Satellite Sentinel News Roundup 6/16

Satellite Sentinel Project captures the attention of major media around the world, using satellite imagery and ground-based reporting to focus attention on and promote accountability for mass atrocities in Northern and Southern Sudan. Here is a round-up of recent, select media coverage of SSP.

Noteworthy Tweets:

@JaredCohen RT 6/8: @SudanSentinel:@jaredcohen How #tech can help end conflict - @BBCWorld http://bbc.in/ij11Ca #UN #humanrights @google

@RichardBranson: on 5/31: Bravo George Clooney for his @sudansentinel project, providing real-time evidence of crimes against humanity in #sudan

@JakeTapper RT 5/29: @SudanSentinel: Satellite Sentinel Project releases new visual evidence of Govt. of #Sudan war crimes in #Abyei: http://bit.ly/mr8c0Q

@AnnCurry on 5/29: George Clooney's @SudanSentinel project releases new visual evidence of war crimes in #Sudan http://bit.ly/mr8c0Q #Abeyei

 

Satellite Sentinel in the News:

The New Republic spotlighted the Satellite Sentinel Project in an article, “Sudan: Is a New Wave of Mass Crimes Underway?”  featured on the front pages of the Huffington Post and NPR. (source)

An early UN assessment of the aftermath of the brutal seizure of Abyei found that the actions by Khartoum’s military and militia forces—including killings and ethnically targeted destruction of property—were “tantamount to ethnic cleansing.”More than 100,000 Dinka Ngok—the northernmost of the Dinka tribal groups, the largest in the South—fled for  their lives to the south of Abyei. Amass of satellite and ground photography depicting ethnic cleansing and theextraordinary statements by former U.S. State Department Ambassadors-at-Large for War Crimes of the “crimes against humanity” further testified to the gravity of the assault.

On the “Africa Emerges” Global Post blog, Satellite Sentinel is mentioned in a post, “US urged to provide air cover to South Sudan.” The article links back to Enough’s press release: “United States Should Provide Air Defense Capabilities to Protect Civilians In Sudan.” (source)

It's obvious to all that Bashir is up to the same dirty tricks that he played in Darfur — using militias, the army, the air force against ordinary subsistence farmers in order to claim control of their land. George Clooney's Satellite Sentinel Project is providing plenty of photographs that prooved beyond a shadow of a doubt the Khartoum government's buildup troops and tanks along the disputed Abyei area. And then the satellite photos showed the expected attacks on villages and settlements.

CNN reported on the crisis in South Sudan, “Bloodshed escalates ahead of independence.” (source)

 

Everyone knew then that it [the referendum in January] would be a flashpoint. Prendergast, along with actor George Clooney, initiated the Satellite Sentinel Project, which combined satellite images with field reports to provide an early warning system for violence. The idea was that it would deter bloodshed….

Satellite images released last month by the Satellite Sentinel Project showed that homes in Abyei were razed, proof, said Prendergast, of crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

On the technology side, the BBC asks, “Can technology end conflict?” Jared Cohen from Google’s think/do tank, Google Ideas, thinks it can...(source)

"The images are a snapshot of what is going on. They can show, for instance, troop movements and arms build-ups," he [Lars Bromley] said.

UNOSAT (United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme) has teamed up with actor-turned-activist George Clooney as part of his Satellite Sentinel project, which aims to offer real-time evidence of what is happening in areas such as Sudan.

“South Sudan’s Gathering Storm” appeared in influential papers such as China Daily and Cairo Daily News thanks to Project Syndicate, which translates opinion pieces into nine languages and distributes them to 150 countries. John C. Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Enough Project, and Michael A. Newton, former Adviser to the US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, co-authored the piece. (source)

Sudan’s government, led by President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, has taken a page from its Darfur playbook by waging war once again on civilians and their property, this time attacking the disputed border region of Abyei on the eve of South Sudan’s legal secession next month.

Unlike in previous cases of attacks on civilians by Bashir’s regime, this time we don’t need to wait for fragmentary reports from the ground to piece together what happened. We have satellite imagery that shows what happened almost in real time. The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), initiated by George Clooney and the Enough Project, has provided irrefutable and nearly immediate evidence of this new wave of crimes committed against the civilian population in and around Abyei.

The DigitalGlobe satellite images of destruction are horrifyingly similar to what we have seen too many times in the past in Sudan. No government or international organization can plausibly plead ignorance or misinformation in the face of the photographic evidence available online and in the SSP report prepared by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. The imagery in the report shows the presence of at least ten Sudan Armed Forces battle tanks, mobile artillery pieces, and infantry fighting vehicles in Abyei. Analysis of the images also reveals that up to one-third of civilian structures in Abyei have been burned, and corroborates reports that tens of thousands of civilians have been misplaced.

 

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