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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 05:41 GMT 06:41 UK
Actress highlights Angola's plight
Mia Farrow in Angola
Mia Farrow saw the ravages of war in four provinces

American actress Mia Farrow - visiting Angola as a special representative of the United Nations children's fund - has said the United States has a moral responsibility to help Angolans recover from civil war.

During the 27-year conflict which ended this year, hundreds of thousands of children lost their parents or their homes - and many were forcibly drafted as soldiers.

During a week-long tour Ms Farrow visited four Angolan provinces, where she met children orphaned by the war and visited projects aimed at helping them.

She said the purpose of her trip was to gain a better understanding of Angola's problems, and take that information home to the United States.

Devastating impression

At the end of her stay, Ms Farrow said the United States, which used to back Unita rebels, had a moral responsibility for the effects of the war.

Angolan child
Angolan children suffered greatly during the civil war

However she emphasised that the Angolan Government, which receives billions of dollars each year in oil revenue, must take the lead in helping people to become self-sufficient again.

She expressed particular concern over the psychological effects of the war on the child soldiers who were forcibly recruited by both Unita and the government.

Ms Farrow said her most devastating impression of Angola was the sight of the town of Kuito, much of which has lain in ruins since a fierce battle between the government and Unita nine years ago.

But she said the spirit of the Angolan people was in complete contrast to the physical destruction of their country.

She added that in their minds, ordinary Angolans had already started rebuilding but lacked the means to do so.

See also:

02 Aug 02 | Africa
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