Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 14:59 UK

Farrow ends Darfur protest fast

Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow is a goodwill ambassador for UN children's foundation Unicef

Mia Farrow has ended her hunger strike to show solidarity with the people of the war-hit Darfur region of Sudan, because of "health concerns".

In a statement posted on her website the 64-year-old said: "I have been instructed by my doctor to stop my fast immediately due to health concerns."

The actress fasted for 12 days over the Sudanese government's decision to expel foreign aid agencies.

On Friday entrepreneur Richard Branson took over Farrow's hunger strike.

'Justice and peace'

"I'm honoured to be taking over the fast for the next three days," he said in a statement on his blog.

"We cannot stand and watch as one million people suffer.

"We all need to stand up and demand that international aid is restored and that the people of Darfur are protected and given the chance to live in peace."

Farrow said doctors had advised her that if she continued fasting she was at risk from enduring seizures.

The star said she felt "fortunate" she could end the fast, because "the women, children, and men I am fasting for do not have that option".

She added she is hoping to get "justice and peace for the people of Darfur".

Thirteen aid groups were expelled in March after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir.

Mr Bashir is accused of orchestrating atrocities against civilians in Darfur.

The government has been fighting rebels in the region since 2003.

The UN says that up to 300,000 people have died during the conflict and 2.7 million driven from their homes.

Farrow, who was once married to Frank Sinatra and later had children with Woody Allen, drank only water during her fast.

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