George Clooney and a group of genocide scholars in the United States agree that war crimes are taking place in Sudan. The crimes, according to Clooney and the scholars, are taking place in the African country’s southern region.
The actor has long been involved in issues in Sudan, as well as South Sudan, even founding a group that uses satellite imagery to monitor for acts of war in the unstable region, reports CBS News.
Clooney’s group, the Satellite Sentinel Project, stated on Thursday that they observed Sudanese forces intentionally set 26 villages on fire in November. The actor stated:
“Razing a village is a war crime, and the torching of now at least 26 Nuban villages, plus the systematic destruction of crops and grasslands for cattle, is a crime against humanity.”
George Clooney went on to mention that the campaign being waged on the Sudanese villagers in the Nuban mountain region is similar to Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, implying that the village burnings are an act of genocide. The Christian Science Monitor notes that the actor went on to say:
“The international community must act more robustly to counter and create a consequence for these crimes.”
Sudanese troops have been fighting against rebels in the Nuba Mountans since South Sudan split off from Sudan in 2011. The rebels were formerly aligned with the Southern region, but their region was placed on the Sudan side. Many in the area feel that they wish they would have been placed with South Sudan.
While they have not acknowledged George Clooney’s assessment that Sudanese troops are engaging in war crimes against Nuban villages, the US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan visited the area in November and commented that it will be difficult for the two countries to resolve their differences without first resolving the conflict in the Nuban region.