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Sudans: Amid Protests, Continued Violations on Contested Border
September 30, 2013
Sudans: Amid Protests, Continued Violations on Contested Border Zone
WASHINGTON – New DigitalGlobe satellite imagery confirms that both Sudan and South Sudan have yet to fulfill their international obligations to demilitarize their shared border in spite of recent pledges otherwise. Imagery analyzed by DigitalGlobe from September 2013 confirms the presence of military units on both sides of the border within the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone, or SDBZ. The Sudan Armed Forces maintain a military presence in at least six locations with 14 occupied positions on their side of the border. The Sudan People's Liberation Army, South Sudan's national military, has a presence in at least 10 locations within the SDBZ with 22 units on their side of the border.
The Satellite Sentinel Project has documented previous violations along the contested border zone in May, June and early September 2013. Although the two presidents recommitted themselves to establishing a demilitarized border zone straddling their borders on September 3, the Satellite Sentinel Project's new analysis reveals that neither country has completely withdrawn its troops from from the buffer zone.
John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project and the Enough Project said:
"Once again, our satellites have caught both Sudans violating their pledges to maintain a demilitarized border zone. With rising tensions in Abyei, renewed clashes between the government and the rebels in Blue Nile, and mass protests throughout Sudan's cities, this continued non-compliance is one more destabilizing element in an already volatile region.The two presidents have once again committed themselves to the September 2012 agreements. After a year of false starts, the international community must hold them to their word."
Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project said:
"In early September, the two Sudans took an important step towards peaceful relations by recommitting themselves to demilitarizing their border areas. Our report offers a neutral review of current force disposition, showing violations and providing both sides with a baseline from which to hold the other accountable."
Read the report, “Continued Violations: Both Sudans Still Violating Demilitarized Border Zone”:
View or download the DigitalGlobe satellite imagery on Enough Project's Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157636053193986/
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.
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