Business, Finance & Economics

Clooney: Sudan solutions


George Clooney in South Sudan in October 2010.


Tim Freccia

George Clooney has solutions for the violence in Sudan.

After South Sudan became independent in July, President Omar al-Bashir's regime began attacking its own people in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Bashir has starved and bombed minority groups in those provinces because they support opposition parties. Bashir says he is fighting rebel groups but the United Nations charges that he is attacking civilians.

What can be done?

George Clooney has some answers: Send in food aid to prevent the Sudan regime from starving its own people. Stop aerial bombing. Step up diplomatic pressure.

That is the advice that Hollywood actor/director Clooney gives in "Famine as a Weapon: It's Time to Stop Starvation in Sudan," a piece he wrote for Time with John Prendergast of Enough Project. Clooney and Prendergast have become a dynamic duo that bring a combination of star power and intellectual expertise to urge solutions to the crisis in Sudan  

Bashir's cross-border bombing and its threat of starvation should move the U.S. and broader international community to reenergize peace and protection efforts in Sudan, write Clooney and Prendergast. 

"Famine must be prevented. Counter-intuitively, sending aid into Sudan by any means necessary — backed by heavy international pressure for humanitarian corridors — might be the best way to compel the regime to lift its aid embargo," write the two activists. They say that strategy worked in the late 1980s when a cross-border operation from Kenya and Uganda embarrassed a previous Sudanese government and eventually convinced it to allow United Nations food aid. Urgent international aid is needed to prevent full-scale famine. 

"Aerial bombing must be stopped," write Clooney and Prendergast. They call on the U.N. Security Council to expand and enforce an existing ban on offensive military flights by the Sudan government.

Finally, Clooney and Prendergast call for stronger international diplomacy. "Two parallel high profile diplomatic initiatives — building on existing processes — should focus on a comprehensive peace deal with all the rebelling regions inside Sudan on the one hand and lasting political and security arrangements between Sudan and South Sudan on the other," write Clooney and Prendergast. "Without robust international action, the default option is protracted war both within Sudan and between Sudan and South Sudan."

It is an authoritative and persuasive opinion on how to tackle the ongoing problems of Sudan.

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