‘Crime Against Humanity’: Sudan Burns 26 Nuban Villages Across 54 Square Miles

Burned Huts in South Kordofan

"Razing a village is a war crime, and the torching of now at least 26 Nuban villages, plus the systematic destruction of crops and grasslands for cattle, is a crime against humanity,” said George Clooney, Co-founder of Satellite Sentinel Project. “What we’re seeing here is a widespread campaign of village and crop burning.”

The Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, confirms eyewitness reports that the government of Sudan engaged in scorched-earth warfare in the war-torn border state of South Kordofan, Sudan, through November. New DigitalGlobe satellite imagery shows that from November 17-27, a total of at least 26 Nuban villages, as well as food crops and grasslands for cattle grazing, across approximately 54 square miles (140 square kilometers), were systematically destroyed.

Last week, SSP, a partnership between the Enough Project and DigitalGlobe, documented the deliberate burning of 13 villages near Al Abassiya, South Kordofan. Our newest report, “Scorched Earth Near Dilling,” shows 13 more burned villages and an additional 23 square miles (82 square kilometers) of burn scars.

The systematic razing of civilian infrastructure and the deliberate burning of crops and fields can constitute a crime against humanity, and the before-and-after imagery in this report, analyzed for SSP by the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center, adds to the mounting evidence of the government of Sudan’s widespread campaign of violence against the Nuban people of South Kordofan.

“We’ve seen this this in Darfur,” said Clooney, “and it’s happening again in South Korfofan and Blue Nile. The international community must act more robustly to counter and create a consequence for these crimes.”

According to eyewitness reports, documented by SSP, the government of Sudan has deployed joint units comprised of Popular Defense Force, or PDF militia, along with Sudan Armed Forces and Central Reserve Police, to burn and loot villages in order to displace tens of thousands more Nuba people who are believed to sympathize with an anti-government political party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North.

The imagery, available on Flickr, shows examples of three burned villages, evidence of burned huts in two villages, and active fires in a third, in addition to scorched crops and grazing land around the area.

Read the report: “Scorched Earth Near Dilling, South Kordofan, Sudan.”

 

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