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WASHINGTON -- New DigitalGlobe satellite imagery confirms that Sudan and South Sudan have violated recent agreements by positioning troops in what is supposed to be a 12-mile (20-kilometer) demilitarized buffer zone along their contested border. Continued satellite monitoring of military installations, near the border villages of Heglig and Kiir Adem, prove that both governments have violated their obligations under the March 2013 treaty in which they agreed to implement September 2012 peace agreements.
WASHINGTON -- Satellite imagery from March 5, 2013, analyzed for the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) by DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center, shows newly-arrived main battle tanks, 10 heavy transporters (HETS), and two Mi-24 helicopter gunships, in Heglig, an oil producing region in South Kordofan, Sudan, which South Sudan claims lies within its territory. Heglig was the scene of the last major military engagement between Sudan and South Sudan in April 2012.
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.
Confirming reports that first emerged from local sources and Radio Dabanga, new Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) imagery from March 26, 2014 shows more than 400 huts, tents, and temporary shelters burned by Sudanese government-backed Janjaweed forces in Khor Abeche, at a South Darfur camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) located near a peacekeeping base. DigitalGlobe Intelligence Solutions (DGIS) image analysis finds that most of the destruction affected the structures adjacent to the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) peacekeeping compound, which itself was not damaged.
New Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) imagery provides independent confirmation of Sudan Air Force (SAF) bombardments in the mountainous Jebel Marra area of North Darfur, where civilians have been bombed for years.The use of indiscriminate aerial bombardment in densely populated areas like East Jebel Marra constitutes a war crime under international law.With these images, showing at least 17 bomb craters across six villages, SSP has confirmed the government’s long-standing practice of indiscriminately dropping bombs that devastate civilians living in the area solely because it is currently controlled by rebel forces.
This post, by the SSP team, originally appeared on the Daily Beast.
We went to college when green “Save Darfur” rubber bracelets were ubiquitous on campuses across the country. Congress passed a unanimous resolution in 2004 declaring that the situation in Darfur amounted to a state-sponsored genocide by proxy Janjaweed militias. We stood on the National Mall and chanted “never again starts right now.” A decade later … Darfur is up in flames once again.
This op-ed, authored by board member John Prendergast, originally appeared on Foreign Policy.
A little over three years ago, in advance of the referendum for South Sudan's independence, the great fear of the Sudanese and the broader international community was that the war between the north and south -- a war that was perhaps the second-deadliest globally since World War II -- might reignite. That crisis was averted because of immense international pressure, which resulted in a peaceful referendum and the birth of the world's newest country, demonstrating the power of preventive diplomacy when the international community is united, proactive, and engaged.