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Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

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Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by watching on Fri Jul 15 2011, 14:19

Reported in TIME

Clooney's Satellites Capture Piles of Bodies, Mass Graves in Sudan
Posted by Mark Benjamin Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Comparison: 17 June - 4 July 2011
George Clooney's Satellite Sentinel Project set up to monitor the spiraling violence in Sudan has a stunning report out today with convincing evidence showing "a campaign of systematic mass killing of civilians in Kadugli, South Kordofan" in the south-central area of the country. TIME was the first to write about Clooney's project.

The group combined eyewitness reports and DigitalGlobe satellite imagery to pinpoint what seem almost certainly to be piles of bodies in Kadguli and mass graves south of there. The group cites four eyewitness accounts of Sudan Armed Forces from northern Sudan and related militias searching houses in the town and "systematically killing" civilians suspected of supporting southern Sudan forces.

The report describes the slitting of one civilian's throat and sealing and burning homes with civilians inside.

Eyewitnesses also describe the mass graves, shown above, dug by a yellow earth mover on June 8 less than a mile south of the Tilo School in Kadugli. The pits are about 26 meters long and 5 meters wide. Large green trucks were seen driving to the site and unloading around 100 bodies.

Witnesses say before being buried in the mass grave, some of the bodies were wrapped in white plastic and piled up in Kadugli. The group captured what seem to be a pile of those bodies, too.

Time article link


Reported by BBC

14 July 2011 Last updated at 15:36 GMT
Sudan's South Kordofan fighting: 'Mass graves found' Around 100 bodies are said to lie in the freshly dug graves

Satellite images show mass graves following recent fighting in Sudan, a campaign group set up by Hollywood star George Clooney says.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to the group said soldiers had systematically massacred civilians in South Kordofan.

Fighting began in the state last month, between rebels from the Nuba mountains and the Sudanese armed forces.

A Sudanese military spokesman denied allegations that civilians had been killed.

South Kordofan borders South Sudan, which last week became an independent state.

Some 70,000 people have fled the recent fighting there.

The Satellite Sentinel project says the satellite images show three apparent mass graves.

An eyewitness told the group that about 100 bodies were taken to a site near a school in the village of Tilo, not far from the state capital, Kadugli, after fighting last month.

"The DigitalGlobe satellite images contain many of the details and hallmarks of the mass atrocities described by at least five eyewitnesses to the alleged killings," said Nathaniel A Raymond, of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, which analyses the project's images.

Although a peace deal was signed recently, a UN report this week said bombing and fighting was continuing in South Kordofan.

Sudan's ruling National Congress Party spokesman Rabie A Atti strongly denied the claims, saying they were designed to discredit the government.

"People can go there and visit the area and see what is the actual reality," the AP news agency quotes him as saying.

The BBC's James Copnall in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, reports that it is extremely difficult to get accurate information, as journalists and diplomats are barred from the region and the UN faces restrictions on its movement.

'Self-defence'
The Satellite Sentinel project says the apparent massacre took place in the town of Kadugli, in South Kordofan.

People who spoke to the campaign group said forces aligned with Khartoum are systematically killing civilians believed to be opposed to the government.

The US President Barack Obama has already expressed his concern at reports of attacks in South Kordofan based on ethnicity.

Khartoum denies the allegations, and says it is fighting a legitimate war of self-defence against insurgents.

Many residents of the Nuba mountains fought with southern rebels during the two decade north-south war but now find themselves in the north.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir said he would work with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir to ensure their rights were respected.

Mr Bashir has recognised South Sudan but says peace with Sudan's new neighbour was conditional on mutual respect of borders and non-interference in each other's affairs.

The two sides agreed last month, in a deal brokered by the African Union, to integrate the Nuba fighters into the national army or disarm them voluntarily.

'Expulsions'
An official in Khartoum's ruling party, Qutbi al-Mahdi, has accused aid agencies of giving logistical support to the rebels, the pro-government Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) reports.

He warned the agencies that they risked "legal penalties" and expulsion, SMC said.

In 2009, Sudan expelled 10 humanitarian organisations from the western region Darfur, accusing them of collaborating with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity during Darfur's eight-year conflict.

There is also an arrest warrant for Ahmed Haroun, a former Darfur governor who is now South Kordofan's governor.

BBC Article link


Another article

How George Clooney's Satellite Group Is Identifying Mass Graves in Sudan
Uri FriedmanJul 14, 2011

This has been a momentous past week for the Sudanese people. On Saturday, South Sudan became the world's newest nation after decades of civil war with the north. Today, the U.N. admitted South Sudan, while the Sudanese government signed a peace deal with a Darfur rebel alliance, the Liberation and Justice Movement, helping resolve the bloody struggle between non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated Sudanese regime that erupted in 2003.

