Note: This event is a rescheduled event from earlier this month. Please send questions, and join the conversation on November 27.
Over the past decade, technology and social media platforms have grown a rapid space, encouraging individuals and organizations to look for technology-based ways to combat human rights violations. Social media platforms are increasingly used to monitor conflicts and violence targeting civilians around the world.
Join Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan policy analyst Akshaya Kumar for a Google+ Hangout entitled "Using Tech to Fight Atrocities" and learn more about this important discussion. Kumar will be host the Hangout with Christopher Tuckwood, Executive Director and Co-founder of The Sentinel Project. The event will be moderated by Kyle Matthews of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.
This event is organized by the Darfur People's Association of New York with the purpose of urging the UN and UNSC and the United States to stand for justice for the victims of genocide in Darfur and accountability of perpetrators, by exploring every possible opportunity to deny al-Bashir entry to the US.
WASHINGTON --- 25 Sudan experts, human rights groups, and leading voices on genocide prevention, including George Clooney, Don Cheadle, and Omer Ismail and John Prendergast of the Enough Project released a letter addressed to President Obama today, calling on the U.S. government to do everything possible to dissuade President Bashir from travelling to New York City for next week's U.N. meetings.
Don Cheadle, Co-Founder of Not on Our Watch, said:
"Each time that President Bashir is allowed to travel freely, without the threat of arrest, is another blow to accountability and justice for his victims. The legal issues involved in Bashir's travel to the U.N. are complicated, but we hope that the U.S. and other countries do everything in their power to prevent this trip."
Citing the 2007 Genocide Accountability Act, which allows for the prosecution of genocidaires who are in the United States, even if their crimes were committed abroad, the letter urges the administration to announce that it will open a criminal prosecution once Bashir lands. While the letter acknowledges that the U.S. is generally obliged to facilitate travel for all visiting dignitaries, since it plays host to the United Nations, it goes on to outline a number of other diplomatic steps that the administration could be taking to dissuade President Bashir from persisting with his travel plans.
John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project, said:
"If Bashir ends up coming to the U.S. despite the administration's best efforts to convince him otherwise, all legal channels should be explored for prosecuting him under existing authority. His visit also highlights the deadly conflicts continuing to rage in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile regions of Sudan. President Obama should lead efforts at the U.N. General Assembly meetings to construct a credible and comprehensive peace process."
It is troubling that Sudan's president continues to travel around the world with impunity, notwithstanding a pending warrant for his arrest at the Hague. Now, he might even come to New York just as Sudan is facing some of the worst violence the region has seen in years. Human rights lawyers are investigating civil litigation to hold the Sudanese president accountable for his crimes and hope to serve him once he steps on U.S. soil. Meanwhile, activists are mobilizing on Capitol Hill, planning protests in New York City and warning Manhattan hotels against offering him accommodation.
The letter notes that if President Bashir attends next week's opening session at the U.N., it will be the first time that anyone who is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court has entered the country. It will also be President Bashir's first trip to the United States since 2006. Since then, at least 300,000 people have died in Sudan while millions more have been displaced from their homes.
# The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.
A new report by the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, reveals that Sudan and South Sudan have troops in at least 14 locations within their contested border zone in violation of September 2012 agreements to demilitarize the border region. Read More »
A new Satellite Sentinel Project report confirms that Sudan and South Sudan have violated bilateral agreements to create a safe demilitarized zone border. DigitalGlobe satellite imagery acquired in May and June 2013 reveals violations at least 14 locations within the zone.
By Satellite Sentinel Project and The Enough Project | Jun 14, 2013
Satellite Sentinel Project and Enough Project Press Release
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, email@example.com
Sudans: Satellite Imagery Confirms Troops in Demilitarized Zone
WASHINGTON -- New DigitalGlobe satellite imagery confirms that, in contradiction of U.N. reports, and in violation of security agreements, both Sudan and South Sudan maintain troops in at least 14 locations within their contested border zone. The two nations' agreements to create a safe, demilitarized border zone have recently been put in jeopardy by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's statements repudiating September 2012 cooperation agreements between the Sudans.
George Clooney, Co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, a partnership between the Enough Project and DigitalGlobe, said:
"Our satellite imagery independently proves that in spite of their promises otherwise, both Sudan and South Sudan have troops where they should not be. By shining a spotlight on their violations, we hope that the two states will see that they have too much to lose to keep undermining these important agreements."
On March 8, 2013, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to completely withdraw all military forces from the border zone by April 5. However, satellite imagery taken in May and June, and analyzed for SSP, by DigitalGlobe Analytics, reveals that almost two months after both nations should have withdrawn all of their troops, armed forces from both parties are present in multiple locations within the border zone.
On May 17, a report from the U.N. Secretary General noted that a joint monitoring team composed of U.N., Sudan, and South Sudan forces had “verified that there was no military presence” in several border locations, such as the South Sudanese towns of Kiir Adem, Teshwin, and Wunthou. The report also said that the joint team had provided “aerial verification” that SAF had withdrawn troops from border locations, such as the Sudanese towns of Radom and al Kwek, and the South Sudanese village of Kilo 4, and that “no armed forces were observed during those verifications either.” However, SSP's latest report confirms South Sudan and Sudan’s military presence in all six of those locations, as well as eight other locations, in contravention of their agreement to create a safe, demilitarized border zone.
John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project, stated:
"With bilateral issues such as Sudan's threat to shut off the oil pipeline deepening tensions, it is perilous for Sudan and South Sudan to persist with military deployments in contravention of their demilitarization agreement. The great risk of such transgressions is that any spark between the two states involving forces under their control in the border zone could start a raging fire of conflict."
May 23 imagery shows a reinforced infantry company of the Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, at Keri Kera and confirms that artillery howitzers and apparent tank tracks remain visible. Additionally, DigitalGlobe Analytics confirms that tents and structures located in the area are consistent with military presence. Previous analysis has confirmed that a SAF infantry unit supported by tanks and artillery has been present at Keri Kera for more than two years. Further documentation of violations in Sudan include imagery showing tents and foxholes consistent with military presence in the al Kwek area of Sudan’s White Nile state.
DigitalGlobe imagery taken on June 3 also reveals evidence of noncompliance by South Sudan. Satellite imagery released by SSP reveals elements of a Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA, reinforced infantry battalion and four tanks in Wunthou, five miles (7.5 km) south of the border. At least 200 tents and temporary structures are also visible. SSP also released DigitalGlobe imagery of what appears to be a prohibited, platoon-sized infantry unit near the border village of Emtidad, in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.
“The Sudans have taken some steps toward setting up this demilitarized zone, but this satellite imagery proves that armed forces remain in at least 14 locations. The U.N took an important first step by authorizing more peacekeeping troops to help monitor this area. But for real stabilization to occur, Sudan and South Sudan need to commit to complete compliance.”