Oscar-nominated actor George Clooney testified before Congress on Wednesday about a humanitarian crisis taking place along the border of Sudan and South Sudan, where residents have been forced to seek refuge in the Nuba Mountains for fear of being killed by constant aerial bombing. Clooney returned from an eight-day trip in the area on Tuesday.
George Clooney testified before Congress on Wednesday about a humanitarian crisis taking place along the border of Sudan and South Sudan, where residents have been forced to seek refuge in the Nuba Mountains for fear of being killed by constant aerial bombing. (Photo: REUTERS)
The actor described a constant drip of fear along the border of Sudan and South Sudan. We found children filled with shrapnel, including a 9-year-old boy who had both hands blown off, he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to CNN.
Clooney traveled with co-founder of the advocacy group Enough Project, John Prendergast. Clooney and Pendergast filmed and photographed what they're calling crimes against humanity.
In an interview with CNN after testifying in front of Congress, Clooney said that he and Prendergast were lucky to capture as much devastation as they had, especially since cameras aren't allowed in the Nuba mountains.
At one point, Clooney said he spoke to a 9-year-old boy that had both hands blown off (shown in the video at the bottom of this article). Clooney says that in accordance with the Geneva Convention, the military action taken by Sudan against innocent civilians living in the Nuba Mountains should be considered a war crime.
When you are indiscriminately bombing innocent civilians, you are committing war crimes, said Clooney. It's a cowardly act.
Clooney also spoke to CBS This Morning and echoed the sentiment he left with Congress: There seems to be the exact same signs that we saw in the beginning of Darfur, which is a government bombing innocent civilians, and we were there and saw it firsthand, so we're going to talk about the urgency of some form of involvement, said Clooney. That doesn't mean military, and it certainly doesn't mean money necessarily. What it means is good, strong, robust diplomacy, hopefully with China.
What is the Enough Project?
Enough Project is a non-profit organization co-founded by the Center for American Progress and the International Crisis Group. The Enough Project aims to end genocide around the world and crimes against humanity according to the organization's website. It says that the organization is focused on areas where some of the world's worst atrocities occur.
Enough Project has created and uploaded several videos on its YouTube channel including various rally footage, informational videos and conversations with political leaders. Its latest video, George Clooney Witnesses War Crimes in Sudan's Nuba Mountains, shows what it's like to live in the war-torn region that separates Sudan from South Sudan. In one portion of the video, the young 9-year-old boy whose hands have been blown off by an explosion--that Clooney mentioned during media interviews and while testifying in Congress--is shown. The image is extremely graphic.
At the end of the video, the Enough Project asks that viewers text Sudan to 30644 in addition to sending Congress members messages to support the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012.
The bill comes at a critical moment: With a humanitarian crisis rapidly unfolding in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, continued unrest in Darfur and Abyei, and instability widespread throughout the country, immediate attention that addresses both the dire fallout and the root causes of these issues is essential, says an Enough Project blog post. Later, Enough Project adds, Next week United to End Genocide and the Enough Project will lead events in hundreds of communities across the country to raise awareness about these issues and to bring an end to Sudan's 'weapons of mass starvation.' The week-long campaign will culminate in a national day of action on March 16th.
The Enough Project conducts research in several African countries including Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Northern Uganda. For more information, visit the organization's website.