anybody, all of our governments, all of our aid workers. Let's get in there and find these people and get the truth of the situation and save their lives, and then hold who's responsible accountable.

BLITZER: Well, you're doing an excellent job. You're a courageous woman. Thanks for joining us.

JOLIE: OK. Thank you for having me.

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