Clooney arrested at protest for Sudan

Hollywood Superstar George Clooney, his father Nick Clooney, US Representative Jim Moran of Virginia, NAACP president Ben Jealous and dozens of others got arrested after blocking the entrance of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C. while protesting against the Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

I am just trying to raise attention,” Clooney pointed out to reporters as the police led him away. A few days before the protest, Clooney returned from his trip throughout the Sudan. He confirms the fear of the Sudan conflict turning into a huge disaster and a retractable conflict in the South Kordofan state. After South Sudan’s independence from the Sudan last year the problems have grown. While the north is of Arabic origin, where a white Muslim influenced culture is predominate, the majority of the southern part is populated by African Christians.

Although mainly Southerners live in the South Kordofan state, especially in the region of the Nuba Mountains, this region wasn’t recognized as a part of the south after the voting of the independence of South Sudan in 2011. Now this border region suffers from the dominant Arab government, which is abusing and killing mostly black Christian inhabitants that lives there. According to Amnesty International and the UN, humanitarian aid is desperately needed but the government is still blocking the help. Due to the coming rain season, thousands of people will suffer from starvation and, moreover, it is estimated that about 250,000 people will face serious emergency by the end of the next month if the region does not get help from outside. Last Wednesday George Clooney talked to US President Barrack Obama and told him about the situation in the Sudan he had observed during his secret tour. “We found children filled with shrapnel, including a nine-year-old boy who had both of his hands blown off,“ he told the US officials.

Clooney also asked Obama to put more pressure on China to force the government of Sudan to open the southern region of the country and thereby relief efforts and find a resolution. To understand China’s position in this matter one need to look further back. China has invested heavily in the Sudanese oil industry by building a $20 billion oil infrastructure from south, where the oil resources are stationed, to north where they collect the raw material to sell to the world market. The profit of the oil negotiations goes into the Chinese, not Sudanese public treasury. The South Sudan now has shut off the oil supplies to the north region which leaves both the Sudanese government and China without this essential source of income. Furthermore this closed oil supply has come to affect countries worldwide as well. According to Clooney China now has to turn to the open oil market. This will costs the Chinese government a bigger deal of money and will raise the price of gas. Nevertheless this is obviously not the most important issue regarding this case, but it plays an important part and complexes the already seemingly hopeless situation that people are facing in South Kordofan.

Are we seeing another Darfur? Thanks to people like the blogger Nick Kristof, Ryan Boyette or even George Clooney, the world knows through pictures, videos and blogs what is going on in this country. To quote George Clooney again: “Listen, there’s an Arab Spring, there’s Iran, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world. It’s hard to keep the focus for a long period of time on this, but that’s what our job is – to keep reminding people of this.”

By: Danira Milosevic,
Linn Andersson,
Angela Gutierrez Moreno
and Jesus Alcantara Landa


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