ThinkProgress: Viewing The South Sudan Crisis From Space

Note: This piece, written by Hayes Brown, originally appeared on ThinkProgress.

Since the clashes between the South Sudanese government and rebel forces broke out in late December, the toll on the civilians caught in the crossfire has escalated more rapidly than many could have predicted. Reporting from on the ground can be difficult to come by at times in situations such as seen in the areas where fighting has been the most intense, the states of Jonglei and Unity. The Satellite Sentinel Project — a collaborative effort between the Enough Project and digital-globe with the backing of actor George Clooney — is attempting to break through the fog of war through tracking conflict from above the clouds.

While the struggle in South Sudan is primarly between President Silva Kiir and political opponent Riek Machar, it’s the civilians of the young country that have borne the brunt of the conflict since it escalated into open fighting. In turning the project’s satellites towards South Sudan, the Satellite Sentinel team has captured images of destroyed property, damaged and leaking oil refineries, and increased displacement of civilians. The following images, the first three of which were provided exclusively to ThinkProgress, showcase the devastation.

In the first image, taken over Bor, Jonglei’s capital, shows several buildings in the town’s market center reduced to rubble. Since the last pass of the satellite this weekend, an additional four buildings have been completely destroyed.

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Just 48 hours later, a satellite photo taken of the same area shows yet another building completely destroyed. 

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Read the full post at ThinkProgress.