- (Photo: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)
Actor George Clooney has visited the White House and spoken with President Obama about possible intervention in Sudan. Clooney is also scheduled to meet with China's President Hu Jintao later this month.
Clooney has been passionate about his work in Sudan and has just returned from a visit to the war-torn area, traveling between Sudan and what is now South Sudan. There he met with South Sudan President Salva Kir and helped found the Satellite Sentinel Project; which uses satellite imagery to track military movement and will bring greater security to the South Sudan region.
Two years ago Clooney traveled to the same area with reporter Ann Curry in the hopes of bringing attention to the threat of civil war and the plight of the South Sudanese. Back then, Clooney told Curry, "The cameras are going to follow me everywhere anyway. Why not follow me to a place where they should be going?"
He and Curry put together a one-hour documentary entitled "Winds of War: George Clooney in Sudan" that aired on NBC.
"Because we had an hour, we spend a little bit of time on what it is that may have made George Clooney go back [to Sudan] again and again," Curry told the Huffington Post. "He's allowing himself to be used, essentially."
Now Clooney is taking part in dialogue on Capitol Hill. "The good news is we feel like there is a commitment at a very high level," Clooney told reporters after his meeting with Obama.
Clooney is not calling for "any form of military involvement," but says, "This is something we have to do diplomatically."
Clooney testified before Congress alongside the co-founder of the Enough Project, which works "to end genocide and crimes against humanity," according to its website.
"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," Clooney testified.
"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," he explained.
Now the people of the South Sudanese face starvation if aid is not able to reach them.
Clooney also showed a four-minute video detailing the plight of the South Sudanese that featured graphic images of the war-torn country. According to the Associated Press, it "showed refugees in caves, the boy with bloody arms and a woman marked by her wounds."
Senator John Kerry has reportedly praised Clooney's efforts on behalf of the country. "This is a tremendous example of the best citizen activism," he has said.