Not On Our Watch board member George Clooney is using his star power to shine a spotlight on the war crimes and humanitarian crisis taking place in Sudan. He is making his rounds this week in Washington, D.C., fresh from a trip to Sudan and South Sudan with fellow board member John Prendergast.
Yesterday, March 14, Clooney and Prendergast testified about the crisi in Sudan before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Prendergast explained SSP’s objectives,
“We can raise the alarm bells that particular people vulnerable and we need to have action. And if there isn’t action taken and the attacks do happen, at least we have visual evidence, empirical evidence, to be able to present to the International Criminal Court, the United Nations Security Council, and others for hopeful prosecution in the future."
During his testimony, Clooney premiered his Sudan video trip diary, documenting the indiscriminate bombing of civilians in the Nuba Mountains located in the conflict-torn region of South Kordofan, Sudan. In speaking about SSP partners, Clooney noted that “The biggest gift we got was the satellites themselves. It’s hard to explain how important that is, because there is really only one satellite company in the area that can do this for us. So they’ve been an incredible partner to us, and continue to be.” And in praise of HHI, “They stay up all night working,” Clooney said, “They’re young people and they’re just doing it … they’re all heart. They’re great.” Watch the testimony.
"In general what we saw were Nuban people who were incredibly vulnerable…There’s a rainy season coming and there’s a great many people who could starve to death," explained Clooney. "This has been done intentionally, these people usually are farming and have planted by now, but they’re hiding in caves. What you see is a constant drip of fear every day those Antonovs fly overhead."
The Guardian claimed that his performance in the video “guaranteed to suck the wind out of the sails of any observer aiming to express a cynical disdain for the favoured causes of movie stars and other big name celebrities.” After testifying, Senator John Kerry, who presided over the hearing, praised Clooney and said, “This is a tremendous example of the best citizen activism.”
In between the Senate hearing and meeting with President Obama, Clooney and Prendergast sat down with PBS Newshour to talk about the violence in Sudan as well as the humanitarian crisis at hand.
And on Thursday, March 15, Enough Project Executive Director John Bradshaw appeared on CTV News to talk about Clooney's involvement with SSP. "What he did was bring to the United States Senate a real sense of urgency about the problems that are happening there in the Nuba Mountains and elsewhere in Sudan." Watch the interview clip.
For complete coverage of George Clooney's visit this week to Washington, D.C. check out the Enough Project’s Pinterest Board.