Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.
George Clooney and John Prendergast slumped down at a wooden table in a dusty school compound in southern Sudan. It was Oct. 4, and the two men were in the hometown of Valentino Achak Deng, whose experiences wandering the desert as a refugee during Sudan's last civil war were the basis for the best-selling book What Is the What.
Clooney, the actor, and Prendergast, a human-rights activist with 25 years of experience in Africa, had heard enough on their seven-day visit to know that a new round of atrocities could follow the January referendum on independence. If it did, the likelihood was that no one would be held accountable. Why not, Clooney asked, "work out some sort of a deal to spin a satellite" above southern Sudan and let the world watch to see what happens?
A new human rights project -- initiated by Not On Our Watch board member George Clooney -- will combine satellite imagery analysis and field reports with Google's Map Maker technology to deter the resumption of war between North and South Sudan.
Launched today, the Satellite Sentinel Project will use satellite imagery analysis and crowd-sourced mapping to monitor the tense border between North and South Sudan.
The Satellite Sentinel Project is available at www.satsentinel.org. Follow the link for further info.
“The Satellite Sentinel Project's methods have overturned the idea of what investigating human-rights abuses means,” writes Ian Daly in Wired UK magazine. This is an excerpt from his Satellite Sentinel Project profile, "Can you spot the human rights abuses here? You can with real-time satellite tracking," which appears in the March 2013 issue. You may download the magazine from iTunes or the Google Play Store, or read the full article online.
This op-ed originally appeared on USA Today.
After our first trip to Darfur together nearly a decade ago, we were certain that the enormity of the human rights crimes unfolding there would result in a major international response.
On January 16, the U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinatorin Sudan confirmed the biggest forced displacement in Darfur in recent years.
For months, the two Sudans have been facing off along their contested border. In September, they agreed to establish a buffer zone, 10 km north and south of the agreed upon center line, to separate their armed forces and reduce tension in the region. In the past week, both the governments of Sudan and South Sudan finally reported that their troops have withdrawn on their respective sides of the center line and will withdraw from the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone, or SDBZ.
Earlier this week, at the 2012 GEOINT Symposium—the nation’s largest intelligence event—the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, or USGIF, honored DigitalGlobe and theSatellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, with the 2012 Industry Intelligence Achievement Award. This was part of the USGIF Awards Program that annually recognizes the exceptional work of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft’s brightest minds. The award winners are nominated by organizations within the field of geospatial intelligence, known as GEOINT.