State of Emergency: Threat of SAF Attack on Kurmuk

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Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) is issuing a human security warning in this report for Kurmuk and the surrounding area due to the strong likelihood of potential SAF attack in the near future which may result in the use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force. 

The use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force includes, though is not limited to, the following: the intentional deployment of heavy armor against civilian targets, indiscriminate aerial and artillery bombardment of locations that include non-military targets, and potential extra-judicial killings of civilians by Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) troops, Government of Sudan (GoS)-aligned police units, and/or paramilitary militia groups.

Since May 2011, SAF and other GoS-aligned forces, according to evidence collected by SSP and others, has routinely engaged in the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force against targets which included civilian populations. This may constitute violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. 

These alleged acts have included the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force during the May invasion of the Abyei region, which resulted in the razing and looting of civilian dwellings and infrastructure; the documented practice of indiscriminately targeting civilian populations through aerial and artillery bombardment in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan; and the reported extra-judicial killing of civilians in Kadugli town and elsewhere in Sudan. 

There are also credible reports that Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) forces have conducted indiscriminate shelling and other alleged abuses in some cases. The use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force by any party to this conflict could represent a violation of the laws of war and international human rights standards.

All imagery must be attributed to DigitalGlobe. Images were taken the 9th, 10th, and 21st of September 2011, respectively.