The Senate Foreign Relations Committee examined the independence and insecurity of Sudan and South Sudan. Actor and activist George Clooney testified about his work with the Satellite Sentinel Project, an organization he founded with human-rights activist John Prendergast.
Committee members discussed U.S. policies toward Sudan and South Sudan, including how the two countries can share oil revenues and Sudan’s continued presence on the list of countries that provide support to international terrorism.
During the first panel, Princeton Lyman, Special Envoy for Sudan and Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development detailed the continuing humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Lindborg also warned that if the current restriction on aid isn't lifted, the nation could be faced with famine by April.
During the second panel, Clooney testified about his visit to Southern Sudan (particularly the Nuba mountains), describing an atmosphere of fear amongst the residents due to attacks allegedly perpetrated by Sudan President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir. These attacks, he said, have driven many people to live in caves.
A short video of Clooney's trip to the area was also played for the committee.
South Sudan voted in 2011 to split from the north, but rebel forces continue to fight with government in the new country.