In an effort to maintain a constant watch on Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir and his continued atrocities in the region, George Clooney says his Satellite Sentinel Project will be upgrading its surveillance.
“I have a satellite in areas [in Sudan] where there is a lot of violence because we want to keep an eye on some of the atrocities that are going on there and because we want not just accountability but we want to make it more and more difficult to act without ramifications,” Clooney said of the project started in 2010. “We find that it has been incredibly successful since now the attacks only happen at night or under cloud cover.”
To counter al-Bashir's new tactics, the 52-year-old actor says his spy satellite will be switching to infrared to see through clouds or the cover of night.
“It is our job to try and shine a light on those places,” he told reporters at the Venice Film Festival. “If it helps at all, it is worth it.”
Since 2006, Clooney has been passionately involved in bringing awareness to the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan. Besides several meetings with President Obama, the actor has also significantly drawn the public's attention to the crisis by personally visiting the region several times with reporters and documentary filmmakers. In March 2012, along with his father, Nick Clooney, and several former and current members of Congress, he was arrested during a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C.
“Honestly, right now there is a ticking time-bomb threatening roughly 100,000 helpless people who are hiding for their lives and terrorized,” Clooney told Fox News Sunday. “And if I can go to some place like that, and because someone shot rockets at us it gets media attention to a story we are trying to tell, I’m fine with that. I don’t make policy. I just make it louder.”
Earlier this summer, Clooney — a brand ambassador for coffee maker Nespresso — announced that he had convinced corporate bosses to shell out money for roads and other infrastructure needed to help revitalize Sudan's coffee industry by 2015.
"There is a real opportunity here," he said. "There is only one product coming from South Sudan right now, that's oil, and the problem (with) oil is that someone, a company, takes the oil from the ground, beneath the feet of the actual people who put (it) there, put it in a pipeline ... and they sell it. It (the money) doesn't seem to trickle back down to the people."
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