Clooney advocates for Sudanese people

March 18, 2012 at 2:35 PM
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NEW YORK, March 18 (UPI) -- George Clooney says the targeting of civilians by Sudanese government forces who have driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes is a "war crime."

Clooney appeared on "Fox News Sunday" after testifying last week before a Senate hearing about his recent trip to the dangerous border area between Sudan and South Sudan.

Violent civil war has plagued the Sudan since South Sudan became an independent state in 2011.

"What's going on right there is exactly what we saw in the beginning of Darfur," Clooney said in his Fox interview. "The same people, Omar al-Bashir charged with war crimes, Harun, the defense minister, Husain."

"All three men charged with war crimes at The Hague are the same three who are now bombing indiscriminate innocent civilians with Antonov planes with 300-millimeter Chinese rockets," he said. "And so described in the Geneva Convention, that is a war crime. So, that's what they're doing right now."

On "Meet The Press," Clooney said a key to stopping the violence in Sudan is going through China.

"China has a $20 billion infrastructure built in for oil. China has a $20 billion infrastructure built in for oil. And they take 6 percent of their oil from the Sudan or their import. And South Sudan turned off the oil in a fight with the north… So they shut it off… they're not getting any money…So we have a unique moment… (to say) This is economically important for you and can be helpful. We can work together and it would be beneficial to both of us to make sure that we help orchestrate a peace," Clooney said.

Clooney was asked if he thought his involvement in the Sudan situation could make a difference.

"Well, you know, I grew up in a family ... that believed that your job was to be involved with your fellow man," he responded. "You have a responsibility to participate in the human condition, one way or another.

"I don't make policy. I can just make it louder."

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