There’s a lot more to George Clooney than good clothing.
The Oscar winner – who was recently among People magazine’s Best Dressed in Hollywood – warned the United Nation’s most powerful body Thursday that if it did not send peacekeepers to Sudan’s Darfur region, millions would die in the first genocide of the 21st century.
Clooney and his journalist father Nick Clooney spent five days in Darfur in April, gathering personal stories of the death and suffering that has ravaged the region. Both have worked since their return to publicize the plight of the people there.
The mandate of African Union peacekeepers in Darfur expires at the end of the month and the Sudanese government has rejected their replacement by a U.N. force. If U.N. forces are not sent to replace them, Clooney warned the Security Council, all aid workers would leave and the 2.5 million refugees who depend on them would die.
“After September 30, you won’t need the U.N. You will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and headstones,” the actor said.
More than 200,000 people have been killed in the Darfur conflict, while over two million have fled their homes since 2003 when ethnic African tribes revolted against the Arab-led Khartoum government.
“The United States has called it genocide,” Clooney told council members. “For you, it’s called ethnic cleansing. But make no mistake it is the first genocide of the 21st century,” he said.
“… This genocide will be on your watch. How you deal with it will be your legacy, your Rwanda, your Cambodia, your Auschwitz,” Clooney said. “We were brought up to believe that the U.N. was formed to ensure that the Holocaust could never happen again.”
Clooney was addressing the Security Council at an informal briefing organized by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, which recently set up a Darfur Commission of Nobel laureates.
There have been rumors floating around that the actor is dating Ellen Barkin – but she was nowhere to be seen during this important briefing.