Where are George Clooney and co now that Sudan needs them? | Nesrine Malik

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The people are rising up. But the western celebrities and the human rights industry that fought for this are absent

In 2017, a US law firm signed a contract with the Sudanese government, to assist in efforts to lift the economic sanctions that had been suffocating the country since 1997. Within weeks, George Clooney and John Prendergast, veteran activists for human rights in Sudan, wrote a letter in Time magazine, objecting to this. They asked rhetorically, did the law firm’s senior ranks, filled with ex-senators and congressmen, not know that president Omar al-Bashir’s regime had committed mass atrocities? That it was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Darfur? That it persecuted Christians? “The question of their firm working in the service of such a brutal and vile regime can only be answered by the simplest of terms,” they concluded. “Probably, they just don’t know.”

The sanctions were lifted, but it made little difference. The world had forgotten Sudan and was in no rush to be reminded. All that was associated with the country, ticked off neatly in the Clooney/Prendergast letter, was unsavoury. So allow me to remind you. For the past four weeks, Sudan has been seized by a popular uprising on the part of a people that has been suffering under a brutal dictatorship for 30 years, and from the effects of the global human rights machine that cut them off from the world for 20.

Now, as people rise up to remove a government that western campaigns have failed to vanquish, the moral market is closed

Related: ‘Change in people’s hearts’: anti-Bashir protests put Sudan at a crossroads

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Link : Where are George Clooney and co now that Sudan needs them? | Nesrine Malik



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