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Clooney to ABC's 'This Week': 'Our job is to stop it before it starts'
Satellite Sentinel Project live-tweeted Jake Tapper's interview of George Clooney and John Prendergast for ABC's "This Week" on the mission to use satellite imagery, field reports and crowd-sourced information to deter a return to war and possible mass atrocities in southern Sudan.
"We're going to be able to, you know, not show it afterward, but show it beforehand, that there were plans, there are tanks lined up, that there are helicopters online," said Clooney.
"This is all about deterrence and accountability," Prendergast told Tapper. "You know, the history of this government in Khartoum that's been in power for 20 years now is they've used divide-and-destroy methods to stay in power. So we figure that at this critical time in history, when they're about to lose a third of the country, the southern part of the country, which has most of the oil, that they're going to use some of their tried and true tactics, mostly related to gross human rights abuses, to undermine the referendum and nullify the results. So we want to make sure that we're watching in the sky and on the ground to deter the government in Khartoum from undertaking these kinds of methods to try to undermine this historic moment in Sudan."
Tapper queried whether the Satellite Sentinel Project would guard against malfeasance by any parties. Prendergast responded that an even-handed approach is key in order to ensure a referendum process that is "fair and free to that the people of the South can have their say about the future of their country."
Tapper, a Senior White House Correspondent, blogged about the interview for ABC News' "Political Punch."
In an exclusive interview this morning on 'This Week,' Clooney told me about the goals of the newly-launched Satellite Sentinel Project, a joint effort backed by the U.N., Google and human rights groups to have satellites monitor the border between Sudan’s northern and southern region.
Southern Sudan will vote next Sunday on whether to break away from the northern part of the country, which has been wracked with violence in the past decade. The Satellite Sentinel Project backed by Clooney and John Prendergast of the Enough Project will provide high-resolution images of the border region on the project’s website that the public can monitor, in hopes of drawing attention to the region in case of violence after the referendum.