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Satellite Sentinel

Post by laetval on Thu Jan 13 2011, 14:52

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by lolo"layla" on Thu Jan 27 2011, 03:09

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Clooney's satellite project shows troops on Sudan's border

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BOSTON — The Sudan army has deployed 55,000 soldiers equipped with light armor and artillery along the volatile Abyei border area between North and South Sudan, according to the Satellite Sentinel Project, co-founded by George Clooney.

Satellite images of the disputed border area show thousands of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers spread across the disputed border area of South Kordofan.

The Sudan army troops do not appear prepared to attack South Sudan, according to the first report by the satellite project. Because there are no signs of an imminent attack, there is an opportunity to negotiate a resolution to the outstanding issues between the North and South that, if left unresolved, could trigger renewed conflict in Sudan.

“These first images and analysis have deepened our understanding of the evolving situation following Southern Sudan’s historic vote on independence," said Clooney who started the satellite project with the anti-genocide group, Enough Project.

"Although the SAF in South Kordofan apparently remains a force largely in hiding, we showed they are field-deployed, and they are controlling major roads by running checkpoints," said Clooney, who visited the tense border area earlier this month.

"Though they are not showing signs of advancing, we confirmed that they’re equipped with helicopter transport, artillery, armored personnel carriers and trucks," said the Hollywood actor who has campaigned for peace in Sudan for several years. "Our first report represents the best recent information on the military situation in Sudan publicly available.”

The situation in Sudan is particularly tense right now because the South voted earlier this month to become independent from the North, according to preliminary results. Early results show than more than 90 percent voted to separate from Sudan but official results are not expected until February.

There are fears the North, ruled by President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum, will oppose independence or will try to seize territory in the border area because it has rich oilfields. That is why the evidence of such a large army presence along the border area is significant.

Sudan was locked in a civil war between North and South for 20 years, until a peace agreement was reached in 2005.

Because the border area is so tense, Clooney worked with Enough Project to pull together experts to take and analyse satellite images along the border area.

The satellite project's findings of substantial arms and troops was confirmed by retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks.

"These satellite images show clear military capabilities," Marks told GlobalPost. "The artillery and tracks in the sand show sizable pieces of equipment. I see lots of tents that have the capability to house anything from ammunition to troops or something else."

Marks, who volunteered his expertise to the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, said he was impressed by the findings.

"This is an extremely powerful initiative. Now the Sudan army know we are watching and if they sneeze, we'll know it, said Marks. "The public knowledge of this security information may galvanize the United Nations. It may encourage negotiations. It may encourage the U.N. to lay out a firm stand with the Sudanese army where the U.N. establishes a presence that encourages the Sudanese army to back off."

The satellite images show evidence of about 55,000 SAF troops along the border of South Kordofan — half the strength of Sudan’s standing regular army — spread out over some 100 garrisons. This number and positioning of the troops has been confirmed by authoritative sources such as the Small Arms Survey.

The satellite imagery collected to date by the sentinel project provides photographic corroboration of company-size deployments, light armor, mobile artillery, and other offensive military equipment, as well as helicopter transport.

The imagery analysis by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative presents fresh and unprecedented high-resolution photos of a potential conflict zone captured by DigitalGlobe, a leading commercial satellite firm, which is providing imagery and additional analysis.

The images, combined with the Enough Project’s field reports, show what’s happening in Sudan's flashpoint border areas, where the combination of large numbers of security forces and high levels of tension could cause localized incidents to escalate, drawing both sides into a wider conflict.

The report shows that the Sudan army deployments near Muglad, Kadugli, Kharassana and other areas appear to be deployed in camps of 75 to 225 troops, equipped with helicopter transport, light armor and artillery.

The Satellite Project emphasizes that these troops do not appear to be preparing to move in the near future. The project has documented roadwork near known and suspected military bases, but the images do not show major movement of fuel trucks, supply convoys and troop transports that suggest imminent forward operations.


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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Casey on Thu Jan 27 2011, 03:20

lolo wrote:

The Satellite Project emphasizes that these troops do not appear to be preparing to move in the near future. The project has documented roadwork near known and suspected military bases, but the images do not show major movement of fuel trucks, supply convoys and troop transports that suggest imminent forward operations.


