George Clooney, fresh from a trip to the Sudan, crisscrossed D.C. Tuesday briefing lawmakers and President Obama on the fragile state of the region.
The actor, who regularly visits the Sudan region to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold there, traveled to remote locations last week ahead of a vote for the nation’s independence and a possible civil war. “If you knew a tsunami, or Katrina or a Haiti earthquake was coming, what would you do to save people?” Clooney asked.
Accompanying the 49-year-old was "Today Show" host Ann Curry, who blogged about the experience.
"In 100 days, people here will vote on whether to secede from the rest of Sudan, and war — even genocide — is predicted,” wrote Curry last week. “Remember Sudan is where Darfur is, and now its same president, Omar al-Bashir — who the International Criminal Court has indicted for genocide in Darfur — is expected to fight to keep South Sudan because it has more than 75 percent of the country’s oil.”
Clooney met with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's ranking member, to discuss the ongoing crisis in Darfur. “This is the one place that I can come in Washington and not be political,” the activist and Oscar-winning actor told reporters.
After his meeting with Obama, Clooney expressed optimism that the administration might address the issue unfolding in the Sudan.
"We wanted to let him know, first of all, that we were going to try and find as much support as he could, as much political will," Clooney said. "The good news is, this one of those issues even in the most politicized season I think I've ever seen that isn't political at all. Both Republicans and Democrats — everyone sort of agrees on diplomatic measures. We are very happy to see how involved, really involved, the president personally is in this issue because he understands that now, in 88 days from now, you can do all of this diplomatically, it won't cost a dime, and it won't cost American lives now. In 88 days, it's going to be mopping up a mess or there's a very good possibility and he has, right now, a great commitment at trying to avoid that."
For more on Clooney's visit, check out the video below: