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.
As far as the eye could see, thousands of displaced people were scattered, accompanied by what little they had left in the world.This surreal vista, which we saw visiting Abyei in January, had no shelters but had big beds and suitcases and dresser drawers sitting in the open or under trees.After years of displacement, thanks to the north-south war that raged in Sudan from 1983 to 2005, thousands of Sudanese had begun the long journey home. They hoped to vote that month in the referendum on southern independence.
But they never voted, because the government in Khartoum wouldn’t allow the plebescite to take place in Abyei, and they never resettled, because they had no support to return after so long. So thousands hunkered down in this Connecticut-size region between North and South Sudan, two historically separate territories that were lumped together at independence in 1956 and whose racial and religious divides have chafed since. Last week the long history of tensions ignited when Khartoum sent its army and allied militias to forcibly occupy the area. The regime engaged in aerial bombing, tank and artillery attacks. Its militias looted and burned villages.
The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has identified Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) equipped with heavy armor and artillery at the El Obeid Barracks, approximately 270 miles from Abyei town, possibly preparing for deployment to southern areas. Based on analysis of available transportation logistics and the formation of the units, SSP has concluded that the forces there are capable of imminent forward movement.
The force includes troop units of at least company size, towable artillery pieces, main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and Heavy Equipment Transports capable of reaching Sudan’s North-South border or Abyei town in less than a day.
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.
Few have ever heard of the Nuba Mountains village of Um Bartumbu, and fewer still have been there. It is located in the conflict-torn state of South Kordofan, Sudan, where troops fighting for the government of Sudan, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North, or SPLM/A-N, have been fighting since June 2011. Um Bartumbu Village does not appear on most maps, but it hosts a clinic, a mosque, Sudanese Church of Christ, several storerooms, a communal grinding mill, and copses of desert date trees. But for new eyewitness reports obtained by citizen journalists, the recent discovery and release of a cellphone video, and new confirmation from DigitalGlobe and Landsat satellite imagery, the world would never know of the razing of the village and the forced flight of its inhabitants.
With the 23rd anniversary of President Omar al-Bashir’s oppressive rule fast approaching, protests have swept through Sudan’s capital and neighboring cities. Yet this series of demonstrations “feels different” than previous anti-regime protests, report activists on the ground. Recent austerity measures and price increases have mobilized hundreds of Sudanese to take to the streets shouting, “The people want to bring down the regime!”—a chant that had resonated throughout the Arab world last spring.
JUBA, South Sudan -- Humanitarian aid groups working in South Sudan report that, in the last three weeks, over 35,000 refugees from the Sudanese state of Blue Nile have entered transit centers and over-stretched refugee camps in Upper Nile state. The first week of June alone saw an average of 4,000 people a day streaming across the North-South border into Upper Nile. This influx brings the total number of refugees in the South Sudanese state of Upper Nile to 105,000, a staggering number that exceeds the capacity of the state’s two existing refugee camps, Jammam and Doro.
While many Sudan observers are looking ahead to South Sudan’s first birthday in July, there is another, less auspicious, anniversary to commemorate. Today, June 5, marks one year since the beginning of hostilities in South Kordofan state. The Sudanese Armed Forces, or SAF, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, have been engaged in combat over the last year; however, a hallmark of the violence has been the SAF’s relentless targeting of civilians, use of indiscriminate bombing, and continued denial of humanitarian aid to devastated and food insecure communities.