George Clooney discusses trip to war-torn Sudan
Clooney calling for action in Sudan
- Duration 12:52
- Date Mar 18, 2012
Clooney calling for action in Sudan
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All of the news out of Afghanistan and Iran overshadowed another foreign trouble spot.
That is until this week when a witness with star power appeared on Capitol Hill.
Actor George Clooney told a senate hearing about his recent trip to the dangerous border area between Sudan and south today.
He testified about the targeting civilians there by the Sudanese government forces and how hundreds of thousands of people have been driven from their homes.
After his appearance Clooney and John Prendergast.
An activist who also travel to the region sat down with Chris Wallace Chris began by asking them to explain what was happening in that volatile area.
What's going on right there right now is exactly what we saw in the beginning of star for the same people.
-- well this year charged with war crimes.
The defense minister Hussein all government of Sudan all three of these men charged with war crimes at the case.
Are the same three men who are now.
-- mean indiscriminate.
Innocent civilians with -- enough to plans and with 300 millimeter Chinese rockets.
So had those been described in the Geneva convention that is war crimes so that's what they're doing right now.
So John why is the Sudanese government targeting these people in the Nuba mountains there's a civil war in Sudan.
As as many people remember south Sudan seceded.
After a referendum which 99% of the southerners decided to.
Two to -- -- in the -- that's left behind.
Without the south is at war in a number of places this is sort of the periphery.
Along the western and southern border of Sudan is on fire.
And that's you know basically it's where they're fighting a civil war and they're using.
Tactics that are -- that that are designed to clear.
People out -- ethnic cleansing in these areas where the war -- the act of war zones are so instead of fighting.
Directly against the the rebels they go afternoon the civilian.
Supporters of those rebellions.
Oldest trick in the book drain the water to catch the fish you drain the people out of an area and it's harder for the -- to stay afloat in there.
And so that's why we -- such terrible war crimes occur repeatedly.
Throughout this again during the last twenty years what did you witness.
On the ground what did you see happening to the people in the new -- my.
Well once we got into the content conflict zone.
But you can see first of all most of the remnants of fairly active war there were dead bodies like but as we -- further north where.
We first showed up -- -- of the villagers who come out with signs that say.
You know more hat knobs and all of that kind of stuff you did you know they're open it up foot cargo door and rolling these bums out I mean honestly they're trying to -- you -- probably -- -- but we.
What it really comes down to is that that it's a program a fear you know the chances of you can they kill people allotted the and one -- we were in.
There were 34 people killed in the last two months.
And it's a small village so they're killing people but more than that.
They're keeping them -- and -- in the rocks in decades so that they can't form and they missed their planting season this year and these.
-- to society in the world if you read the Bible these people have been there forever and now they're not gonna be able to feed themselves.
Coming up in the next couple months.
While you were there.
That was a rocket attack sure.
You walked up.
I -- a little too close to an unexploded bomb these hard Hollywood special facts I don't know you were risking your life.
Twelve the bomb when it was funny because -- -- -- you wanna see.
You because the day before as -- -- fifty bombs that there.
And give them sort kicker this handbook there's really terrible things there that we're standing on top of this bush and he pulls back the bush and there was a -- what a focal.
There's a -- And so then kept messing with the bush I thought maybe don't hit that thing with mistakes over time it's so we're glad to get out of there.
Role does oil play in all of this and what does it that you would like the US to put pressure on China today.
All of China is dependent on -- for 6% of its daily imports.
Six weeks ago.
Getting tired of how the the money from are the oil that they were exporting through the pipelines and in north Sudan.
-- -- was being confiscated to shut off the taps.
There is a tremendous -- moment of opportunity here -- China suddenly its interest are deeply affected.
Can't just sit back and hope things get resolved between Sudan and south Sudan or within Sudan.
They've got to get more actively involved to try to help with the United States helped -- -- -- want the US to go to China and say.
Stop the killing and Sudan and.
We've all done that I've done that trip to China and you try to throw guilt there way that does really work -- it never really hat.
You can't have you appeal to someone better angels in these situations.
What you can appeal to this time.
We actually have a situation where.
China and the United States both have economic interest in this being resolved.
When China's Biden.
Six more percent of oil somewhere else that's driving up our prices as well the president said the move -- of the press conference the other day.
We have an opportunity to exit with high level that the president is he -- president.
That's the perfect moment to say listen.
This is a moment for China and the united -- worked together.
To solve the problem it will get the oil turned back on so that you guys will -- to -- -- oil again of course.
The big -- the immediate issue.
Is to stop the bombing to stop the -- of the civilians.
Would you like to see the US get involved and imposing as part of an international coalition a no fly zone or bombing -- that the the Sudan.
But here's a -- that the truth of the matter this.
That and then you'll understand this if you're standing there and you see their kids with both his hands missing from.
