Determined to help those caught in deadly conflicts throughout Africa, George Clooney is expanding on earlier efforts from above to include investigative work on the ground. The actor and humanitarian earlier this week announced a new organization called The Sentry, an initiative created to expose those "perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts."
Clooney co-founded The Sentry in partnership with human rights activist John Prendergast, whose Enough Project has been a leading force in efforts to build peace and justice in Africa. In an interview with Al-Jazeera on Monday, Akshaya Kumar, a policy analyst with the Enough Project, said the collaboration was born out of frustration from ineffective traditional means of diplomacy.
"We were inspired by the success of financial warfare in the fight to stem terrorist operations, money laundering and drug trafficking," Kumar said. He later added that that "new efforts [to end wars] must centre on how to make war more costly than peace".
Unlike Clooney's Satellite Sentinel project, which uses satellite imagery to expose atrocities committed on the ground, The Sentry project will work closely with on-the-ground local journalists, activists and financial investigators to expose the money behind the conflicts.
“Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause,” said Clooney in a statement.
To help citizens assist in the effort, The Sentry also features an anonymous online tip page for anyone with information that might expose those behind the conflicts.
“The Sentry’s ultimate objective is to alter the incentives for funding or profiting from violence and mass atrocities," said Prendergast. "This will lend greater support to broader accountability measures as well as provide leverage to peace efforts aimed at ending Africa’s deadliest conflicts.”
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