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Celebrities, Academics Band Together To Stop Sudanese Genocide04:10
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In this photo released by the United Nations and African Mission in Darfur, actor George Clooney, center, visits the Zamzam refugee camp in North Darfur, Sudan. (AP)
In this photo released by the United Nations and African Mission in Darfur, actor George Clooney, center, visits the Zamzam refugee camp in North Darfur, Sudan. (AP)

On January 9, the people of Southern Sudan will vote in a landmark referendum to decide if the country will secede from the North and become its own independent nation.

The week-long election will be monitored by the United Nations, but human rights activists are worried that the voting will ignite another round of genocide in Sudan.

Enter, of all people, actor George Clooney, who's been a vocal advocate for the southern Sudanese people. He got the idea that if he couldn't stop a violent crackdown by the North, he could at least get it on tape.

The project is called the Satellite Sentinel Project.

Clooney's idea is to raise a lot of money from his friends in Hollywood and rent time on photographic satellites. Google will help map the results, and a website offering up-to-date satellite imagery of Southern Sudan will go live on Thursday.

But who will actually monitor the situation in Sudan? That task will fall to some smart people in Cambridge.

Guest:

This segment aired on December 29, 2010.

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