Rights Groups Release Legal Analysis of Evidence of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity in Sudan

WASHINGTON – A new legal analysis by the Enough Project and its Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, finds compelling evidence that since June 2011, the government of Sudan has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

Two years of eyewitness reports, photos, videos, and satellite imagery -- analyzed by the DigitalGlobe Analytics Center and informed by the Enough Project’s sources on the ground, field research, and legal analysis -- present a strong dossier of evidence for referral to the International Criminal Court and to the United Nations.

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

“The evidence of atrocity crimes that we have compiled is extensive and needs to be reviewed by the UN. SSP has documented the deliberate burning of 292 square miles (756 km²) of farms, orchards, and grasslands used for grazing cattle, and the deliberate destruction of 26 civilian villages in South Kordofan state and 16 villages in Blue Nile state. These actions appear to represent widespread and systematic government activities. Establishment of a U.N. commission of inquiry and possibly further investigations by the U.S. government and other international actors is necessary to uncover the full extent of the Sudanese government’s crimes.”

Ambassador David Scheffer, an Enough Project Senior Fellow, said:

“The weight of this information – eyewitness reports, photos, videos, and open-source documentation, corroborated by satellite imagery and analysis – demonstrates that the government of Sudan and its agents should be thoroughly investigated, immediately, for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The way forward lies in this report's recommendations for the creation of a U.N. Commission of Inquiry, national initiatives, and ultimately, a U.N. Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court.”

Satellite imagery included in this report cites specific examples of apparent crimes, including:

  • The deliberate burning and looting of at least 80 civilian structures, including a church, a mosque, and a grinding mill, in Um Bartumbu village, South Kordofan, in November 2011;
  • The deliberate burning of 33 civilian structures in ‘Amara village, Blue Nile, in November 2011;
  • The deliberate destruction of civilian structures in Toroge village, South Kordofan, sometime between November 2011 and January 2012;
  • The indiscriminate aerial bombing of civilian populations near the village of Angarto, South Kordofan, in March 2012;
  • The deliberate burning and looting of civilian structures, including a school compound, in the village of Gardud al Badry, South Kordofan, in May 2012 and the subsequent indiscriminate bombardment of the village in July 2012;
  • The indiscriminate bombardment, razing, and looting of El Moreib village, South Kordofan, in August 2012;
  • The deliberate burning of 13 villages and 31 square miles of fields and forests to the southwest of the town of al Abassiya, South Kordofan, in November 2012;
  • The deliberate burning of at least 26 villages and 54 square miles of fields and grasslands in three areas of South Kordofan state in November 2012.

The report concludes:

"The acts discussed in this report are likely only an outline of the realities on the ground in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and DigitalGlobe satellites continue to monitor the situation alongside citizen journalists operating in the two areas. The international community must do more to investigate the war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture being perpetrated by Sudanese government forces against their own people. If implemented quickly, a commission of inquiry and the involvement of the International Criminal Court prosecutor could serve as a substantial deterrent force against future violence."

Read the report, Architects of Atrocity: The Sudanese Government’s War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States http://www.satsentinel.org/sites/default/files/Architects_of_Atrocity.pdf

View or download the DigitalGlobe satellite imagery on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157633137679573/