George and Nick Clooney Visit IRC Programs in Chad and Sudan
Actor and director George Clooney and his father, journalist Nick Clooney, have just returned from a week-long trip to southern Sudan and eastern Chad where they met with dozens of individuals who fled the brutal and worsening conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.
George Clooney says he and his father traveled to East Africa to hear first-hand accounts of Darfur’s violence and displacement and to give voice to the millions of innocent victims whose stories are not being heard by much of the world.
The Clooneys met up with International Rescue Committee aid workers in Sudan’s Bahr El Ghazal Province, where the IRC provides mobile medical services for communities struggling to recover from more than 20 years of civil war between the north and the south. With the IRC, they traveled to an area some 60 kilometers south of Darfur, where an estimated 500 people who fled the violence in Darfur have sought refuge.
The displaced families, from mostly Arabic tribes, live in makeshift shelters in a village that can hardly feed its own and where water is extremely scarce. Still, the uprooted say they are happy to be there. In interviews with the Clooneys, they describe attacks on their Darfur villages by Sudanese rebels and other marauding groups, the killing of family members, the looting of their farms and separation from children in the chaos of flight.
In spite of increasing instability in neighboring Chad, days later the Clooneys traveled to the country’s eastern region, where more than 200,000 refugees from Darfur have settled over the past two and half years.