Er, um, ok. I'm probably the only one here who's skeptical of this project so I'll keep my mouth shut.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by lolo"layla" on Thu Jan 27 2011, 03:37

Casey wrote:
Er, um, ok. I'm probably the only one here who's skeptical of this project so I'll keep my mouth shut.


me too i don't find motives to him it's big step and i can't say he is wise doing that also

skeptical about consequences

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by PigLove on Thu Jan 27 2011, 04:18

Nope, we're a pretty skeptical bunch. And even if you are the lone wolf, go ahead and howl!!!

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by it's me on Thu Jan 27 2011, 06:08

hope George thought about any possibile scenario
good

and bad

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Katiedot on Thu Jan 27 2011, 08:19

Well ok, sceptics, but remember that this isn't being managed by George alone. There are other people involved in the project and they may well know what they're talking about, no?

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by watching on Mon May 30 2011, 10:37

Satellite Sentinel Project Releases New Visual Evidence of Government of Sudan War Crimes in Abyei

5/29/11 | Enough Project
Tags: Attacks

Washington -- The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released new visual evidence that the Government of Sudan has committed grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and other war crimes, some of which may also constitute crimes against humanity. The totality of evidence from satellites and ground sources points to state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of much of the contested Abyei region, says SSP. The evidence is being conveyed to the International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council.

George Clooney, who initiated the Satellite Sentinel Project along with Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast, after they traveled to South Sudan in October 2010, stated:

"We focused satellites on Abyei because everyone concerned believed that if the Sudan government would try to undermine the North-South peace, it would do so through Abyei. We now have undeniable proof of the Khartoum regime's war crimes in Abyei. We've captured visual evidence of the Sudan Armed Forces ransacking and razing Abyei town. This was a plan to disrupt the South's peaceful independence that everyone knew was coming, and that moment has arrived. Now that the photographic evidence exists, what is the UN Security Council going to do? With nearly a hundred thousand displaced, when does the UN actually have a responsibility to protect?"

The Enough Project's John Prendergast stated:

"What is happening in Abyei is what the international community feared would happen in Benghazi, Libya. We're not advocating military intervention, but we do think the Responsibility to Protect doctrine requires more assertive action in support of ongoing emergency diplomacy. President Obama and his team should begin to develop international support for denying debt relief, referring the Abyei case to the ICC, diplomatically isolating the regime, suspending all non-humanitarian aid, obstructing state-controlled bank transactions and freezing accounts which hold oil wealth diverted by senior regime officials."
SSP's recent imagery and reporting documents the destruction, and confirms the positioning in Abyei town of at least 10 Sudan Armed Forces main battle tanks, mobile artillery, heavy equipment transports, infantry fighting vehicles and trucks capable of rapid forward deployment, in addition to other assets within striking distance.

"Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's analysis of international humanitarian law has concluded, based on DigitalGlobe satellite imagery, that gross violations of the Geneva Conventions and other other laws of war have been perpetrated by the Government of Sudan," said Harvard Carr Center Executive Director Charlie Clements, MD. "Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced. Approximately one-third of all civilian structures in Abyei town have been razed. The Sudan Armed Forces used disproportionate force and indiscriminately targeted civilians."

Links
Read SSP's latest report, “Burned to the Ground: Evidence of Potential War Crimes and the Intentional Destruction of Abyei Town by the Government of Sudan":
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View or download the latest DigitalGlobe satellite imagery:
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Read SSP's previous report, "Troops, Tanks and Artillery at El Obeid Barracks," which shows Sudan Armed Forces massing additional troops, tanks, and artillery in El Obeid, North Kordofan, within striking distance of Sudan's North-South border and Abyei:
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View or download exclusive photographs from the Enough Project of looting and razing in Abyei town:
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View or download exclusive photographs of Internally Displaced Persons south of Abyei, taken by Tim Freccia for the Enough Project and SSP:
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About the Satellite Sentinel Project
The Satellite Sentinel Project, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] 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. UNOSAT analyzes satellite images and collaborates with Google and Trellon 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.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by watching on Mon May 30 2011, 10:42

Forgot to post link for above press statement

Link

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by melbert on Mon May 30 2011, 14:56

Thank you so much Watching!

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Katiedot on Mon May 30 2011, 17:52

Here's another version of the same story:

From Global Post

Clooney alleges “war crimes” in Abyei

George Clooney said that "war crimes" including ethnic cleansing had been carried out in Abyei as his watchdog group released new satellite images of the destruction

Tristan McConnell

May 30, 2011 02:49

George Clooney said that war crimes, including ethnic cleansing, were carried out in Abyei after last weekend's invasion by northern troops who have burned down a third of the town. (Stuart Price/UNMIS/Courtesy)

George Clooney, the Hollywood actor and Sudan activist, claimed that “war crimes” including ethnic cleansing have been committed in Abyei after northern Sudanese soldiers invaded and occupied the disputed town last weekend.

