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Angelina Jolie Asks Protection for Libyan Refugees

March 3, 2011, 9:22 am GMT

As a UN ambassador, Jolie calls for world leaders to protect civilians who flee the conflicting country.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has urged officials around the world to "protect" Libyans as they attempt to flee the nation under the reign of controversial leader Muammar Gaddafi. Colonel Gaddafi has vowed to "fight to the death" amid the uprising sweeping the African nation, insisting he's willing to "die as a martyr" rather than relinquish power.

As a result, an estimated 100,000 people are attempting to enter neighboring countries, and Jolie - a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations' high commissioner for refugees - is calling on authorities to "address" the crisis. In a statement, she says, "It is critical that all parties respect the fundamental right of people in danger to flee to safety - whether civilians caught in conflict in their own country or refugees and asylum seekers caught in new conflicts. All I'm asking is that civilians be protected and not targeted or harmed."

"The world needs to address this moment. We have to give people safe passage, evacuation if needed, and ensure they have asylum. We don't want to look back and find their deaths are on our hands."

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