Village Razings

Tukuls burning in Abyei Town

Raze – v. to tear down; demolish; level to the ground

A government that targets its own people's homes, burning them to the ground?

Five Villages Burned to the Ground

In Abyei, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan, the Government of Sudan, is reported to regularly destroy civilian structures. The Satellite Sentinel Project has documented the alleged deliberate burning of five towns in the border areas. In the last year, hundreds of peoples’ homes have been destroyed. Satellite imagery shows that Government of Sudan-aligned forces allegedly continue to target civilian structures.

SSP's first report, on March 4, 2011, documented intentionally burned civilian structures, consistent with reports of fighting in the Abyei region. A follow-up report confirmed at least 300 buildings strategically burned. The Government of Sudan is known for razing villages in Darfur, and is seen using this same tactic in Abyei. 

Eyes in the Sky

Analysis of DigitalGlobe imagery identifies specific razing attacks. In the case of numerous attacks in the Abyei region, satellite imagery shows armored vehicle tracks and craters consistent with aerial bombardment around the areas that were razed.

Evidence of intentional burning at El Feid South Kordofan

Looting Abyei

In addition to the crime of targeting and burning civilian structures, on May 26, 2011, SSP reported on evidence of SAF looting Abyei, yet another war crime under the Geneva Convention. Destruction and appropriation of property without the justification of military necessity is a violation of international humanitarian law. SAF and Misseriya militias looted the World Food Programme compound, which we caught by satellite.

trucks line up as militias loot abyei

As the conflict in Abyei reportedly ended, and Government of Sudan focused its destructive eye on South Kordofan and Blue Nile, Sudan. Reports as recent as December 2011 and January 2012 document intentional razing of civilian structures.

Reports and Imagery Related to Village Razings

3/4/11 - Flashpoint: Abyei

3/6/11 - Emergency Report: Confirmation of Intentional Burning of Tajalei

4/19/11 -The Razing: Intentional Burning at el-Feid, Nuba Mountains

5/26/11 - Looting Abyei: Ground and Satellite Corroboration

5/28/11 - Burned to the Ground: Evidence of Potential War Crimes and the Intentional Destruction of Abyei Town by the Government of Sudan

5/25/11 - SAF Incursion into Abyei; and Fact Sheet on Sudan Armed Forces Invasion

12/1/11 - Blue Nile Burning: Evidence of the Destruction of 'Amara Village

1/27/12 - Chokepoint: SAF Control of Refugee Route to South Sudan

7/20/12 - Match Battalion: Confirmation of the Razing of Um Bartumbu Village, South Kordofan, Sudan

10/16/12 - Cameras on the Battlefield: Multimedia Confirmation of the Razing of Gardud al Badry, South Kordofan, Sudan

11/30/2012 - Situation Report: Scorched Earth Near al Abassiya

12/6/2012 - Situation Report: Scorched Earth Near Dilling