Angelina Jolie went on a visit in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, March 27, not as a Hollywood actress to promote her film, but as a United Nations Special Envoy with a mission to promote an end to sexual violence against women in war.
The 38-year old United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ambassador of Goodwill was accompanied by British Foreign Secretary William Hague to attend a conference in Sarajevo where they addressed the issue and showed support for the prevention of sexual violence to terrorize civilians in war. Hague addressed that rape has been effective in displacing people in war, and it is used in Syria and African countries.
There were approximately 50,000 women raped during the Bosnian war. The victims sued the perpetrators in the UN tribunal, convicting the rapists for the devastating crime.
In their visit in the country, Hague and Jolie went at the Srebrenica memorial centre museum to give tribute to the victims of war. The actress is dressed in black and covering her head with a scarf in respect to the Muslim traditions. She then offered a wreath to the monument of more than 8,000 people who were killed in the mass genocide during Bosnia's three-year war from 1992-1995, according to the Guardian report.
Ms Jolie also met with women who were rape victims and the widows of the men who died in war. The actress reportedly was not able to control her emotions, breaking into tears while listening to stories of the victims.
In the conference, Ms Jolie said that "use of rape as a weapon of war is one of the most harrowing and savage of these crimes against civilians." She described it as brutal, and a topic that is hard to talk about.
Known for her humanitarian causes, Ms Jolie supported various charities and advocated for the rights of women and children. She worked with Foreign Secretary William Hague for a global campaign to fight sexual violence. There are 141 countries supporting the initiative and they continue to raise awareness regarding the matter.
The actress also lauded the country's anti-rape military training in an address in the conference saying, "It is inspiring that it is here in Bosnia, international peacekeepers are being trained to protect civilians from sexual violence. This is groundbreaking."
Furthermore, the British Foreign Secretary promised Bosnia, that Britain will support the planned training centre in Sarajevo for military and peacekeeping use as a part of the advocacy.
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