UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie spotlights needs of Bosnia’s displaced

6 April 2010

Taking a break from working on her latest movie, Academy Award-winning actress and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she visited people displaced during the war that ravaged the country in the 1990s and called for solutions to end their suffering.

Over 2.2 million people were displaced in the Balkan country from 1992 to 1995, according to a news release from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Ms. Jolie, a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, visited the country yesterday with her partner Brad Pitt to highlight the plight of 113,000 Bosnians displaced from their homes and 7,000 refugees from Croatia, many of whom are living in collective centres.

She said she was “so inspired” by the families she met during a visit to a collective centre in the town of Gorazde, where the residents live in dilapidated accommodation with little support, as well as in a village near Visegrad and in the town of Rogatica.

“Despite the grim realities of their unsettled existence, they have an incredible determination to make a better future for their children,” said the acclaimed actress and mother of six, who has travelled with UNHCR to a number of global hotspots to visit refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“I hope we can find solutions for the remaining tens of thousands of displaced people,” she stated. “Only then can we really close one of the most tragic chapters in modern history.”

Ms. Jolie also met UNHCR staff who told her about proposals to help resolve the situation of those still displaced. She said that she hopes “to return to this beautiful country soon and meet with political representatives to further discuss the solutions that are so badly required.”

She added that Bosnia and Herzegovina now has the opportunity to move forward by ending displacement and further capitalising on the European Union accession process.

“The local leadership has the ultimate responsibility to make choices to ensure that this will happen,” she noted.

 

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