Africa's next deadly war does not have to happen. In little over a month, the people of Southern Sudan will vote for independence, taking with them up to three-quarters of the country's known oil reserves and placing millions of civilians in the potential path of war.
They've done it before. The north and the south fought a 20-year civil war that ended in 2005 only after 2 million people were dead.
We recently spent time in Sudan along the border between the north and south and saw what a return to war could look like. Not On Our Watch and the Enough Project team made this video from our trip to highlight the challenges Sudan faces as it works toward holding a peaceful referendum and avoiding a return to civil war.
Nicholas Kristof premiered this video on his New York Times blog. He wrote, "Let's hope that the alarms, and the latest burst of diplomacy and spotlight on South Sudan, are enough to avert a new war."
There's only one month left. It's frighteningly late, but not too late, to stop the next round of bloodshed before it starts. Renewed war in Sudan is not inevitable. A complex but workable peace can be brokered if all interested parties become more deeply involved, and the US maintains its recent focus on contributing to a solution.
Your voice in support of US diplomacy is key. There is no time to wait. This is happening now. Visit Sudan Now to get involved.
We were late to Rwanda. We were late to Congo. We were late to Darfur. We can't afford to be late again. This is our chance to actually stop a war before it starts.
George Clooney is an actor and co-founder of the NGO Not On Our Watch. John Prendergast is co-founder of the Enough Project and co-author of The Enough Moment: The Fight to End Human Rights Crimes in Africa.