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Actors Don Cheadle, left, and George Clooney have spoken with governments in Egypt and China about Darfur. ((CBC))

Compromise with the African Union is the only way to improve the situation in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur, Hollywood actor George Clooney told the United Nations on Friday.

"The UN isn't going to go in guns blazing into a sovereign nation," Clooney said.

The Sudanese government has rejected a UN resolution to send a force of 20,000 troops to help control the situation as an attack on its sovereignty.

At least 200,000 people have been killed and about 2.5 million people have fled their homes in the past 3½ years of fighting. The conflict began in March 2003 when militants started attacking government forces in western Sudan, claiming the regionhad been neglected.

"We're concerned with saving people's lives who have nothing to do with this conflict," Clooney told CBC Newsworld in an exclusive interview.

He encouraged the UN to focus on how a joint peacekeeping force, which would includeUN forcesand 7,000 African Union troops,would work together.

"What will their helmets look like, who will be in charge, how will it be funded?" he said at the UN in New York.

Encouraged bytalks with Egypt

Clooney and his Oceans 12 co-star Don Cheadle have spoken with governments in Egypt and China about Darfur.

"I don't know how much progress we made," Clooney told the CBC. "We wanted to find out what they were willing to do, understanding that they both have influence with Sudan."

Cheadletold CBChe was encouraged by talks with Egypt. He said the country was willing to use its access to Sudan to open up communication.

In China, the actors asked the government, which has close ties to the Khartoum government, to try to persuade officials to allow UN peacekeepers into the region.

Clooney and Cheadle encourage people to write letters and raise awareness of the issue in any way they can.

"No nation, no people, can resist the collective, if that collective grows to an amount that is unavoidable. They will have to move forward," Cheadle told the CBC.

Inaction on Darfur, Cheadle said, is "like walking past your closet door and there's a fire and you just shut the door."

He told the UN, "We need to press that these stories not be small paragraphs on page 17 but that they have least as much time as Britney Spears not wearing underwear."

The actors say that their efforts are important because they can get the media attention that people in Darfur need.

"They have no voice, they have nothing and they're going to die," Clooney said.