George Clooney Monitoring Violence During Sudan Elections

George Clooney at the White House after a meeting with President Barack Obama about Sudan's referendum on Oct. 12, 2010. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) JIM WATSON

NEW YORK (CBS) Hollywood star and activist George Clooney is currently in Sudan as the country prepares for an historic referendum.

PICTURES: George Clooney

On Sunday, voters in southern Sudan will go to the polls to determine whether to become independent from the north.

In hopes of preventing the tensions around the elections from growing into another civil crisis, Clooney has launched a satellite monitoring system that will keep a watchful eye for border violence in near real-time.

The Satellite Sentinel Project will monitor activity at the border using satellite images and will expose potential hotspots and threats to security, their website says.

"A lot of bad things really happen when the lights are turned off," he told CBS News. "We are just trying to turn the flood lights on."

The project is a joint venture with the U.N's Operational Satellite Applications Programme, Harvard University, Google, Enough Project and Clooney's human rights organization, Not On Our Watch, which he co-founded with actors Don Cheadle, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt.

"We are the antigenocide paparazzi," the actor told Time magazine. "We want them to enjoy the level of celebrity attention that I usually get. If you know your actions are going to be covered, you tend to behave much differently than when you operate in a vacuum."

All the images can be seen on the project's website, www.satsentinel.org.

Along with Clooney, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and U.S. Sen. John Kerry will be present for the vote, the Associated Press reports.

  • Joyce Lee

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