Satellite Imagery Shows Sudan Maintains Infantry in Border Zone

New satellite imagery reveals that in Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, maintains military units within the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone in violation of Sudan and South Sudan’s September 2012 agreements to remove all armed forces in the zone. DigitalGlobe imagery taken in July 2013 shows infantry presence in the Sudanese towns of Keri Kera and al Miquenis.

A  June 2013 Satellite Sentinel Project report previously documented violations near the South Korodofan villages of Keri Kera and al Miquenis, Sudan. July 2013 imagery confirms that forces remain active at those locations. As of July 6, 2013, two of the three earthen-bermed military installations at al Miqenis (El-Seriha) in Sudan’s South Kordofan state remain active.According to the report, installations at Keri Kera apparently continue to be manned with two artillery batteries (four howitzers), eight technicals (trucks with machine guns mounted in the cargo bed), several four-wheel drive, off-road vehicles, and two cargo trucks. The satellite image also shows the tracks of three armored vehicles consistent with tanks. The imagery also shows more than 120 tents and other structures in that location provide support and shelter to the reinforced infantry company (consisting of 150-200 personnel) believed to be billeted there.

In addition, DigitalGlobe imagery taken on July 9 reveals that an apparent SAF military installation at Keri Kera in Sudan’s White Nile state continues to be manned by a reinforced infantry company equipped with three apparent tanks, three howitzers, at least three technicals, and more than 100 tents.

The current installations do not show any signs of preparation for withdrawal. The presence of armed forces in the border zone is growing concern to both security and stability in the region.

Mark Quarterman, Enough Project Director of Research, states:

"The continued violations by Sudan of its agreement with South Sudan jeopardize the peace process between the two countries. The presence of Sudanese troops in the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone raises the chance that this border flashpoint could be the spark for renewed armed conflict."

 

Download the report here.