George Clooney: 'Stop a war before it starts' - Video

WASHINGTON, DC – George Clooney is appearing in a new Enough Project video, “Endgame in Sudan,” to urge people to take action that could help prevent a war in Sudan. The two-minute spot highlights Clooney’s recent trip to southern Sudan with Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast.

The oil-rich South is scheduled to vote next month on independence from the rest of Sudan. Many analysts fear that this could plunge the country back into civil war. The North and South fought a deadly 20-year war that ended in 2005 after 2 million people were killed.

The Enough Project and other advocacy groups in the Sudan Now campaign are calling on the U.S. to use its influence to pressure the parties into holding a peaceful referendum and negotiating post-referendum arrangements. Clooney, who has long been involved in advocacy for Sudan’s conflicts, including Darfur, is lending his celebrity to the public awareness-raising campaign.

“We were late to the Congo. We were late to Rwanda. We were late to Darfur,” Clooney says in the video. “We felt like this was a chance to be able to finally stop a war before it starts.”

The video, which was produced by the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch, a human rights organization that Clooney co-founded, debuted today on Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times blog.

Kristof wrote: “The Obama administration was AWOL on Sudan for its first 18 months but has lately been very energetic on Sudan diplomacy, trying frantically to avoid an outbreak of war. President Obama himself has set the pace, and the latest round of efforts and engagement has been very impressive.”

“I admire Clooney (and Ann Curry of NBC, who went with him and got an hour on Dateline) for trying to raise an alarm bell in the night,” Kristof continued. “Let’s hope that the alarms, and the latest burst of diplomacy and spotlight on South Sudan, are enough to avert a new war.”

The video issues a call for action at www.SudanActionNow.org, where people can sign a petition calling on the Obama administration to make peace in Sudan a priority. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has called the North-South situation “a ticking time bomb.” Sudan Now says that diplomacy is the best way to avert a war.

“Diplomacy in this particular instance can go a long way in saving a lot of peoples’ lives,” says Clooney.

To view “Endgame in Sudan” on the Enough Project’s YouTube channel, visit www.youtube.com/enoughproject