George Clooney is speaking out after The Guardian published an op-ed questioning his loyalty in helping Sudan.
The article, entitled Where are George Clooney and co now that Sudan needs them?, wondered why Clooney and his longtime activism partner John Prendergast have stayed silent while the Sudan protests are becoming more and more violent.
But in their own article for the outlet, Clooney and Prendergast responded: “We’ve learned that working behind the scenes achieves more than naming and shaming.”
“This is indeed a critical moment in Sudan’s fraught history. The people of Sudan are rightly leading demands for change, and we believe our role is to support the cause of human rights for Sudanese people by using strategic and tactical advocacy in Europe, the US, and Africa focused on key points of leverage,” they explained. “As the demonstrations have unfolded this past month, our entire team has continuously engaged officials in governments around the world to take measures to hold the Bashir regime accountable. Much of this advocacy is not done in public.”
But the pair is working “behind-the-scenes”: “Over time, we realized that naming and shaming the regime and exposing its complicity in mass atrocities were not having sufficient impact on the policies of governments in Europe, America and Africa, so we decided on a new approach.”
They continued, “We assessed the most significant point of vulnerability of this unshameable regime to be all the money it has been stealing from its people and squirrelling out of the country into hidden accounts, real estate and shell companies, funnelling the rest of the funds into the machinery of state repression now responsible for killing and arresting protesters. So we decided to go after the regime’s massive corruption and illicit financial flows by creating an organization called The Sentry, aimed at making it harder for them to loot the natural resources of the country to line their pockets and finance their repression.”
In conclusion, they wrote, “This is a catalytic moment for the people of Sudan. We and our team – which includes Sudanese experts – are working in every way we can to support the aspirations of the people of Sudan for a peaceful transition from three decades of violent, kleptocratic dictatorship.”
Read more from Clooney and Prendergast here.