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George Clooney Urges Diplomatic Action to Prevent Conflict in Sudan

Photo Courtesy - The White House/ Pete Souza(NEW YORK) -- George Clooney is trying to raise awareness about the possible renewal of civil war in Sudan.  He recently returned from a week-long trip to southern Sudan, a region that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls "a ticking time bomb."

The region is torn from 21 years of a civil war that has killed two million people, according to the U.S. State Department.  Clooney is concerned that without immediate diplomatic action from the United States, Sudan is on its way to resume that bloody conflict.

The Oscar winner isn't the only one concerned.  In the past week, both the U.N. Security Council and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have visited the region.  Both organizations are trying to intervene before a Jan. 9 referendum to decide whether animist and Christian south Sudan should secede from the Muslim north, and which side will obtain ownership of the oil-rich region of Abyei.

Clooney is making an urgent plea for "robust" diplomatic action, which he believes can prevent further conflict.  To that end, he met with President Obama and Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday before making a presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations last night.

During his trip, Clooney traveled to remote, conflict-prone areas of southern Sudan.  With him was human rights activist John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, an anti-genocide advocacy group, and co-author of The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes.

Clooney first visited the region in 2008 with his father, when he shot a film on the genocide in Darfur to teach Americans about the conflict.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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