George Clooney has been laying low in the film business recently. But he’s been getting more active politically. I told you a few weeks ago that he was donating $500,000 to the March 24th March for Our Lives. Now Clooney and John Prendergast have co-written an Op Ed piece for “Foreign Affairs” magazine on how to achieve peace in Africa.
In the piece, titled “The Key to Making Peace in Africa: Fighting Corruption Can Help End Conflict,” Clooney and Prendergast, the actor’s partner in The Sentry, a project of Clooney’s South Sudan effort called Not On Our Watch. write:
- “Every year, billions of aid dollars pour into Africa: taxpayers and donors around the world fund peacekeeping forces, state-building programs, humanitarian assistance, elections, and peace processes. But none of this support has been able to keep corrupt leaders and their network of beneficiaries from stealing billions of dollars.”
- “This is the fatal flaw of peacemaking in Africa: those supporting mediation lack the leverage necessary to stop corrupt figures from using their forces to bomb, burn, imprison, silence, torture, starve, impoverish, kill, and rape to maintain or gain power.”
- “Serious financial pressure with real bite is not only possible; it has proved effective in the past.”
- “A comprehensive strategy of using financial pressure for peace and human rights in South Sudan and other African war zones would cost very little. But it would give African mediators and their supporters in Washington, London, and elsewhere leverage in peace negotiations.”
Clooney certainly seems like he’s continuing to test the political waters recently. He has no movies lined up, but is busy producing, directing and acting in the TV version of Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22.” His commitment to Africa, South Sudan especially, is not new. He and actor Don Cheadle have continued to be very active with Not On Our Watch and have been for about a decade.