Before he was arrested Friday for protesting in front of the Sudanese embassy, Hollywood star George Clooney gave a firsthand account of the daily atrocities occurring on the border between Sudan and South Sudan to a US Senate committee.
Clooney recently returned from an eight day trip in which he and a small team of fellow activists gained access to one of the most volatile border areas, the Nuba mountains.
He gathered video footage, shown to the committee, (see it below) in which he is seen standing near the injured and the dead.
In his testimony, Clooney accused Sudan president Omar al-Bashir of orchestrating daily aerial bombardments which have forced thousands of people to take refuge in caves in the Nuba mountains. According to reports, hundreds have been killed.
When South Sudan gained its independence last year, the Nuba region ended up north of the border, despite the fact that it has traditional ties to the south. Clooney said that the region is becoming the new Darfur.
It is a campaign of murder and fear and displacement and starvation.
Religion is not an issue. In the camps, you will find Christians and Muslims hiding together.
Omar al-Bashir is under indictment by the International Criminal Court for war crimes as part of an investigation into atrocities in Darfur, however so far no nation has been willing to enforce the warrant for his arrest.
China has been a huge investor in Sudan, particularly in oil, and Clooney suggested China could be a key player. He asked the Senate to persuade the Chinese to help with the Sudan dispute.
We need to use this opportunity to work in tandem with the Chinese to solve these cross-border issues.
Not by using guilt, not by appealing to humanitarian interest, but simply for good solid economic reasons for both of us. Let’s send a high-level envoy to China to work together on this.
Let’s use the techniques we’ve learned from chasing terrorists, and find and freeze the offshore bank accounts of these war criminals. They are not buying these weapons with Sudanese pounds.
Let’s work with the international community to toughen the sanctions, make Khartoum a very lonely place.
Clooney is also meeting with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week.
Watch: Sen. Tom Udall asks George Clooney and John Prendergast, co-founders of the Satellite Sentinel Project, which uses satellite imagery to give early warning on war crimes, about atrocities committed in Sudan at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
In a recent trip across the Sudanese border into rebel-held territory in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, George Clooney witnessed rocket attacks and the effects of aerial bombardment by the Sudanese regime against the Nuban people. This trip diary was written and directed by George Clooney in the field with the Enough Project.
Warning: Some images may be disturbing.
Visit www.EnoughProject.org for more information.
Photo: screenshot from video