U.S. film actor George Clooney says he has urged the Obama administration to step up U.S. efforts to solve the humanitarian crisis in the Sudanese region of Darfur.
The Academy Award-winning actor met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Monday to brief them on his recent trip to refugee camps on the Sudanese-Chadian border.
In a nationally televised interview after his meeting on CNN's Larry King Live, Clooney said the 250,000 refugees living in the camps are "hanging on by the skin of their teeth" (a colloquial phrase used to describe the refugees' precarious situation).
Clooney said he urged the president and vice president to appoint a full-time envoy to the region who will report directly to the White House. He also called on China to apply pressure on the Sudanese government to end the violence in the region.
China is a major customer of Sudan's natural resources, which it uses to feed its massive economy.
Clooney, who is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, said Khartoum denied him a visa to visit camps in Darfur.
The U.N. says more than 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since 2003 in fighting between rebels and the Sudanese government and allied militias. Another 2.7 million people have been driven from their homes.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.