Satellites Show Razing of Sudanese Village by Sudan Armed Forces

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2011

Contact: Matt Brown, mbrown@enoughproject.org, +1-202-468-2925

WASHINGTON – The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has identified evidence indicating that the Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, intentionally razed civilian structures in the village of 'Amara in Blue Nile State, Sudan.

DigitalGlobe satellite imagery analyzed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative for SSP also shows two recently built military encampments and tracking consistent with heavy armor movement around the village of 'Amara.  At least eight craters consistent with aerial bombardment are also visible.

“This imagery is consistent with reports from on the ground that the SAF has intentionally destroyed civilian communities in clear violation of the laws of war,” said John Bradshaw, Enough Project executive director. “The international community needs to take immediate action to protect at-risk civilians in Blue Nile state and elsewhere in Sudan including banning offensive flights over the areas of conflict.”

The report, Blue Nile Burning: Evidence of the Destruction of 'Amara Village, shows craters on the ground, some as wide as 13 feet, consistent with aerial bombardment around the village of Amara. The civilian structures in the village, known as tukuls, have apparently been intentionally razed, the satellite analysis shows.

“These images and analysis provide further evidence of the Government of Sudan's disregard for the laws of war and human rights principles,” said Charlie Clements, MD, Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “The civilian structures that appear to be intentionally destroyed are testimony to the Sudan Armed Forces' continued use of disproportionate force.”

The destruction in and around Amara along the tense border region between Sudan and South Sudan occurred between November 11 and November 27. SAF has been fighting rebels from the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army – North since June.

Read the latest SSP report, Blue Nile Burning: Evidence of the Destruction of 'Amara Village.

View or download DigitalGlobe satellite imagery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157628228842123/

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About the Satellite Sentinel Project

The Satellite Sentinel Project, http://satsentinel.org, combines satellite imagery analysis and field reports with Google’s Map Maker to deter the resumption of full-scale civil war between North and South Sudan. Not On Our Watch provided seed money to launch SSP. The Enough Project contributes field reports and policy analysis, and, together with Not On Our Watch and our Sudan Now partners, pressures policymakers by urging the public to act. Google and Trellon collaborated to design the web platform. Harvard Humanitarian Initiative provides research and leads the collection, human rights analysis, and corroboration of on-the-ground reports that contextualizes the imagery. DigitalGlobe provides satellite imagery and additional analysis.