FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Angelina Jolie (search), on a goodwill visit to Sierra Leone, said she was overwhelmed by the "strength and spirit" of a nation struggling to recover from a decade of brutal conflict.
The Oscar-winning actress, who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (search), arrived in the West African country Monday.
"I will bring international focus here and continue to come back to let Sierra Leone not drop off the international agenda," Jolie told reporters Wednesday.
Sierra Leone's rebels were notorious for their brutality. They burned down parts of the capital during a decadelong war that left tens of thousands of people dead before fighting ended in early 2002.
"The strength and spirit of the people of Sierra Leone (search) have overwhelmed me," the 29-year-old actress said. "I do not know how I could go through 11 years of war with such spirit and strength and continue to fight for family and human rights in the way that the people of Sierra Leone did."
Jolie was in Sierra Leone to meet survivors of the conflict and to urge authorities to make public the recommendations of a special commission set up to reconcile the nation.
She has been a UNHCR goodwill ambassador since 2001 and has traveled to refugee camps around the world. She won a supporting-actress Oscar for 1999's "Girl, Interrupted" (search).