11/21/2006 AT 4:00 PM ET
Just back from her third trip to Africa’s violent Darfur region, actress Mia Farrow, at a news conference Tuesday, described the terrified women who hugged her and begged for protection.
“People are suffering unimaginably,” the Rosemary’s Baby star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador told a National Press Club news conference in Washington, DC. “Their terror was palpable. There is no safety for them.”
Farrow traveled with the Save Darfur Coalition to document how Darfur’s violence has spilled over its border to eastern Chad. The Coalition is calling for a large international peacekeeping force to stop the genocide that has claimed at least 400,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million people.
“I don’t mean to sound presumptuous, but what little attention I could bring to this crisis, I was committed to doing so,” said Farrow, 61, who also visited the region last July. “I who shirked interviews my entire life am completely available to give interviews on Darfur.”
At the news conference, Farrow displayed charred teapots, baskets and other remnants of daily life from villages burned down by Janjaweed militia.
Around her neck, she wore a plain dark brown amulet on a leather loop. “It’s a protection charm,” she told PEOPLE.com. “Women who had nothing gave me amulets for my safety, I who could provide no safety whatsoever for them. I wear it in honor of them.”