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Google, Clooney, And UN Announce Sudan Satellite Watch Site

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When it comes to trying to prevent another Darfur from erupting in the Sudan, George Clooney isn’t one to simply wait on the less-than-timely decisions of the world’s politicians.

The 49-year-old, who most recently visited Southern Sudan with Ann Curry back in October (as well as a personal meeting with President Obama afterward) announced today that his organization Not On Our Watch (also co-founded by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Jerry Weintraub and David Pressman) will be teaming up with Google, the United Nations and other anti-genocide organizations to launch satellite surveillance of the border between north and south Sudan.

That’s right everyone, Clooney is taking this mission high-tech.

According to reports, Not On Our Watch will fund the start-up phase of what’s being called the “Satellite Sentinel Project” that will collect real-time satellite imagery and combine it with field analysis from the Enough Project and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. The data is meant to act as a kind of “early warning system” that will monitor the movement of troops, civilians, and other signs of conflict.

The U.N. Operational Satellite Applications Program and Google will then publish the findings online.

“We want to let potential perpetrators of genocide and other war crimes know that we’re watching, the world is watching,” Clooney said in a statement. “War criminals thrive in the dark. It’s a lot harder to commit mass atrocities in the glare of the media spotlight.”

According to Reuters, people in Sudan’s oil-rich south are “widely expected to vote to split away and form a new country in the referendum that was part of a 2005 peace deal ending civil war between north and south.”

Organizers said the Satellite Sentinel Project will be available online Wednesday at http://www.satsentinel.org

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