For the first time since October 2010, George Clooney is making plans to return to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. The 50-year-old actor recently told The Hollywood Reporter that March 2012 is the current target; but refused to elaborate out of fear for his own safety.
“It’s really hard on your system,’ he says. “I got malaria two years ago, and it really knocked me out. I’ve had a couple of recurrences. I didn’t understand that it keeps coming back.” According to THR, his last attack was during the Christmas holiday, but he still wants to return, with “just a cameraman and two others, because he believes he can draw attention to the hundreds of thousands who have been killed and whose story is often ignored.”
“Everything about it is difficult, and you never feel safe, and we are not traveling with guns and security guys,” he continues. “I ran into the Machine Gun Preacher [Sam Childers, a former gang member who crusades for Sudanese orphans], and he’s like, ‘Who do you travel with?’ And I say, ‘I just go with three people.’”
Back in ’10, Clooney traveled with “Today Show” host Ann Curry; visiting what she called “one of the most desperate places on earth.” In the months immediately following the visit, he met with President Obama and also helped launch a satellite surveillance of the border between north and south Sudan.
“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.”
In the interview with THR, the actor says his greatest fear is exiting the world early and not achieving the goals he’s set for himself.
“I am terrified of not finishing, or at least not participating enough,” he shares. “Everybody has a fear of death, but my fear isn’t dying; it’s of not getting the job done.”