With Cyprus being pulled back from the brink of collapse and the euro on the verge of meltdown, you might expect the Foreign Secretary to be rather tied up.
But there are some engagements, it seems, that simply can’t be put off.William Hague has come under fire for travelling to Africa with Angelina Jolie – rather than staying at home to face the somewhat less glamorous task of dealing with the European crisis.With the Hollywood star by his side, Mr Hague is meeting survivors of rape and sexual violence in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Foreign Secretary and the Oscar-winning actress have also been meeting local political leaders and asking them to help eradicate sexual violence in conflicts.But critics have argued that Mr Hague should be focusing his attentions closer to home. Last night William Dartmouth, foreign affairs spokesman for UKIP, said he should be concentrating on the fall-out from Cyprus’s economic crisis, which could have a huge impact for all of Europe.The MEP added: ‘William Hague should be more concerned with the crisis on our doorstep than chasing photo ops with Hollywood stars.
‘War rape is a terrible thing, practised down the centuries, but his job is the one entrusted to him, defending Britain’s vital economic and diplomatic interests.’Yesterday, Mr Hague and Miss Jolie visited the Nzulo camp near Goma, in the Congolese province of North Kivu, where they talked to some of the 10,000 sex attack victims housed there, as well as the staff helping to rehabilitate them.
Miss Jolie, whose partner is Brad Pitt, is continuing work she started with Mr Hague in London last year, when they launched the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.Her 2011 film In The Land Of Blood And Honey, which depicted the experiences of women in the infamous rape camps set up during ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was a catalyst for the UK initiative, the Foreign Office said.
Miss Jolie said: ‘This visit is about hearing first hand from people who have endured rape and sexual violence during the conflict in the Eastern DRC. We want to identify ways in which the international community can help them to rebuild their lives.’The actress and mother of six has highlighted the plight of refugees worldwide for over a decade in her role as a UN High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy.Mr Hague said: ‘Rape is often used as a weapon of war in conflict zones around the world. It destroys lives and communities in the most horrific manner imaginable.’ – Daily