Satellite Sentinel News Roundup 6/24

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.

Al Jazeera English featured a story on SSP on June 17, 2011: (source)

"The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), which monitors Sudan, says the new imagery from Friday showed the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) controlled Kadugli, capital of Southern Kordofan, and that thousands of civilians had been displaced. Al Jazeera speaks with Sudan army spokesperson, Sawarmi Khaled Saad who denies troops are being congregated in the area and says they are keen to uphold the peace agreement currently in place."



On June 18, Yahoo! News featured DigitalGlobe’s most recent satellite imagery, confirming “that the Sudan Armed Forces control the town of Kadugli in Sudan's tense border region of South Kordofan.” (source) and SudaneseOnline published SSP’s press release on June 18, “Thousands Displaced in Town Taken Over by Armed Forces, Satellite Imagery Shows.” (source)

The Guardian featured a Reuters piece highlighting the build-up of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and cited SSP’s evidence from Southern Kordofan. The article, “North Sudan military massing in Kadugli,” ran in the Sunday, June 19 edition. (source)

Satellite images show northern Sudanese military vehicles including heavy transports and artillery massing in Kadugli, the capital of the conflict-stricken the oil-producing Southern Kordofan state, say monitors.

Similar stories ran many publications including the Irish Times, the Gulf Times (based in Qatar), the Montreal Gazette, and the Taipei Times.

CNN published an article,Major offensive could be imminent in Sudan, monitors say” on Monday. (source)

The monitoring group, which combines satellite images with field reports to provide an early warning system for violence, identified at least 89 apparent military vehicles in the city, including heavy ammunition transport trucks, light vehicles and possible towed artillery pieces.

The images also reportedly show a camp of at least 300 temporary shelters clustered around the U.N. peacekeeping base north of Kadugli, evidence that thousands of civilians have been displaced, the group said.

On Tuesday, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow John Campbell wrote a blog post, "Sudan: Conflict in South Kordofan Worsens,"citing SSP’s images. (source)

But, it [the agreement demilitarizing Abyei] was only one step in one of Sudan’s conflicts and does not address the “ethnic cleansing” that has reportedly taken place under the auspices of the Khartoum security services. In recent days, the strife in South Kordofan state (which is in the North) has produced unsettling reports from journalists on the ground, Sudan experts abroad, and new satellite imagery from the Sudan Sentinel Project (SSP). Approximately sixty thousand people have fled the conflict in the Nuba mountains, some retreating to caves to avoid the aerial bombardment from Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). In a report released on June 17, SSP indicates eighty-nine SAF military vehicles in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan. As the northern army sweeps into the region, other reports suggest ethnically-targeted violence toward Nubans, a population of “black Africans” in the ethnically heterogeneous state that includes large “Arab” populations. Humanitarian organizations have limited access to the region.

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-wrote, "Stop Attacks Against the Innocent in Abyei." Project Syndicate translated the op-ed into nine languages for publication in major newspapers around the globe. (source)

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.

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