The Darfur conflict, however, is far from over (other key rebel groups boycotted today's ceremony) and other daunting challenges remain for the two countries, ranging from oil revenue sharing to contested border regions like Abyei. Today George Clooney's organization, the Satellite Sentinel Project, is highlighting another major concern: fighting between the Sudanese military and a minority ethnic group loyal to south Sudan's army in South Kordofan, a major oil-producing region that is now part of the north (it is not pictured on the CIA map to the right, but is right below El Obeid). The Satellite Sentinal Project says it has identified mass graves in South Kordofan's capital, Kadugli.

How, you may ask, is a famous actor like George Clooney involved with satellites and Sudan? Last year, Clooney established the Satellite Sentinel Project to leverage satellite imagery and field reports as a kind of "early warning system" for signs of renewed civil war between north and south Sudan. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative collects and analyzes images from commercial satellites, feeding them through a web platform designed by Google and the open-source software firm Trellon and comparing them with on-the-ground reports from The Enough Project, a human rights group. The group's work is especially vital in places like South Kordofan, where neither the U.N., outside aid groups nor journalists are allowed. In June, for example, the Satellite Sentinel Project noticed military vehicles and temporary shelters in Kadugli, suggesting that a military offensive was underway.

Yesterday, the group published a report on its latest images. As evidence of mass graves, the Satellite Sentinel Project points to the three freshly excavated areas pictured in the lead image above and to the white objects below, which it suspects are white plastic tarp body bags. A witness tells the organization that he saw 100 bodies or more put into one of the pits.

Based on these images and eyewitness reports, the organization concludes that the Sudanese military and pro-Khartoum militias "have apparently engaged in a campaign of systematic mass killing of civilians in Kadugli." A spokesman for Sudan's ruling party denied the Satellite Sentinel Project's allegations, according to the AP.

Link

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 15 2011, 14:42

A terrible thing! Very sad find! Such atrocities! I give thanks for the efforts of the Satellite Sentinel Project! And thanks Watching, for adding the info here!

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 16 2011, 15:42

Thanks so much Watching. Very sad indeed.

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by cindigirl on Sat Jul 16 2011, 15:58

What's so very sad Mel is that nobody can do anything about these massacres! Mr. Bashir seems to have a denial for every atrocity. Mass of bodies in graves wrapped in white plastic? This is beyond barbaric.

How much good does the satellite sentinel do other than exposing what is happening? And we can't do anything about it.

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 16 2011, 16:09

You know Cindi, sometimes knowledge isn't a good thing. You see these things and you're right, we can't do a damn thing about it.

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by lucy on Sat Jul 16 2011, 16:41

But with information comes knowledge, maybe with enough information like this(proof) people around the world will make more demands on their governments. With all that's happening world wide it may take a long time for this to be stopped!

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by Natascha on Sat Jul 16 2011, 17:24

I pray that this mass killing will be stopped.....

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 16 2011, 18:03

It takes getting involved and standing up for those less fortunate. Our government leaders need to realize there is a war going on, not only there, but worldwide. Not saying they don’t know about the atrocities but they have difficulties because of all the bureaucratic red tape! And when they do something, it’s not enough to stop it. But people are acting and things gradually are getting done. Not enough but at least some. With more voices, we could achieve a lot more! I just watched a film about genocide and it breaks my heart!

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 16 2011, 23:44

But people are acting and things gradually are getting done. Not enough but at least some. With more voices, we could achieve a lot more! I just watched a film about genocide and it breaks my heart!

There are so many wrong things going on that sometimes it's hard to know where to start and how to make a difference. Genocide, sex trafficking, discrimination, violence against children, etc... It's frustrating. silent pale No

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 16 2011, 23:59

LL - Totally agree! But you have to dig in and get started. Baby steps are micro mini-movements and can lead you to where you need to be.

All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing. ~Edmund Burke

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 17 2011, 00:06

Cinderella: I try, but I feel that's still not enough *sigh*

I try to get involved in things that will help the future of children since I was a teacher (still am, not for kids anymore) and I was an Au pair too, Smile. Oh well...slowly, but surely?

All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing. ~Edmund Burke.
Beautiful thought!


Last edited by LouisLane on Sun Jul 17 2011, 00:09; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info)

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Re: Satellite captures mass graves in Sudan

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