By Elizabeth Willoughby on
George Clooney was in southern Sudan last month to bring attention to the precarious upcoming referendum, which he says would bring independence to southern Sudan if it were allowed to be free and fair. It’s a referendum that northern Sudan does not welcome since 75 percent of the country’s oil is in the south.
“What is the worst case scenario?” Larry King asked the star on his return. “What can happen before January the 9th that should trouble us the most?”
“What can happen before January 9th,” says Clooney, “is that the government of Khartoum starts funding smaller groups to start inner fighting, like he did with the Janjaweed going into Darfur, to create chaos so that he can say, ‘Hey, look, the south, it can’t govern itself.’ The worst case scenario? Two-and-a-half million people died in the last war between the north and south that ended in 2005, and the south has a lot more guns and tanks now, so, the south is better armed, which means this could really, truly be a very bloody war.”
Clooney sees a tsunami coming, but with strong and quick international diplomacy he thinks there may be hope: "There is a peace agreement with the Bush administration. Barack Obama doesn’t want to see that lost under his administration. … What we need are conversations about diplomacy. Everyone agrees that there is a dangerous cloud coming."
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