The accusation came as the watchdog initiative he co-founded with John Prendergast of the Enough Project released new satellite images showing around a third of the civilian buildings in Abyei burned to the ground.

The images from the Satellite Sentinel Project also showed northern army tanks and artillery in Abyei, evidence of widespread looting, including of a World Food Programme warehouse, and the destruction of the main bridge linking Abyei with the south.

"We focused satellites on Abyei because everyone concerned believed that if the Sudan government would try to undermine the North-South peace, it would do so through Abyei,” Clooney said in a statement.

“We now have undeniable proof of the Khartoum regime's war crimes in Abyei,” he said.

“We've captured visual evidence of the Sudan Armed Forces ransacking and razing Abyei town. This was a plan to disrupt the South's peaceful independence that everyone knew was coming, and that moment has arrived,” he said.

Clooney called on the UN to act. “Now that the photographic evidence exists, what is the UN Security Council going to do? With nearly a hundred thousand displaced, when does the UN actually have a responsibility to protect?” he asked.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by lucy on Mon May 30 2011, 23:10

Its just so sad, it seems like people all over the world is in need of help, makes a person feel helpless and weary.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Katiedot on Tue May 31 2011, 11:38

Sudan disagrees with George. What a surprise!

From cnn

North and south Sudan agree to border talks over disputed regionBy the
CNN Wire Staff

May 31, 2011 -- Updated 0813 GMT (1613 HKT)

(CNN) -- Northern and Southern Sudan have signed an agreement on border security in the midst of tensions over the disputed Abyei border region, the African Union said Tuesday.

The deal, negotiated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday, is designed to "ensure that the two parties can maintain stable and secure relations," the African Union statement said. "The agreement also establishes a Common Border Zone between North and South Sudan, which is to be demilitarized and jointly monitored and patrolled."

The deal was signed by top military and political officials, and brokered by the African Union, which counts as its members every nation in the continent except Morocco.

Additional negotiations will be held within a week, the statement said.

Last week, the president of the Southern Sudanese government demanded an immediate withdrawal of Sudanese armed forces that occupy Abyei.

Fighting began May 19, when the north accused Southern Sudanese forces of ambushing a U.N. convoy carrying northern troops to Goli, killing at least 22 soldiers.

Sudanese troops attacked and took control of Abyei in retaliation, a move condemned by the United States as a breach of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which put an official end to the county's decades-long civil war. The conflict led to the deaths of 2 million people, many from starvation.

On Monday, the Sudanese government Monday disputed claims by actor George Clooney's Satellite Sentinel Project that government forces are involved in ethnic cleansing by destroying Banton Bridge -- a key link with South Sudan. Pictures posted by the organization show the demolished bridge sitting in a river bed.

The government challenged Clooney to prove his allegations.

"I do not think that he has any evidence for ethnic cleansing" said Ibrahim Ghandour, minister of information for the ruling National Congress Party.

The Satellite Sentinel Project and the Enough Project accuse the government of having greater ambitions.

"Along with the military occupation of Abyei, the Khartoum regime is laying the groundwork for a takeover of oil fields near Sudan's North-South border, its ultimate objective," said Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast.

"If there are no consequences for these violations of the North-South peace deal and for the war crimes being committed in Abyei, the likelihood of full-scale war increases daily."

The Satellite Sentinel Project uses satellite imagery to monitor developments in Sudan.

The residents of Southern Sudan overwhelmingly voted for independence in January, with the autonomous region scheduled to become an independent state in early July.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by melbert on Wed Jun 01 2011, 01:24

I just don't like where this seems to be going... I'm afraid for the all the people there and very worried for John and George going in July.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by watching on Wed Jun 01 2011, 09:43

Of course they are denying it. There has been no ethnic cleansing. George doesn't know what he is talking about.

Link

BERNAMA.com - Sudan's Ruling National Congress Refutes George Clooney Satellite Claims

KHARTOUM, May 31 (BERNAMA-NNN-SUNA) -- Sudan ruling National Congress (NC) party has refuted claims by the Satellite Sentinel Project launched by Hollywood actor and human rights activist George Clooney, in which he accused the Sudanese government of committing serious human rights violations in Abyei.

