Satellite Images Show Grave Crimes Continue in Darfur

UPDATE: Please take action to ensure accountability  for crimes committed in Darfur

While the whole world is watching the outcome of the South Sudan referendum, Darfur continues to burn. New satellite images released by Amnesty’s Science for Human Rights Program provide shocking evidence that grave human rights violations continue in Darfur 8 years after the outbreak of the conflict. The situation has deteriorated in the run up to the referendum in South Sudan last month.

More alarmingly, the escalation in violence has been largely ignored by the international community, which is focusing on the formation of a new state in the south of the country.

Click to see full graphic

The Negeha region of South Darfur
The images were analyzed by our partners from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and show irrefutably that civilians were targeted in the Negeha region of south Darfur with whole villages burned to the ground as recently as December. We have previously reported that in December alone more than 20,000 people were displaced by government attacks, including in Dar Al Salam, Shangil Tobaya and Khor Abeche displacement camps in north and south Darfur.

Based on new reports of offensives in the Negeha region in December 2010, we sought to document any apparent violations of international law through the targeting of civilian dwellings. According to reports, the villages of Negeha and Jaghara were burned in December 2010, resulting in more than 7,000 internally displaced persons. Satellite imagery of the region was collected and compared from three time periods: December 2005, January 2010, and December 2010.

In total, AAAS identified 819 individual structures as damaged or destroyed. Of these, 265 suffered damage between December 2005 and January 2010, while 554 did so between January and December 2010.

The release of the findings coincides with other recent high profile uses of satellite imagery in connection with the referendum, and builds on our three-year-old Eyes on Darfur project. It is a continuation of several years of work to use geospatial tools for human rights monitoring.

Where is the commitment to justice?
The new images are a painful reminder of the collective failure of the international community to ensure accountability for the crimes committed in Darfur. Referring to the recent UN assistance for Ahmed Haroun—wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court―Scott Edwards, Amnesty International USA Africa Advocacy Director made the following statement (which I believe leaves nothing to add):

When the United Nations Mission in Sudan gives a ride to one of the alleged architects of systematic murder, rape, and torture in Darfur, we have to question the current state of commitment to justice for Darfur. It then becomes easier to understand why the crimes documented in the Negeha analysis continue unabated. Impunity—that’s what the satellite imagery currently shows.

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6 thoughts on “Satellite Images Show Grave Crimes Continue in Darfur

  1. It’s time to reveal the criminals identity who are governing this world.
    I can really understand that the political class is failing everywhere, having prioritized economic interests of the human rights.
    Unfortunately, for decades, whatever the political ideology is of a government, the world despises the human being and it worships vanity, luxury and power.
    It's time to change if we do not want to be devoured each other.
    Never corruption and tyranny has had any commitment to justice, and for this same reason, the international community has failed.
    Whatever is the number of members who represent this community, the justice control in the world won’t be possible without the cooperation of all citizens.
    Within a few years the policy will not be able to exist properly without the full collaboration and participation of citizens in it.
    The value system in which policy is installed, not only feeds the criminals and their actions, but that is complicit in their actions. The most destructive weapon against the power is information, which as wikileaks threatens to dismantle to the tricks of power; that is to say the complicated tangled of characters and relationships. that make a criminal remains unpunished.

  2. It’s time to reveal the criminals identity who are governing this world.
    I can really understand that the political class is failing everywhere, having prioritized economic interests of the human rights.
    Unfortunately, for decades, whatever the political ideology is of a government, the world despises the human being and it worships vanity, luxury and power.
    It’s time to change if we do not want to be devoured each other.
    Never corruption and tyranny has had any commitment to justice, and for this same reason, the international community has failed.
    Whatever is the number of members who represent this community, the justice control in the world won’t be possible without the cooperation of all citizens.
    Within a few years the policy will not be able to exist properly without the full collaboration and participation of citizens in it.
    The value system in which policy is installed, not only feeds the criminals and their actions, but that is complicit in their actions. The most destructive weapon against the power is information, which as wikileaks threatens to dismantle to the tricks of power; that is to say the complicated tangled of characters and relationships. that make a criminal remains unpunished.

  3. What do these satellite images REALLY prove A I???

    How can you be so quick to assert that they are proof of "grave crimes"????

