Mia Farrow has raised the bar on what it means to be an activist: She has offered to trade her freedom for that of a Sudanese elder considered a crucial peacemaker among the warring factions in Darfur.
In a letter to Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, Farrow wrote that Suleiman Jamous, currently in adminstrative detention, is badly in need of medical care that cannot be carried out in Kadugli.
She wrote, “Mr. Jamous, whom I know to be a man of great moral integrity, is 62 years old, with grandchildren in the United States he has never seen.
“I am therefore offering to take Mr. Jamous’s place, to exchange my freedom for his in the knowledge of his importance to the civilians of Darfur and in the conviction that he will apply his energies toward creating the just and lasting peace that the Sudanese people deserve and hope for.”
Last week, the Chinese government announced its support of a UN Security Council resolution that deploys a 26,000 troop peacekeeping mission to Darfur. A week earlier, ABC News reported that Stevem Spielberg was considering pulling out of his role as an artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics if China didn’t take more stringent action on the Darfur crisis, although a spokesman for Spielberg said that the report was misleading and that they were weighing a number of options.
Spielberg has yet to weigh in.
Farrow, however, did have something to say about the UN resolution, offering cautious optimism. What she worries about is that the UN measure has lost some of its teeth. She said “Absent is any reference to the role of sanctions monitoring mechanism, the seizure, collection and disposal of arms in violation of the embargo and the peace agreements, as well as strong language condemning the government for obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid.”
She adds, “China is the big winner here: it got Sudan to be reasonably happy, so its oil deals are safe; it may have got Spielberg to relent on his threat to withdraw from his involvement with the Olympics; and it got to preside over the adoption of Resolution 1769- looking to the outside world –( and certainly to Spielberg and sponsors of the Beijing Olympics) – as one who worked to make it happen.”
In a press conference last week, Chinese Olympic officials claimed not to know anything about the ABC News report.