17 March 2017
Respected Hollywood actor, George Clooney has blamed the deadly famine in South Sudan on the country’s elite.
In an opinion piece, the Oceans’ trilogy actor proposed a simple solution to the famine that is currently ravaging the African country. He said famine could be brought to an end if world leaders would step in and keep local politicians from fighting over and wasting funds that could help feed the starving nation.
Describing the famine as “government-made”, Clooney said on Thursday that South Sudan’s political elite were fanning ethnic tensions to build fortunes in the oil-rich nation.
Civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013 after a disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his former vice-president Riek Machar exploded into military confrontation.
The conflict pits the military of Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, against forces loyal to Machar, a Nuer.
Nearly half the population, or about 5.5 million people, is expected to be without a reliable source of food by July.
Clooney, in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, called for “choking the illicit financial flows of the kleptocrats”.
“Even while the world responds to the famine, it’s time also to address root causes,” said Clooney, who co-authored the piece with human rights activist John Prendergast.