Satellite Sentinel Project

Two Years of Satellite Evidence of the Sudanese Government’s War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture

Arichitects of Atrocity Cover

Over the past two years, the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, has had its eyes – a constellation of DigitalGlobe satellites – on the border between the Sudans, watching for, reporting on, and alerting policy makers and the public to evidence of mass atrocities, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
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Rights Groups Release Legal Analysis of Evidence of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity in Sudan

Date: 
Apr 3, 2013

Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, +1-202-386-1618

WASHINGTON – A new legal analysis by the Enough Project and its Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, finds compelling evidence that since June 2011, the government of Sudan has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

Two years of eyewitness reports, photos, videos, and satellite imagery -- analyzed by the DigitalGlobe Analytics Center and informed by the Enough Project’s sources on the ground, field research, and legal analysis -- present a strong dossier of evidence for referral to the International Criminal Court and to the United Nations. 

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

“The evidence of atrocity crimes that we have compiled is extensive and needs to be reviewed by the UN. SSP has documented the deliberate burning of 292 square miles (756 km²) of farms, orchards, and grasslands used for grazing cattle, and the deliberate destruction of 26 civilian villages in South Kordofan state and 16 villages in Blue Nile state. These actions appear to represent widespread and systematic government activities. Establishment of a U.N. commission of inquiry and possibly further investigations by the U.S. government and other international actors is necessary to uncover the full extent of the Sudanese government’s crimes.”

Ambassador David Scheffer, an Enough Project Senior Fellow, said:

“The weight of this information – eyewitness reports, photos, videos, and open-source documentation, corroborated by satellite imagery and analysis – demonstrates that the government of Sudan and its agents should be thoroughly investigated, immediately, for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The way forward lies in this report's recommendations for the creation of a U.N. Commission of Inquiry, national initiatives, and ultimately, a U.N. Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court.”

Satellite imagery included in this report cites specific examples of apparent crimes, including:

  • The deliberate burning and looting of at least 80 civilian structures, including a church, a mosque, and a grinding mill, in Um Bartumbu village, South Kordofan, in November 2011;
  •  The deliberate burning of 33 civilian structures in ‘Amara village, Blue Nile, in November 2011;
  • The deliberate destruction of civilian structures in Toroge village, South Kordofan, sometime between November 2011 and January 2012;
  •  The indiscriminate aerial bombing of civilian populations near the village of Angarto, South Kordofan, in March 2012;
  • The deliberate burning and looting of civilian structures, including a school compound, in the village of Gardud al Badry, South Kordofan, in May 2012 and the subsequent indiscriminate bombardment of the village in July 2012;
  •  The indiscriminate bombardment, razing, and looting of El Moreib village, South Kordofan, in August 2012;
  • The deliberate burning of 13 villages and 31 square miles of fields and forests to the southwest of the town of al Abassiya, South Kordofan, in November 2012;
  •  The deliberate burning of at least 26 villages and 54 square miles of fields and grasslands in three areas of South Kordofan state in November 2012.

The report concludes:

"The acts discussed in this report are likely only an outline of the realities on the ground in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and DigitalGlobe satellites continue to monitor the situation alongside citizen journalists operating in the two areas. The international community must do more to investigate the war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture being perpetrated by Sudanese government forces against their own people. If implemented quickly, a commission of inquiry and the involvement of the International Criminal Court prosecutor could serve as a substantial deterrent force against future violence."

Read the report, Architects of Atrocity: The Sudanese Government’s War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States - http://www.satsentinel.org/sites/default/files/Architects_of_Atrocity.pdf

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The Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, a partnership between the Enough Project and DigitalGlobe, conducts monitoring of the border between Sudan and South Sudan to assess the human security situation, identify potential threats to civilians, and detect, deter and document war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Enough Project provides field research, policy context, and communications strategy. DigitalGlobe provides imagery from its constellation of satellites and geospatial analysis from the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center. SSP is funded primarily by Not On Our Watch. To learn more about Enough, go to www.satsentinel.org.

 

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.

Architects of Atrocity: The Sudanese Government’s War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States

Over the past two years, the Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, have used DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and on-the-ground research to gather information that could serve as evidence of the Sudanese government’s responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity in its South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. This joint publication is a compilation of satellite imagery and legal analysis of the atrocities commmited since June 2011. 

Satellite imagery of aerial bombardment in Amara, Blue Nile, Sudan.

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In the News: 'Now, we have evidence that demands attention and accountability'

Major news outlets all over the world helped spread the word of ongoing atrocities in Sudan yesterday through their coverage of the Satellite Sentinel Project’s, or SSP’s, most recent report “Cameras on the Battlefield: Multimedia Confirmation of the Razing of Gardud al Badry, South Kordofan, Sudan” and corresponding video, “Village Burning, Torture in the Nuba Mountains: Naim's Story.”  Read More »

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The Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, released a multimedia package today presenting evidence that Sudan’s notoriously brutal Central Reserve Police, also known as “Abu Tira,” participated in, and filmed, the systematic burning and looting of the Nuba Mountains village of Gardud al Badry in the war-torn region of South Kordofan, Sudan.  Read More »

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