Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, firstname.lastname@example.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."
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.
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.
By The Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project Teams | Apr 3, 2013
In recent months, a hepatitis E epidemic has spread to four refugee camps situated in Maban County along the border of Sudan and South Sudan. Nearly 113,000 Sudanese refugees live in these four crowded camps in Upper Nile State. Currently, South Sudan hosts over 190,000 refugees who have fled from the Sudanese government’s campaign of violence against civilians. Thus far, the hepatitis E outbreak has affected more than 7,287 refugees and resulted in 128 deaths. Read More »
Fix the Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans: Enough Project
WASHINGTON – The international community should not be lulled into a false sense of security because of the incremental steps Khartoum has recently taken in its bilateral relationship with South Sudan, argues a new Enough Project paper. These types of small steps forward after months of delay have been Khartoum’s standard operating procedure for years.
The UN has announced that a joint monitoring mission visited two hot spots, Kiir Adem and Tishwin, in the buffer zone between the two countries. The mission confirmed that both sides' armed forces had withdrawn from those locations. Although this is significant, the Enough Project's new report, The Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans, puts these developments into a broader context by explaining why such incremental progress contains the seeds of even more conflict. The paper spotlights the dangerous cycle of incremental agreements, whose implementation is delayed until yet another incremental step is hailed as a breakthrough.
Enough Project Senior Advisor Omer Ismail said:
The international community is celebrating the incremental steps forward in March 2013 as a breakthrough. Efforts to secure peace between the Sudans are trapped in a cycle where the international community applauds incremental progress while tolerating dangerous delays. Continued reluctance to put a stop to Khartoum's bad faith tactics undermines efforts to secure a durable peace. When combined with the ineffectiveness of the African Union's mediation efforts and the perverse incentives produced by internal political dynamics within the Sudans, tolerance of Bashir's intransigence perpetuates conflict. We need to hold both Sudans to all of their September 2012 commitments.
The paper offers three recommendations for a more effective peace process. First, the Enough Project stresses the needs to leverage pressure on the two Sudans to move them towards durable and enforced agreements. Second, it suggests shifting the focus away from high-stakes summits towards technical discussions since real negotiations will require stronger channels of bilateral communication between the Sudans. Finally, the paper argues that the U.S. government needs to strengthen Sudanese opposition and civil society to help create the space necessary to shift internal political pressures towards peace.
Enough Project Research Associate Akshaya Kumar said:
We keep allowing Khartoum to move the goalposts and redefine success. Real progress towards a durable peace needs a new approach. Effectively leveraging international pressure on both parties and shifting the focus away from high stakes summits will help. Since a lack of political will within the Sudans is the root cause of much of the trouble, support for opposition efforts to widen the political space will be essential.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.
The international community’s current approach to brokering peace between the two Sudans is caught in a counterproductive cycle. This paper argues that the issues troubling the most recent negotiations are symptomatic of broader problems with the international community’s efforts to broker peace in the Sudans, identifies the underlying reasons why the process has failed to move forward, and proposes three recommendations for a more viable strategy.
The U.N. reports that every day approximately 338 refugees cross from South Kordofan, Sudan, into newly independent South Sudan. Yida refugee camp now hosts more than 70,000 Sudanese who are fleeing atrocities and starvation warfare in their home country. However, the U.N.'s refugee agency maintains that Yida, which lies mere kilometers from the international border between the two Sudans, is an unsuitable location for an “official” refugee camp. Notwithstanding the fact that the camp has been hosting refugees for almost 20 months, the U.N. classifies the camp as a "transit" facility. The reality on the ground tells a very different story. Read More »
During the last 10 years, Guisma went from living with her brothers and parents in their village in Darfur, to seeing two older brothers killed during the brutal attack on their home, another younger brother die during the escape to Chad, and a little sister die in the refugee camp that is now Guisma's home. Read More »