Celebrated Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, who split from her star husband Brad Pitt a few months ago, is in the country.
The 42-year-old arrived on Tuesday as a UNHCR special envoy to mark World Refugee Day. She met adolescent refugee sexual assault survivors in Nairobi, including a girl who, she said in her speech, was the “same age as my eldest son” and is “already a mother to a child born of rape”. The actress met at least 20 rape survivors at the Heshima Kenya Safe House and shared a moment with them.
Jolie also addressed the International Peace Support Training Centre in Nairobi and observed a training session for military and police personnel involved in UN and African peacekeeping operations.
MEANT A LOT
“It meant a lot to hear military gender advisers and officers say what they believe and what they want others to understand, that this is not simply about law and human decency. It’s about military effectiveness.
“If civilians do not have confidence in you as peacekeepers, your mission will not succeed. On behalf of victims of sexual violence, I want to plead with all of you to take this issue seriously and personally, to use your position and your influence to spread this message on all the missions on which you serve,” she said.
Jolie started the Preventing Sexual Violence Campaign in 2012 and since its founding the programme has trained over 17,000 military and police personnel on sexual violence issues, according to a UNHCR statement.