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George Clooney presses Obama for commitment on Sudan

George Clooney, who recently returned from Sudan, is asking President Obama and the international community to take measures to prevent violence ahead of the country's Jan. 9 election.

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Actor George Clooney listens to human rights activist John Prendergast after a meeting about Sudan with U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Hyungwon Kang/Reuters

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President Barack Obama met with activist-actor George Clooney at the White House Tuesday to discuss U.S. involvement in Sudan ahead of a critical election early next year in Africa's largest nation.

Clooney recently returned from Sudan, and is asking the U.S. and world community to use international pressure and robust diplomacy to prevent violence ahead of the Jan. 9 election. The election is an independence referendum on south Sudan that is likely to split the country in two, and there are fears that the vote could lead to a new outbreak of north-south civil war.

"At a time that is one of the most politicized times ever, this is something that everyone agrees on: if there's some way to get ahead of this and stop it before it happens, we better," Clooney said after his meeting with the president.

IN PICTURES: Sudan elections

Obama and Clooney were joined in their meeting by activist John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide. Prendergast said U.S. involvement in containing violence before the election could be a "game-changer" for the Sudanese people.

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