1. SOUNDBITE (English) George Clooney, Actor and Human Rights Activist:
"This morning we're prepared to give evidence of massive criminal behavior by the president of South Sudan and by his opposition, the ousted vice president of South Sudan and their generals. The simple fact is they are stealing money to fund their militias to attack and kill one another. The evidence is thorough, it is detailed and it is irrefutable. It involves arms dealers, international lawyers, international banks, international real estate. And it is because of these international actors that we're also able to provide solutions to help end this criminal behavior to protect innocent civilians."
(++WHITE FLASH BETWEEN SOUNDBITES++)
2. SOUNDBITE (English) George Clooney, Actor and Human Rights Activist:
"Since 2014, the US has given 1.5 billion dollars in aid to South Sudan. The United States and the world recognizes that South Sudan cannot become a failed state, not simply because of the humanitarian crisis but also because we have seen the influences that can take hold in a failed state. We can either take action now or we can spend the next decade mopping up the mess."
3. Cutaway of press at news conference
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) John Prendergast, Enough Project, Founding Director:
"Unfortunately, in South Sudan today, war crimes do pay. South Sudan leaders no longer take seriously the threats made by the United Nations, the United States and others to impose consequences for their behavior. South Sudan's leaders have learned that rape, rape as a war weapon, child soldier recruitment and mass killings are not enough to trigger any meaningful accountability measures. What's missing is international leverage. And so we consulted widely with banking and finance and policy experts and we're proposing a new approach to creating immediate and we think unprecedented leverage to counter mass atrocities being committed in South Sudan."
A human rights group co-founded by actor George Clooney charges that South Sudan's brutal civil war which has killed tens of thousands is being fueled by competition between the country's leaders who have amassed enormous wealth abroad.
Clooney and other members of The Sentry unveiled the report Monday at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington.
The group says its two-year investigation found that South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former deputy Riek Machar and those close to both men have looted the country in accumulating wealth that includes mansions, luxury cars and stakes in a number of businesses abroad.
The report says that officials in South Sudan who earn modest salaries have been able to amass fortunes with help from arms dealers, bankers, lawyers and others abroad.
South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, plunged into conflict soon after Kiir fired Machar from his post as vice president in 2013. A peace deal reached a year ago under international pressure has been violated repeatedly by fighting, and Machar fled the country in recent weeks.
The investigation found that the country's leaders, including some military generals, have much of their wealth in the form of high-end properties in neighboring countries such as Uganda and Kenya
The report urges the international community, including South Sudan's neighbors, to crack down on banks that fail to stop dubious transactions, and impose asset freezes on those responsible for human rights violations.
Clooney and human rights activist John Prendergast said they were delivering their report to President Barack Obama on Monday.