Inspired by actress Mia Farrow, members of Congress announced Tuesday that they were beginning a limited hunger strike to show solidarity with the people in Sudan’s Darfur region and demand President Barack Obama‘s help in ending the suffering there.
“Among President Obama’s priorities, Darfur has to take its place,” Farrow, 64, told reporters on the Capitol campus, just after following her doctor’s orders and ending her own 12-day hunger strike.
More than a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus appeared alongside her to announce that they, too, were taking up the “Fast for Life” campaign — going a few days at a time consuming only water — through Congress’ adjournment in August.
Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., chairman of the House subcommittee on Africa, said he had fasted last week for three days and said the group has requested a meeting with Obama.
Farrow’s hunger strike, which inspired a similar protest by Virgin Group Founder and Chairman Sir Richard Branson, began after the Sudanese government expelled international aid agencies from the country earlier this year.
The war in Darfur began in early 2003 when rebel groups rose up against the government, complaining of discrimination and neglect. U.N. officials say up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have fled their homes.