George Clooney has been an outspoken activist in bringing attention to the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan for years, and to amp things up he recently co-penned an op-ed article for CNN titled, “Act now to prevent war in the Sudan.”
The pressure to take action comes out of the fear that the North will launch a civil war if it loses control over the oil-rich southern region of the country. The issue of war and what regions the North will control has been brought up as a result of a referendum set to be voted on come January 9, 2011. To put the importance of this into context, the last civil war started in 1983 and lasted 20 years with more than two million lives lost in the battles. Not something that needs repeating!
The CNN piece is equal parts warning, game plan, history, and potential consequences if actions aren’t taken to reduce the chances of war between the ruling Northern party and the Southern party.
In the article, Clooney states, “Our point is a simple one: If one or the other party plunges the country back to a North-South war, there must be serious international consequences for that party.”
This demand for international intervention is furthered when he states, “Commencing a serious, multinational effort to build the necessary benefits for peace and consequences for war would help affect the calculations of the parties in the direction of peace. The fact that the Obama administration has effectively put forward a set of proposed incentives should trigger other countries to do the same.”
It’s a smart move by Clooney, who has become a master of drawing attention to causes he believes in. For example, in 2008 Clooney, along with the help of his newsman dad, filmed the TV special, “A Journey to Darfur.” In addition he is a co-founder of the humanitarian organization Not On Our Watch, and recently teamed up with an international coalition of celebs— including Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, philanthropist Richard Branson, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and former U.N. Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan— to star in a music video for the “We Want Peace” Global Initiative for Sudan.