Siege: Evidence of SAF Encirclement of the Kauda Valley

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Based on the totality of the evidence presented in this report, the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) is issuing a human security alert for the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan, including the Kauda Valley. A human security alert is issued by SSP when evidence is collected indicating any of the following: a build-up of forces and/or an enhancement of infrastructure and logistical capabilities indicating either the intent and/or the ability of an armed actor to restrict civilian freedom of movement, detain or displace civilians, and/or attack civilian targets.

The evidence in this report indicates a pattern almost identical to the activity and disposition of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) reported by SSP before their invasion of Abyei in May of last year. That evidence prompted SSP to issue an immediate human security alert in March 2011. Currently, Sudanese road crews are, in one area, within 10 kilometers of completing the roads required to deploy heavy armor into the Kauda Valley. South Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun, indicted in 2008 by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur, stated in October 2011, “These [road construction] projects will be the weapon for defeating the enemies.”

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*Correction: In the original SSP report dated 25 January 2012, Fig.2 dated three images erroneously as 2011 satellite imagery. The images were taken on 13 and 14 January 2012, respectively. The correct date labels appear on Fig.2 in the report.