    That's the problem with this whole sat project (a fund raising and publicity device for A I USA? Highly probable).

    It doesn't provide any context.

    Sure, the images show that huts have been burnt.

    But, for example, isn't it ENTIRELY PLAUSIBLE, A I, that members of Darfur's atomised rebel groups were taking refuge/using these civilian huts as hiding places/vantage points to attack the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)????

    After all – the rebels do come from Darfur villages and the like:

    Note, AI – they haven't been transported from outer space and suddenly landed in Darfur! They are Darfuri – the rebels – and have to come from somewhere!!

    So, then, what makes you think, A I, that the Darfuri rebels wouldn't use their intimate knowledge of Darfur and their kinship links to try to level the playing field with the SAF by bring war into urban (by Darfuri and Sudanese standards generally) areas??

    Don't guerrilla movements the world over deliberately bring battles into urban areas just to reduce the inherent advantage of the State?? See Hamas, Iraqi snipers as providing just a few examples.

    Would satellite images of a few villages destroyed by US or/and NATO forces in the Af-Pak region provide ANY context about why those battles took place or how??

    Err, nope!

    So, why, AI, should, Darfur or anywhere else in Sudan be any different?

    Indeed, what did happen to in for a dime, in for a buck, AI USA??

    Why don’t you have the same satellite project – let alone same bombast – going on in the Gaza Strip (let alone the Af Pak region)??? In case you haven’t heard, AI USA, those are two locations of a REAL shock-and-awe assault on civilians from the air.

    Let nobody get fooled.

    As said, this Darfur satellite watch project is not about raising the alarm about Darfur – if they did, AI, would be calling for all the rebels to lay down their arms, sit, and not move until a comprehensive peace agreement with the Sudanese government for Darfur has been reached.

    That’s the REAL AND ONLY way to stop any more suffering in Darfur.

    Instead, AI USA, you’ve opted to continue with pure gimmickry and bombast.
    How sad. Very sad.

    Ibrahim Adam

    El Fasher

    North Darfur

    Sudan

  4. What do these satellite images REALLY prove A I???

    How can you be so quick to assert that they are proof of “grave crimes”????

    That’s the problem with this whole sat project (a fund raising and publicity device for A I USA? Highly probable).

    It doesn’t provide any context.

    Sure, the images show that huts have been burnt.

    But, for example, isn’t it ENTIRELY PLAUSIBLE, A I, that members of Darfur’s atomised rebel groups were taking refuge/using these civilian huts as hiding places/vantage points to attack the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)????

    After all – the rebels do come from Darfur villages and the like:

    Note, AI – they haven’t been transported from outer space and suddenly landed in Darfur! They are Darfuri – the rebels – and have to come from somewhere!!

    So, then, what makes you think, A I, that the Darfuri rebels wouldn’t use their intimate knowledge of Darfur and their kinship links to try to level the playing field with the SAF by bring war into urban (by Darfuri and Sudanese standards generally) areas??

    Don’t guerrilla movements the world over deliberately bring battles into urban areas just to reduce the inherent advantage of the State?? See Hamas, Iraqi snipers as providing just a few examples.

    Would satellite images of a few villages destroyed by US or/and NATO forces in the Af-Pak region provide ANY context about why those battles took place or how??

    Err, nope!

    So, why, AI, should, Darfur or anywhere else in Sudan be any different?

    Indeed, what did happen to in for a dime, in for a buck, AI USA??

    Why don’t you have the same satellite project – let alone same bombast – going on in the Gaza Strip (let alone the Af Pak region)??? In case you haven’t heard, AI USA, those are two locations of a REAL shock-and-awe assault on civilians from the air.

    Let nobody get fooled.

    As said, this Darfur satellite watch project is not about raising the alarm about Darfur – if they did, AI, would be calling for all the rebels to lay down their arms, sit, and not move until a comprehensive peace agreement with the Sudanese government for Darfur has been reached.

    That’s the REAL AND ONLY way to stop any more suffering in Darfur.

    Instead, AI USA, you’ve opted to continue with pure gimmickry and bombast.
    How sad. Very sad.

    Ibrahim Adam

    El Fasher

    North Darfur

    Sudan