The party's Secretary of Information, Professor Ibrahim Ghandour, responding to questions from journalists here Monday, challenged Clooney to prove his allegations, stressing that they stemmed from racial motivations which led him to make these false allegations against Sudan.

He added that Clooney did not know what to say and he was looking for fame.

"I do not think that he has any evidence for ethnic cleansing," said Prof. Ghandour, who explained the majority of the Dinka Ngok people from Abyei fled into South Sudan before the Sudanese armed forces entered the area last week


---BERNAMA-NNN-SUNA



If Sudan's ruling party is saying this publicly, George may not be able to get back into the country in July.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 02 2011, 02:42

I heard that John was going to speak on CNN today. Did anyone catch that?

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by fluffy on Thu Jun 02 2011, 08:43

I knew that Gee was going back in July, but think that he really shouldn't go. The project is a good idea of big brother watching, but in reality, we all know that every good intention is going to be shot down, and the fractions really don't want our help or intervention. This has been displayed all over the world where ever there has been western intervention, followed by bloodshed. Whilst George's heart is really in the best of places, when push comes to shove, we can only really help with heavy armour which means virtual devastation on the people who really needed the help in the first place.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by watching on Thu Jun 09 2011, 13:15

From Sudan Vision - Daily Independent

Influential Abyei Members with SPLM…Trap of George Clooney Group
Posted on Wednesday, June 08 @ 00:05:00 UTC by admin

By: Al-Sammani Awadallah

Khartoum - A number of friendly Western circles have warned the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) against engaging in war with the North. Especially at this very time because such a move would only cost the Government of Southern Sudan money and effort.

However, some influential leaders within SPLM were taken by surprise by the moves of the George Looney group, who issued
a report via satellite, the so–called Satellite Sentinel Project, accusing Sudanese armed forces of committing war crimes in Abyei area after seizing control over and forcing SPLA out last May.

SPLM heavyweight leaders such Luka Biong, who resigned from the post of Minister of Presidential Affairs, attempted to forestall the meeting of the UN Security Council scheduled for Wednesday to listen to a report by the ICC Prosecutor, which came out with preemptive statements saying that the government of southern Sudan intends to file a lawsuit against Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Abyei as the result of recent Sudanese army’s incursion in Abyei claimed by both the south and north.

Biong said personally he intended backed by other parties to take legal measure against Al Bashir, including four officials in his government, whom he declined to name, for their involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity against the citizens of Abyei, especially members of Dinka Ngok tribe.

Predetermined coordination

All evidence and indications show that SPLM - through its provocations over the past period - was seeking to drag the Sudanese armed forces into military clashes in Abyei to arrive at the step Biong referred to.

But, the awareness of the armed forces made them stay away from a trap set by SPLA, especially when SPLA troops attack Sudanese forces convoy while withdrawing from the region after agreement at the meeting of Joint Defense Council in Juba.

The SPLA attacked the vehicles and refused to allow the armed forces to bury their dead until UN peacekeepers intervened to bury the victims. Although the incident was provoking, the Sudanese military did not respond knowing that there was a plot and coordination beforehand with the George Looney group to drag them into a fight in Abyei.

But the recent SPLA’s careless attack on Sudanese army near Abyei moving out of the region northward prompted the national army to response to these provocations and seized control over Abyei as the region still remains part of the North pending the plebiscite to determine its belonging.

Wrong bill

It is a question posed by many observers, arguing that SPLM is trying to foot the bill of unifying internal front in the wake of various divisions and rebellions led by tribal leaders against the government of southern Sudan.

They hold that government administration in the south is still weak. They army overstaffed and open to increase, the tribal leaders claim. The tribes desire for participation in the government have been a main cause of draining the already, limited resources, as all resources are being allocated for meeting the government and its military needs.

The general budget has failed to provide minimum government services, as a result, creating a state of disappointment and corruption, which degenerated into tribal rebellions the reason why SPLM is stepping up the level of confrontation with the north to ensure unification of its internal front to gain international sympathy by portraying the whole affair as a hostile aggression by a state not willing to recognize South Sudan independence.

Some argued that the SPLM has not finalized its project regarding Sudan liberation in such a way that forces of margin to have control on central government to reshape Sudan according to the Movements vision. They cite SPLM’s failure to liberate the regions of the Blue Nile and South Kordofan despite the involvement of sons of these particular regions in the previous civil war against northern Sudan. Waiving these regions would be perceived of as renege on their people’s involvement in the war, which cannot be rewarded except through a new round of fighting.

