Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.
Not On Our Watch is a federally registered 501(c)3 charity.
This op-ed was originally published on VICE, and co-authored by board members George Clooney and John Prendergast.
Under the cover of darkness, in a world whose attention is diverted by more camera-accessible crises in Ukraine, Syria, and the Central African Republic (CAR), the Sudan government has revived and intensified its genocidal strategy in the main war zones of Sudan. No media is allowed. The few aid organizations still permitted to operate there are under strict agreement to do so quietly. And the United Nations mission in Darfur has recently been implicated in a broad institutional cover-up of both the scale of devastation, and of the Sudan government’s direct role in creating the crisis.
During the May 20 Elie Wiesel Foundation dinner, George Clooney announced an expansion to the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), an initiative he co-founded three years ago with fellow board member John Prendergast. While it will continue to use satellite imagery to monitor and warn against human rights abuses in war-torn Sudan and South Sudan, SSP will expand its work in reaction to the changes in modern conflicts. As conflicts in Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and the surrounding region become more linked with regional criminal networks, SSP will widen its focus to undertake forensic investigations to reveal how those committing mass atrocities are funding their activities and where they are hiding their stolen assets.
One decade after Darfur’s Janjaweed militiamen earned global infamy as “devils on horseback,” Sudan is experiencing brutal violence at their hands once again. Newly armed and outfitted, re-branded as the "Rapid Support Force" (RSF) and flying the national flag, the government of President Omar al-Bashir has unleashed this new military entity, in a devastating campaign of mass atrocities. This report—the product of nine months of Satellite Sentinel Project and Enough Project research—traces the movements of the RSF across Sudan and exposes the civilian targeting that has become the hallmark of their activities. By connecting the Sudanese government’s own public statements with evidence from affected communities, the report lays out the case for the individual criminal responsibility of high-level Sudanese government officials for both the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the RSF.
Follow the link for the full report, as well as an Activist Brief on What You Can Do.
Since December 2013, the Central African Republic (CAR) has experienced extreme instability and violence, resulting in the death of at least 2,000 people, roughly 643,000 internally displaced persons, and an additional 100,000 refugees to the more than 200,000 that were already living in neighboring countries. While existing African Union and French forces have attempted to contain the fighting, peacemakers must think beyond immediate responses to the crisis. The violence will not end unless economic and political drivers of the conflict are addressed.
This op-ed, authored by board member John Prendergast and Eric Reeves, originally appeared in The Daily Beast.
With Secretary of State John Kerry traveling to Ethiopia today, site of the peace talks for South Sudan, he will be greeted by a bracing reality: no civilians in the world are in greater danger than those of South Sudan. Not in Syria, Central African Republic, or Darfur is the threat of targeting on the basis of identity so immediate as it is for certain ethnic groups in vulnerable areas of South Sudan. Given the lack of protection by Juba government forces, the inability of UN troops to protect large numbers of people, and the absence of significantly greater protection from the broader international community, hundreds of thousands of people are likely to die in the coming months, whether directly through targeted violence or indirectly through hunger. It is an unsurpassably urgent crisis and yet the world's response has been in no way comparable to the threats civilians now face on a daily basis.
The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) is issuing a human security alert for the civilian population of the Kauda Valley in the war-torn Nuba Mountains region of Sudan. Digital Globe Intelligence Solutions (DGIS) imagery has captured a significant mobilization of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) around Rashad, Delaba, and Umm Abdallah in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Sudan. The SAF mobilization, which includes the movement of heavy weaponry into the area, appears to be preparation for an assault on Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) bases in the Kauda Valley. Most significantly, DGIS imagery from Delaba confirms the presence of a Chinese-manufactured WS-01 multiple rocket launcher battery,* a powerful and indiscriminate weapon within the SAF inventory, that is not normally deployed to low-level conflicts. In addition, sources on the ground have confirmed the presence of the reconstituted Janjaweed, known as the Rapid Support Force (RSF), west of Rashad, which routinely engages in thedestructionof entire civilian villages. The RSF include local militias that are backed by the Sudanese government to forcibly displace civilians and engage rebel forces. The combination of the WS-01 multiple rocket launcher and the RSF Janjaweed poses a grave threat to civilian populations in the Nuba Mountains region.
New Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) imagery of the strategic town of Kaka in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state confirms the burning of 1071 huts and tukuls and some limited damage to the central market. The 1071 structures were burned in Kaka between March 14 and April 2, 2014, when the new images were secured. The town, which lies on the road to South Sudan’s only productive oilfields in Paloch or Palouge, was attacked as recently as four to five days ago. South Sudanese armed opposition leader Riek Machar recently announced that his forces are seeking to control the Paloch oilfields, which currentlyproduce around 150,000 barrels a day, worth around $15 million dollars. An attack is likely imminent.