George Clooney: Sudan committing "war crimes"

Actor George Clooney addresses the Council on Foreign Relations regarding the situation in Sudan March 13, 2012, in New York.
Actor George Clooney addresses the Council on Foreign Relations regarding the situation in Sudan March 13, 2012, in New York.
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Updated at 10:08 a.m. ET

(CBS News) Actor George Clooney said on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday that the Sudanese government was committing "war crimes" along the border of the nation that separated from it last year, South Sudan.

Clooney and human rights activist John Prendergast spoke with Gayle King and Charlie Rose in advance of their expected appearance later in the day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the unstable border region between the two countries.

"There seems to be the exact same signs that we saw in the beginning of Darfur, which is a government bombing innocent civilians, and we were there and saw it firsthand, so we're going to talk about the urgency of some form of involvement," said Clooney. "That doesn't mean military, and it certainly doesn't mean money necessarily. What it means is good, strong, robust diplomacy, hopefully with China."

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China might be willing to get involved because Sudan cut the country off from the region's oil exports, Clooney said, adding that China imports 6 percent of its oil from the area.

"We want to try to choke off this government of Sudan," said Clooney. "We want to chase where their money is. They're not buying these weapons with Sudanese pounds. They have offshore accounts. We'd like to do what we did with the terrorists, which is chase the money and make it impossible for them to spend it."

Clooney and Prendergast traveled from South Sudan into the Nuba Mountains border region of Sudan last week, where violence has erupted since the new country's secession last July.

"We experienced for a few days what the people in Sudan experience on a daily basis," said Prendergast. "They have airplanes dropping bombs out of the sky. They have rockets being shot by the main towns that are controlled by the government. They're being starved in a policy of denial of humanitarian access, systematic rape, abduction of civilians by the Sudan army."

Clooney said it's likely that a civil war will break out in the country without some kind of foreign intervention.

"Understand this, when these people are bombing the way they are, they're committing rape again as a form of war, these are war crimes," said Clooney. "These are innocent civilians. The Geneva Convention is very clear about this. These are war crimes, so ... our job now is to try to put a stop to the war crimes."

Above, watch George Clooney and John Prendergast describe their visit to Sudan and what they'll tell officials in Washington