Satellite Sentinel Project Releases New Visual Evidence of Government of Sudan War Crimes in Abyei

Washington -- The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released new visual evidence that the Government of Sudan has committed grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and other war crimes, some of which may also constitute crimes against humanity. The totality of evidence from satellites and ground sources points to state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of much of the contested Abyei region, says SSP. The evidence is being conveyed to the International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council.
 
George Clooney, who initiated the Satellite Sentinel Project along with Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast, after they traveled to South Sudan in October 2010, stated: 
 
"We focused satellites on Abyei because everyone concerned believed that if the Sudan government would try to undermine the North-South peace, it would do so through Abyei. We now have undeniable proof of the Khartoum regime's war crimes in Abyei. We've captured visual evidence of the Sudan Armed Forces ransacking and razing Abyei town. This was a plan to disrupt the South's peaceful independence that everyone knew was coming, and that moment has arrived. Now that the photographic evidence exists, what is the UN Security Council going to do? With nearly a hundred thousand displaced, when does the UN actually have a responsibility to protect?"

The Enough Project's John Prendergast stated:
"What is happening in Abyei is what the international community feared would happen in Benghazi, Libya. We're not advocating military intervention, but we do think the Responsibility to Protect doctrine requires more assertive action in support of ongoing emergency diplomacy. President Obama and his team should begin to develop international support for denying debt relief, referring the Abyei case to the ICC, diplomatically isolating the regime, suspending all non-humanitarian aid, obstructing state-controlled bank transactions and freezing accounts which hold oil wealth diverted by senior regime officials."

SSP's recent imagery and reporting documents the destruction, and confirms the positioning in Abyei town of at least 10 Sudan Armed Forces main battle tanks, mobile artillery, heavy equipment transports, infantry fighting vehicles and trucks capable of rapid forward deployment, in addition to other assets within striking distance.
 
"Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's analysis of international humanitarian law has concluded, based on DigitalGlobe satellite imagery, that gross violations of the Geneva Conventions and other other laws of war have been perpetrated by the Government of Sudan," said Harvard Carr Center Executive Director Charlie Clements, MD. "Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced. Approximately one-third of all civilian structures in Abyei town have been razed. The Sudan Armed Forces used disproportionate force and indiscriminately targeted civilians."
 
Links
 
Read SSP's latest report, “Burned to the Ground: Evidence of Potential War Crimes and the Intentional Destruction of Abyei Town by the Government of Sudan":

 
View or download the latest DigitalGlobe satellite imagery:

 
Read SSP's previous report, "Troops, Tanks and Artillery at El Obeid Barracks," which shows Sudan Armed Forces massing additional troops, tanks, and artillery in El Obeid, North Kordofan, within striking distance of Sudan's North-South border and Abyei:

 
View or download exclusive photographs from the Enough Project of looting and razing in Abyei town:

 
View or download exclusive photographs of Internally Displaced Persons south of Abyei, taken by Tim Freccia for the Enough Project and SSP:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157626687296047/

 
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About the Satellite Sentinel Project
 
The Satellite Sentinel Project, http://satsentinel.org, combines satellite imagery analysis and field reports with Google’s Map Maker to deter the resumption of full-scale civil war between North and South Sudan. Not On Our Watch provided seed money to launch SSP. The Enough Project contributes field reports and policy analysis, and, together with Not On Our Watch and our Sudan Now partners, pressures policymakers by urging the public to act. UNOSAT analyzes satellite images and collaborates with Google and Trellon to design the web platform. Harvard Humanitarian Initiative provides research and leads the collection, human rights analysis, and corroboration of on-the-ground reports that contextualizes the imagery. DigitalGlobe provides satellite imagery and additional analysis.