New DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and analysis confirms the military buildup and the destructive impact of a large-scale Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, offensive against the Sudan Revolutionary Front, or SRF.
Satellite imagery of the strategically important West Kordofan town of Abu Zabad confirms its aerial bombardment and provides a snapshot of the hostilities. In late October 2013, the Satellite Sentinel Project issued a human security warning based on increased activity at Sudanese military installations. In early November, Sudanese Defense Minister Ahmed Hussein announced a campaign, promising not to "stop until we crush them."
George Clooney, Satellite Sentinel Project co-founder observed: "Last month, our satellites detected the first signs of this Sudanese government offensive. Now, with these latest shots, we have proof of its destructive impact. We're going to keep watching and reporting to keep the spotlight on as bombs drop from the sky and villages burn once again."
Satellite imagery in the new report documents the clashes reported on November 17, 2013 in Abu Zabad, and shows four craters consistent with aerial bombardment, two burning buildings, and several vehicles on fire.
John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project and the Enough Project said: "We sounded the alarm and issued an urgent human security warning last month. Now our satellites have caught Sudanese forces massing, deploying, and engaging in active clashes on the ground. Erratic efforts to address conflict inflaming Sudan's periphery have failed. We need a more comprehensive approach to ending Sudan's wars."
Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Analyst at the Enough Project added: "Air strikes and ground clashes directly threaten vulnerable civilians at the critical harvest season, when many take to open fields to reap crops. Now that conflict has reignited, we may have also lost the window for a desperately needed polio vaccination campaign for babies and children in rebel-held areas."
Read the full report, "Situation Report: Expanding War in Sudan Threatens Civilians"
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.