The Oscar-winning actor — and recent Hollywood Foreign Press Lifetime Achievement Award winner — joined two other writers to pen an emotional op-ed for the New York Times, calling for an end to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in war-torn Darfur. Clooney has been outspoken about the topic for years now.
“In 2004, the United States declared Sudan’s actions a genocide,” Clooney wrote with John Prendergast, cofounder with Clooney of the Satellite Sentinel Project, and Akshaya Kumar, a policy analyst for the Enough Project. “After that spike in attention and concern, the world has largely forgotten about Darfur. Unfortunately, the government of Sudan has not.”
Since 2011, Darfur has been separated into the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan. Neither country is stable and they continue to fight. Clooney speaks out in his piece against a number of atrocities still taking place in the region, but one in particular: a mass rape that happened outside Tabit, a village set up for refugees from Darfur.
“After collecting more than 130 witness and survivor testimonies over the phone, its researchers concluded that at least 221 women had been raped by soldiers of the Sudanese Army over a 36-hour period last October,” the op-ed reads. “The peacekeepers’ attempts to investigate this incident were obstructed by the government, which allowed them into the town briefly for interviews that were conducted in a climate of intimidation.
“The ‘torture rapes’ in Tabit are a reminder to the world that the same conditions that led to the United States’ declaration of genocide in Darfur are still firmly in place, with devastating human consequences,” it continues. “We must not forget the survivors, and we must impose deterrent costs on the orchestrators and their enablers.”