George Clooney Says Battling Corruption Will Help End African Conflicts

George Clooney - Suburbicon photocall during the 74th Venice Film Festival -Getty-H 2017
Stefania D'Alessandro/WireImage

The Hollywood star, in a 'Foreign Affairs' op-ed, says corrupt African leaders are "stealing billions of dollars" aimed at aid and peacekeeping forces.

George Clooney on Wednesday said efforts to end conflict in Africa call for fighting corrupt rulers.

In a Foreign Affairs magazine op-ed, Clooney and fellow The Sentry co-founder John Prendergast cited a "fatal flaw" in international efforts to end poverty and warfare in Africa: World leaders haven't stopped corrupt African leaders "from using their forces to bomb, burn, imprison, silence, torture, starve, impoverish, kill, and rape to maintain or gain power." 

Clooney, who is known for his Not on Our Watch project to eliminate genocide and a highly publicized visit to Sudan in 2014, and Prendergast wrote that aid dollars each year pour into Africa to fund peacekeeping forces and humanitarian efforts. "But none of this support has been able to keep corrupt leaders and their network of beneficiaries from stealing billions of dollars," they wrote.

A co-founder of humanitarian organizations like The Sentry, a nonprofit anti-war crimes initiative, and Not on Our Watch, Clooney in the past has highlighted humanitarian crises in Sudan, Darfur and other parts of Africa.

"Serious financial pressure with real bite is not only possible; it has proved effective in the past," Clooney and Prendergast added as they argued that no coordinated effort to stop the illegal siphoning of money by African leaders and their foreign business partners had been attempted.