Satellite Imagery Confirms Government of Sudan Bombardment, Fortification Near South Kordofan Village Strategically Located as ‘Gateway’ to North Kordofan

WASHINGTON – New satellite imagery confirms the Government of Sudan’s campaign of indiscriminate bombardment of villages in South Kordofan state has extended to a newly contested area of the Nuba Mountains which had previously seen no battles, but now represents the northern front of the armed rebellion by the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, or SRF.

The Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, has published new DigitalGlobe imagery confirming the bombardment and destruction of 90 percent of a civilian residential area in the Abassiya district of South Kordofan, as well as 25 percent of nearby El Moreib village. The village is strategically situated at a crossroads which represents a gateway from South Kordofan into neighboring North Korodofan state.

SSP documents the back-and-forth battle between Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, and the rebels over El Moreib from August 23-26. SAF bombarded the El Moreib area with heavy artillery, displacing approximately 3,000 civilians, most of whom fled toward rebel-held territory, according to Eyes and Ears Nuba, an independent group of citizen journalists. Additionally, SSP has identified the new fortification of a SAF garrison in El Moreib, thereby confirming government of Sudan’s current control of the village.  SAF has transport and cargo trucks, fuel tanker trucks, and probable “technicals” – Land Cruisers mounted with machine guns – positioned in the garrison, located in the northeast corner of the village.

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast said:

“The Nuba Mountains are on fire. The Government of Sudan is burning villages and killing and starving its own people in an attempt to crush the SPLA-N rebel movement. This report presents irrefutable proof from the sky of this campaign of systematic destruction and terror. It is our responsibility to sound the alarm and convince the international community to take action. El Moreib is strategically significant because it is the northernmost front between the rebels and SAF. It lies at a gateway from South Kordofan to North Kordofan, and the fact that the SPLA-N has pushed so far north is raising the alarm in Khartoum. As we have seen in other villages throughout the region, the Government of Sudan is motivated to use heavy artillery on civilians in an attempt to stop the rebels.”

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

“SAF’s systematic destruction of  El Moreib, through razing and indiscriminate bombardment of civilian infrastructure, represents a gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.  Further evidence may show that it also constitutes a crime against humanity.”

Read the Satellite Sentinel Project report, “Gateway to the North: Confirmation of Bombardment and New SAF Fortification at El Moreib Village, South Kordofan, Sudan”: [http://www.satsentinel.org/report/gateway-north-confirmation-bombardment-and-new-saf-fortification-el-moreib-village-south-kordofan-su]

View or download the DigitalGlobe satellite imagery on Flickr: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157631628604814/]

About the Satellite Sentinel Project
The Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, a partnership between the Enough Project and DigitalGlobe, conducts monitoring of the border between Sudan and South Sudan to assess the human security situation, identify potential threats to civilians, and detect, deter and document war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Enough Project provides field research, policy context, and communications strategy. DigitalGlobe provides imagery from its constellation of satellites and geospatial analysis from the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center. SSP is funded primarily by Not On Our Watch.