Convoy: Evidence of Heavy Military Activity in Kadugli, South Kordofan

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Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has identified through analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery captured on 4 July 2011 an apparent Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) convoy travelling through Kadugli town consistent with an at least regiment-sized unit, which is equal to approximately 1000 troops. The convoy is at least 2km in length, and could be potentially longer. There are at least 80 vehicles visible in the apparent convoy, including 49 light vehicles, cargo trucks, a vehicle consistent with a fuel or water tanker, heavy transports and towed artillery. The convoy is of significant size and appears to be heading to the north, though its origin, destination and total length remains unknown.

Additionally, a heavy transport plane consistent with an Iluyshin 76 (Il-76) is visible on 4 July at the Kadugli airstrip with a mass of people and/or material gathered near the plane. Two helicopters consistent with Hind Mi-24 helicopter gunships and a plane consistent with an Antonov 24/26 are visible as well. To the west of Kadugli, a known SAF installation has apparently been recently fortified and multiple occupied and unoccupied artillery firing positions are visible.

The recent improved fortifications and significant movement of troops, vehicles, and aircraft are occurring as fighting between the SAF and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has been reported in the vicinity of Kadugli in the past week. Battles have reportedly occurred between the two forces west of Kadugli at Kahliat, southeast of Kadugli at Al Hamra, and elsewhere in the vicinity since 30 June.