Satellite Sentinel News Roundup 9/30

On Sunday, September 25, SSP co-founder George Clooney was featured on the cover of Parade magazine, a publication distributed in over 500 newspapers around the country. When interviewer David Gergen asked Clooney what he thought his legacy might be, Clooney responded by talking about his work with the Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project in Sudan and South Sudan. (source)

George Clooney Parade Magazine Cover

I’m also spending time working on the issues in South Sudan. Maybe there’s some of this fame spotlight I’ve got that I can use elsewhere. My days are filled doing a lot of emailing and coaxing. I find it’s liberating to do those kinds of things and not have to worry about my career anymore…

Two million people were killed in the north-south war in Sudan before 2005. I wasn’t going to stand on the sidelines and not participate. We [Clooney has traveled with organizations including the International Rescue Committee and the Enough Project] went there four times, got the Newsweek cover [Feb. 28, 2011]. I set up this satellite system on the border of Abyei, and we’ve had incredible success in photographing mass atrocities. The idea is, we’re just going to keep the pressure on. Turning the lights on doesn’t mean anything stops. But it makes it harder, and that’s our job.

On Friday, September 23, the Washington Post ran an Associated Press article, quoting John C. Bradshaw, executive director of the Enough Project, “US group says Sudan moving troops, tanks toward contested region of Blue Nile state.” (source)

“Since May, the government of Sudan has used indiscriminate and disproportionate force, including campaigns to bombard civilians, in the three border areas of Abyei, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile State. This irrefutable, visual evidence of massive military operations in Blue Nile State provides a human security warning to civilians in Kurmuk and the surrounding area.”

Also on Friday, September 23, Voice of America published an article announcing SSP’s most recent report, “Images Show 'Massive' Troop Build-Up in Sudan.” (source)

New satellite images appear to show thousands of Sudanese government troops marching toward a rebel stronghold in a contested region near South Sudan.
The Satellite Sentinel Project and the Enough Project released the images Friday, saying at least 3,000 troops appear to be marching on Kurmuk in Blue Nile State.  The U.S.-based monitoring group says the forces include heavy armor, artillery, tanks and helicopter gunships.

On Monday, September 26, the World Tribune included SSP in its intelligence briefing, “Satellite images show Sudan massing troops in Blue Nile border area.” (source)

“The United States and the larger international community should invoke the Responsibility to Protect doctrine to exert greater pressure on the government of Sudan to spare the lives of non-combatants," [Enough Project executive director John C.] Bradshaw said.

On Tuesday, September 27, Voice of America published, “UN: 25,000 Sudanese Flee to Ethiopia.” (source)

Last week, a U.S.-based Satellite Sentinel Project said satellite images showed thousands of Sudanese government troops marching toward Kurmuk, a rebel stronghold.

In the September 27 National Post, Peter Goodspeed wrote, “Goodspeed Analysis: Sudan’s bloody war set to engulf the region once again.” (source)

Africa’s longest-running civil war — which claimed the lives of two million people in Sudan over 22 years — may be about to re-ignite and is threatening to engulf the surrounding region.

A report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) warns the spreading conflict could spark a new, protracted civil war…

Just last week, satellite images released by activist actor George Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) showed Sudan was massing thousands of troops in Blue Nile for a potential assault.

The Globe and Mail published an article by Geoffrey York, “Sudan conflict set to ‘spiral out of control’ over disputed border” on Tuesday, September 27. (source)

“Fighting could expand quickly within Sudan and spill over into South Sudan,” it said. “The conflict in Sudan may spiral out of control and engulf the region.”

Khartoum has already wielded its military power to seize control of the disputed regions of Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile over the past few months. Satellite images suggest that about 3,000 northern troops are massing in Blue Nile for a potential assault on rebel forces.

On Thursday September 28, Eric Reeves posted “Blue Nile: The Next Imminent Crisis in Sudan’s War on Its Own People” in The New Republic, drawing on the September 23 SSP report. (source)

In a matter of days, or hours, the northern Sudanese state of Blue Nile seems likely to be the scene of the most violent military confrontation in Sudan for almost a decade… based on substantial satellite photography, indicating that armed forces of Khartoum’s National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) regime are mobilizing in a massive formation of armor, troops, and military aircraft…

On Wednesday, September 29, FrontPage Mag posted, “Congressman Blasts Media for Sudan Apathy” citing the Enough Project and SSP in a story covering a congressional human rights briefing. (source)

Jehanne Henry, senior researcher on Sudan for Human Rights Watch, revealed that while U.S. response to the massacre taking place in Sudan was inadequate, it was more than that of the African Union and the U.N. Security Council. Neither of these agencies had yet even condemned Khartoum bombings. She also stated that there were reports of bombings and other atrocities taking place in Blue Nile State, another contested region, as well. Satellite photos from the Satellite Sentinel Project confirm these reports.