Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Obama: Peas in guacamole are a no-no

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

At least 7 killed in battles as people await vore results

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

It's hot, get over it!

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US, Cuba reach deal to re-open embassies

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Cold, hard cash being made from France's heatwave

Read more

THE DEBATE

Greece: Better deal or bust (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Greece: Better deal or bust (part 1)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Crowdfund Greek media instead of Greek debt!

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's Border Bother: Ankara wary of emboldened Kurds (part 2)

Read more

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

THE INTERVIEW

THE INTERVIEW

Latest update : 2010-10-14

Clooney urges world not to abandon Sudan

Hollywood actor George Clooney and human rights activist John Prendergast have urged world leaders not to turn their backs on Sudan, where a referendum on southern independence threatens to bring about renewed violence.

“The international community needs to mount a diplomatic solution to prevent Sudan from plunging into fresh violence,” Hollywood actor George Clooney told FRANCE 24 on Wednesday.

Clooney and human rights activist John Prendergast, the founder of the Enough Project, an advocacy group that works to prevent genocide and war crimes, have returned from a visit to South Sudan, where residents are preparing to vote on whether to secede from the north in a January 9 referendum.

South Sudan, which is mainly Christian and animist, fought a two-decade civil war against the predominently Muslim north. Some 1.5 million people died in the conflict, either from fighting or through disease and famine.

A peace deal signed in 2005 finally brought an end to the war. It ruled that the south should be allowed to hold a referendum on independence.

On Tuesday Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Crimes Court under charges of genocide, said he would not accept an alternative to unity, despite his declared commitment to the peace deal.

“There is a tremendous amount of oil involved. Omar al-Bashir doesn’t want to come out losing the south, losing the oil revenue. This is a tinder box and there are a lot of matches being lit,” Clooney said.

Clooney said the referendum is expected to result in favour of independence for the south.
“They [people of South Sudan] have been enslaved, tortured, raped and murdered for generations, but they won the right to vote for their freedom in 2005 and they will on January 9,” the Hollywood actor said.

Clooney also warned that the authorities in Khartoum were more than likely to take military action in order to disrupt the vote.

Prendergast urged the Americans and Europeans to work with the African Union to create the conditions for a peaceful solution that could accommodate both parties.

“We need to restore the partnership that helped end Sudan’s civil war in 2005,” he told FRANCE 24.

Clooney and Prendergast also met US President Barack Obama on Tuesday to brief him on their visit to South Sudan, particularly to the Abyei region, a disputed oil-rich area straddling the border between north and south.

Appealing to the international community, Clooney said: “We’ve got 88 days to carve something out. We were late for Congo, we were late for Rwanda, and we were late for Darfur. We come in and mop up a mess and spend billions of dollars doing it.”

This is an opportunity to stop it before it happens. The situation requires sustained attention.”
 

By FRANCE 24

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-06-30 Iran

'There is reason to be optimistic' on Iran nuclear talks

Representatives of Iran and six world powers are in Vienna in a bid to finalise a nuclear deal. This follows 20 months of negotiations between Tehran and the P5+1. Trita Parsi,...

Read more

2015-06-30 Iraq

The head of Iraq's Iranian-backed forces fighting IS group

FRANCE 24 meets Hadi al-Ameri, the head of the Iran-backed forces battling the Islamic State (IS) group - known locally as "Daesh" - in northern Iraq.

Read more

2015-06-27 Google

EU Competition Commissioner says 'protecting integrity of single market'

Margrethe Vestager is the European Commissioner for Competition. Since taking office a little less than seven months ago, she has outlined antitrust probes against a series of...

Read more

2015-06-27 Yemen

'Yemen is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe'

Yemen is racked by a brutal war, with a Saudi-led coalition - supporting ousted President Hadi - fighting against Houthi rebels. Cédric Schweizer, who was until recently the head...

Read more

2015-06-25 France

'We have to assume that foreign intelligence services are spying on us'

Camille Grand is the Director of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris and a former diplomatic advisor at the French defence ministry. He reacts to revelations by...

Read more