101000 feet in the air just dropping bombs out indiscriminately on innocent people.
You'd really like to see -- NATO plane -- -- just take those guys out there that's that's your gut reaction.
In the real world what we're talking about we're not gonna seed then NATO.
-- in there we're -- -- -- unilaterally certainly would not be acting.
So we have to look at things we can do.
Realistically to try and put pressure on the government to stop doing it years saying President Obama on the -- what do you want to do.
First is obviously it's -- high level meetings.
With the Chinese to talk about working together and didn't that's actually done that's the most effective tool China has all of them but letters at this point.
Number one number two to use all those techniques we've learned going after terrorist to find their money and to really go after.
I'm embarrassed to say this but we would not be doing that segment.
Frankly I'm Sudan and if you weren't a part of it right.
Is that -- point committed to use your celebrity to shine a light on.
And atrocities on war criminals that.
Frankly the world as -- too willing to ignore.
On the senators now.
And as you are.
I grew up.
Around news I read a teleprompter when it was just push and Paper underneath that camera and when they said cut that segment you actually took a piece of Paper and cut the segment and taped it you know.
I'm a big believer in the importance of information at a news and I saw my father.
In the seventies.
Doing really good stories and then get getting bumped.
Because there was a Liz Taylor story there was going to be.
And the story that he did that had some real social value I was gonna get bumped it just happens that's sort of the nature of of the world we live and I called my father.
I was -- -- -- the crystal articles about the Sudan.
And as they remember you see you know you're stories bumped by Liz Taylor or something having Hollywood -- -- -- that's it will let's go to.
Look let's go to Darfur and you've been a newsman and I'll be Liz Taylor and let's get it on here.
And he said okay.
So yeah I believe that -- see if we go we're standing at a place where people are shooting rockets at us and worst enemy where there's.
A bomb hit the ground didn't blow up.
And that helps get attention to this story that we're trying to tell -- that's that's all we can do I don't make policy I can just make it louder.
While you were on this trip to Sudan the coney 4012.
Video -- found out about -- got off that went viral death millions of people watching it about Joseph colony.
Who but -- guerrillas the Lord's Resistance Army has either killed or displaced millions of people and in Central Africa.
What do you make of the fact that this has hit such a nerve and despite the -- to be able to.
What what doesn't matter.
What you know I think an interesting thing about this is.
What we do -- what what's important -- first of all you need some political will to get things done.
You know President Obama sent a hundred guys in.
Two to instruct.
People looking for company.
And he took some hits -- from it for a period of time.
They're less hits coming his way because of that video out so that helps you give it its encouragement.
Along the way.
John one thing that you have done.
Along with George and other people the start of the satellite sentinel project.
What is it what do you hope to accomplish.
-- the main objective we we basically collect imagery.
From the satellite company called Digital Globe which is donated literally millions of dollars have been -- correct.
And so millions of dollars worth of imagery and we re going to analyze them injury and the imagery is basically.
Bill moving -- the troops or that attack helicopters into position so we can basically say.
They're gonna attack this place and -- China light blue whistle and say.
It's gonna happen we know what's going to happen when we're gonna do about it -- how.
How do you.
With the disconnect in your life that that.
Last time I saw you when you're walking the red carpet at the Oscars -- a couple of days later you wore him.
The Nuba mountains with a kid who's had both of those hands on how do you understand that deal with that process.
Well you don't I grew up another family that.
Believe that you drink in a small town in Kentucky that believe that your job was to be involved.
With your fellow man you have a responsibility to participate in the human condition one way or another.
I can this you can sort of shut those things up I've gone.
It's it's a tricky thing there's a moment where you go and you'll be.
You would that when those rockets were going off and there's that moment you think well that's that's close those rockets.
You're you're -- you know I could actually I don't really have to compete here right now if there's better places to be.
But honestly there's not really any better place today.
-- you mean it's it actually is it isn't cleansing your palate doing all the other things that sometimes.
Feel self serving and so being able to go there and do something like that makes you feel better so.
That's that's good at the end of the movie.
And I gotta say it's very gripping you work a standing over a dead body out when the dust in the open area.
There's no economic agenda because no political agenda it's just save lives and that's it.
Honestly right now.
There are helpless people who are.
That there is a ticking time bomb on about a 100000.
People hiding and bills.
Who have never had this problem.
Before which is they this this -- people who are sitting there with their hands up going to help us.
They've always hidden -- it's bad weather whatever they form they take care of themselves.
And right now they are hiding for their lives and -- -- And and we need to do whatever we can to help them and so yes I think that.
Right now it's just -- -- Thank you thank you if it's good to see -- the busiest.
-- -- one update on Friday Clooney and his father neck and several others were arrested outside of the Sudanese embassy after protesting there.