The influence of Abyei Sons within SPLM

The influential SPLM leaders, who hail from Abyei, are pushing for the annexation of Abyei. For these leaders, loss of Abyei would mean loss of geographic and political ground for participation in South Sudan State as they would be deemed northerners in case Abyei remained part of North Sudan. On the other hand, some rule out any war between the two parties as they are mindful of the grave consequences of such war.

Solution scenarios

Although they are little, proposals for resolving the Abyei conflict appear to be unacceptable to both sides. A plebiscite is expected to be held in Abyei according to the ruling of The Hague based International Justice Court, which provides holding a plebiscite for the inhabitant of the region, Dinka Ngok and Messeiriya as well as tribes.

The dispute is over who is eligible to vote in the referendum. The ruling National Congress argue that the Messeriya tribe have the right to vote, while SPLM and Dinka Ngok refuse to acknowledge that the Messeriya are part of Abyei, a controversy making it difficult for holding the referendum under such formula.

There were also proposals for dividing the region into two parts: northern part for the Messeiriya, and the southern part for Dinka Ngok; however, SPLM has turned down such proposals although it is still being negotiated under the mediation of the African Union Panel headed by South Africa’s former president, Thabo Mbeki.

The former US envoy for Sudan Scott Gration had proposed that Messeiriya tribe should accept annexing Abyei to the South with guarantees for Messeiriya mobility in the south for water and pasture for their livestock plus a giant project for them in compensation, but the Messeiriya rejected the proposal.

Instead, the Messeiriya suggested Abyei should remain part of North Sudan and that Dinka Ngok should be granted dual nationality, and that the post of governor should be held by Dinka Ngok for 25 years, again SPLM rejected the proposal.

Some observers hold that Gorge Looney’s group should push for peace not for wars; especially SPLM now is not prepared for waging any war, whose consequences it knows in advance. The observers say the group should press for peaceful settlement rather than attempting to drag SPLM into war that will definitely cost both the south and north dearly.

Link

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by watching on Thu Jun 09 2011, 13:18

Abyei tense after 100 000 flee
2011-06-07 22:26

Khartoum - Nearly 100 000 people are estimated to have fled fighting in Sudan's Abyei, the United Nations said on Tuesday, describing the situation in the flashpoint border district as "tense and unpredictable."

"As of 5 June, the estimated number of people to be displaced by the Abyei violence was 96 000 people," the UN's humanitarian office said.

"The situation in Abyei over the weekend was reported to be tense and unpredictable with reports of sporadic gunfire, and tukuls [traditional thatched huts] being burnt," it added.

Northern troops and tanks overran the contested border district on May 21 in response to a deadly attack two days earlier on an army convoy to the north of Abyei town, in which at least 22 northern troops were killed.

Most of those who fled the violence are pro-southern Dinka Ngok farmers.

Arab Misseriya nomads, who migrate south each year in search of water and pasture for their cattle, are said to have moved in with the Sudanese troops, in what some have described as "state-sponsored ethnic cleansing".

The UN said humanitarian workers remained worried about the already high levels of vulnerability among the communities hosting the fugitives, mostly in Twic County in Warrap State and in the Agok border area.

Annual hunger period
It said the exodus comes "in the middle of the 'hunger period' when tens of thousands of households are forced to reduce their consumption [between March and August] before the south’s first harvest."

The south is already struggling to cope with a large influx of southerners from the north since October, which the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday had risen to more than 300 000 returnees.

Meanwhile, in Abyei itself the UN has said it is "deeply concerned" about persistent insecurity, despite pledges by the northern army to intervene to stop criminal acts.

The UNHCR reported accounts of looting, shooting, and other harassment by gunmen, from people in the area immediately south of Bantan bridge, which crosses the Bahr al-Arab (Kiir) River and is one of the main routes linking Abyei to the south.

The heavily-armed Misseriya, who have clashed repeatedly with their Ngok Dinka rivals this year, were a key proxy militia of Khartoum's army during Sudan's 1983-2005 civil war.

