Washington, D.C. — The Satellite Sentinel Project issued a human security alert for the civilian population of the Kauda Valley in the war-torn Nuba Mountains region of Sudan.
DigitalGlobe Intelligence Solutions imagery has captured a significant mobilization of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) around Rashad, Delaba, and Umm Abdallah in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Sudan.
The SAF mobilization, which includes the movement of heavy weaponry into the area, appears to be in preparation for an assault on Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) bases in the Kauda Valley.
Most significantly, DigitalGlobe imagery from Delaba confirms the presence of a Chinese-manufactured WS-01 multiple rocket launcher, a powerful and indiscriminate weapon within the SAF inventory that is not normally deployed to low-level conflicts.
In addition, sources on the ground have confirmed the presence of the reconstituted Janjaweed, known as the Rapid Support Force (RSF), west of Rashad, who routinely engage in the destruction of entire civilian villages.
The RSF include local militias that are backed by the Sudanese government to forcibly displace civilians and engage rebel forces. The combination of the WS-01 multiple rocket launcher and the RSF Janjaweed pose a grave threat to civilian populations in the Nuba Mountains region.
Justine Fleischner, a consultant with the Enough Project, said: "The mobilization of the Sudan Armed Forces in the Kauda Valley in the Nuba Mountains is of immediate concern given the presence of heavy weaponry and Rapid Support Forces, reconstituted Janjaweed militias, in the area.
Most concerning is the presence of a WS-01 multiple rocket launcher, a powerful and indiscriminate weapon with a range of between 80 and 180 kilometers. We know from past experience what the devastating consequences for civilians might be."
The Enough Project will continue to closely monitor the situation in the Nuba Mountains and advocate for a comprehensive approach to end the conflicts in Sudan.
Read the full report, "Human Security Alert: Massive Mobilization of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the Nuba Mountains:"
View or download imagery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157644005919824/
The Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, a partnership between the Enough Project and DigitalGlobe, conducts monitoring of both 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.