Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Hollywood actress Charlize Theron has penned an article to highlight violence in the Central African Republic.
The Monster star, who hails from South Africa, wrote the piece for The Wall Street Journal to document her recent trip to the poverty-stricken country, where a United Nations peacekeeping force was deployed this week (beg15Sep15). She discusses the horrific stories she heard while working with groups such as Doctors Without Borders, including the case of a 16-year-old boy who was shot in the back and hacked with machetes by rebels.
She writes, "I met a 16-year-old boy named Prince Matidi. On Dec. 25 last year - Christmas Day - he and three friends found themselves in the middle of the violence... Prince was shot in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down. As he lay in the dirt unable to move, he said, Seleka rebels hacked at him with machetes. Both of his friends died that night... I couldn't stop thinking about this young boy lying in the dirt, left for dead on a night when back home millions of children were opening Christmas presents, safe and happy."
The actress, who runs the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, hopes to highlight the plight of citizens in the country, which has been marred by civil war and violence over the last few years. She adds, "We have a responsibility to not forget the people of the Central African Republic, and to press the international community to do more... International efforts to address the crisis in CAR have remained woefully inadequate. Political solutions need to be found to stop the violence, protect civilians and reconcile communities."