- SAPA

Link News24

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by lucy on Thu Jun 09 2011, 13:30

Hope they change their minds about July trip, even if Georges visa is denied, I hope he doesn't try to sneak in.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by NotAvailable on Thu Jun 09 2011, 22:37

I don't think he will change his mind. He seems like a pretty determined person.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by lucy on Thu Jun 09 2011, 23:10

@JoanieJD, you are probably right George is a stubborn man, just worried with all going on John & him might be targets.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 09 2011, 23:22

I am with JoanieDJ on this one. Even if his visa gets denied, he might get to go there through UN, which it will be very unlikely to be denied.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by silly girl on Sat Oct 27 2012, 23:52

New info from the satellite's:

Satellite pictures suggest Sudanese weapons factory hit by air strike

Satellite images of the aftermath of an explosion at a Sudanese weapons factory this past week suggest the site was hit in an air strike, a US monitoring group said Saturday.

The Sudanese government has accused Israel of bombing its Yarmouk military complex in Khartoum, killing two people and leaving the factory in ruins.

The images released by the Satellite Sentinel Project to the Associated Press on Saturday showed six 52-foot wide craters near the epicenter of Wednesday's explosion at the compound.

Military experts consulted by the project found the craters to be "consistent with large impact craters created by air-delivered munitions", Satellite Sentinel Project spokesman Jonathan Hutson said.

The target may have been around 40 shipping containers seen at the site in earlier images. The group said the craters center on the area where the containers had been stacked.

Israeli officials have neither confirmed nor denied striking the site. Instead, they accused Sudan of playing a role in an Iranian-backed network of arms shipments to Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel believes Sudan is a key transit point in the circuitous route that weapons take to the Islamic militant groups in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

Sudan was a major hub for al-Qaida militants and remains a transit for weapon smugglers and African migrant traffickers. Israeli officials believe arms that originate in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas go through Sudan before crossing Egypt's lawless Sinai desert and into Gaza through underground tunnels.

The Satellite Sentinel Project is a partnership between the Enough Project, a Washington-based anti-genocide advocacy group and DigitalGlobe, which operates three commercial satellites and provides geospatial analysis.

The project was founded last year with support from actor George Clooney, and in the past has used satellite images to monitor the destruction of villages by Sudanese troops in the country's multiple war zones.

Opened in 1996, Yarmouk is one of two known state-owned weapons manufacturing plants in the Sudanese capital. Sudan prided itself in having a way to produce its own ammunition and weapons despite United Nations and US sanctions.

The satellite images indicate that the Yarmouk facility includes an oil storage facility, a military depot and an ammunition plant.

The monitoring group said the images indicate that the blast "destroyed two buildings and heavily damaged at least 21 others", adding that there was no indication of fire damage at the fuel depot inside the military complex.

The group said it could not be certain the containers, seen in images taken 12 October, were still there when explosion took place. But the effects of the blast suggested a "highly volatile cargo" was at the epicenter of the explosion.

"If the explosions resulted from a rocket or missile attack against material stored in the shipping containers, then it was an effective surgical strike that totally destroyed any container" that was at the location, the project said.

Yarmouk is located in a densely populated residential area of the city approximately 11km southwest of the Khartoum international airport.

Wednesday's explosion sent exploding ammunition flying into homes in the neighborhood adjacent to the factory, causing panic among residents. Sudanese officials said some people suffered from smoke inhalation.

A man who lives near the factory said that from inside their house, he and his brother heard a load roar of what they believed was a plane just before the boom of the explosion sounded from the factory.

In the aftermath of Wednesday's explosion, Sudanese officials said the government has the right to respond to what the information minister said was a "flagrant attack" by Israel on Sudan's sovereignty and right to strengthen its military capabilities.

In a Friday speech marking Eid al Adha, Islam's biggest holiday, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir called Israel "short-sighted," according to comments published by the Egyptian state-owned paper Al Ahram. The president likened the incident to the 1998 bombing by American cruise missiles of a Khartoum pharmaceutical factory suspected of links to al-Qaida.

Some Israeli commentators suggested that if Israel did indeed carry out an airstrike causing Wednesday's blast, it might have been a trial run of sorts for an operation in Iran. Both countries are roughly 1,000 miles (1,600km) away from Israel, and an air operation would require careful planning and in-flight refueling.

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Katiedot on Sun Oct 28 2012, 01:50

Irony: satellites set up to catch Sudan's misbehaviour capture evidence of someone else attacking them!

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by Atalante on Sun Oct 28 2012, 13:03

Sudan really is a spider's nest ! Basketball

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

Post by it's me on Sun Oct 28 2012, 16:55

it might have been a trial run of sorts for an operation in Iran??????

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Re: Satellite Sentinel

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