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WASHINGTON -- The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has releasednew DigitalGlobe imageryconfirming reports that in November the government of Sudan engaged in scorched-earth warfare in the war-torn Sudanese border state of South Kordofan. SSP can confirm that a total of at least 26 Nuban villages were systematically destroyed,as well as food crops and grasslands for cattle grazing, across approximately 54 square miles (140 square kilometers) in three civilian-populated areas.
WASHINGTON -- The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released a situation report, “Scorched Earth Nearal Abassiya,” with DigitalGlobe satellite imageryshowing the recent intentional burning of 13 villages and a 31-square-mile (82 square kilometer) area of scorched earth in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, Sudan.
Though the total number of damaged or destroyed homes is unknown, at least 10 huts were burned since February 9, 2014 in Duk Payuel, in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, as seen in satellite images reviewed by DigitalGlobe analysts. The area is home to the John Dau Foundation’s Duk Lost Boys Clinic and another project supported by former Lost Boy Joseph Akol Makeer: the African Heart American Soul Foundation's orphanage.
New DigitalGlobe satellite images acquired on February 2, 2014 confirm at least one violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by South Sudan's combatant forces less than two weeks ago. Imagery of Leer town in Unity state, which journalists and aid workers have been unable to visit since the latest bout of violence, shows huts engulfed in flames.
Today, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos travels to the capital of Upper Nile state whereover 42,000 peoplehave been displaced by violence. Satellite images of Malakal from January 27 show at least 210 tukuls burned to the ground in one of the city's quarters. In another part of town, images collected over the course of the past two weeks confirm the looting of a World Food Program, or WFP, compound and the damage and destruction of adjacent areas. Since thelaws of warmandate both respecting and protecting "humanitarian relief personnel" and "objects" used for their operations, these satellite images offer independent evidence of war crimes.
As South Sudanese combatants signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa on Thursday, January 23, new images from the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, confirmed the systematic and intentional destruction of civilian homes in the town of Bentiu and across other parts of Unity state. DigitalGlobe images of Bentiu, Mayom, and Khor Bwow and small villages along the road between Bentiy and Mayom all document widespread destruction.
Note: This piece, written by Hayes Brown, originally appeared on ThinkProgress.
Since the clashes between the South Sudanese government and rebel forces broke out in late December, the toll on the civilians caught in the crossfire has escalated more rapidly than many could have predicted. Reporting from on the ground can be difficult to come by at times in situations such as seen in the areas where fighting has been the most intense, the states of Jonglei and Unity. TheSatelliteSentinel Project— a collaborative effort between the Enough Project and digital-globe with the backing of actor George Clooney — is attempting to break through the fog of war through tracking conflict from above the clouds.