The Government of Sudan appears ready to launch a massive military drive aimed at the rebel stronghold of Kurmuk in the Blue Nile border area, says a new report by the Satellite Sentinel Project.
Evidence against the Government of Sudan mounts, as yet another SSP report documents the potential for further indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force that could constitute violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
The series of 14 DigitalGlobe satellite images, taken from September 9 – 21 and analyzed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, show evidence of heavy bombardment at Dindiro, Blue Nile, and subsequent troops massing and preparing to move south.
“Since May 2011, SAF and other Government of Sudan-aligned forces, according to evidence collected by SSP, have routinely engaged in attacks against civilians in apparent violation of international humanitarian and human rights law,” said Dr. Charles Clements, executive director of the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights Policy in the statement issued with the report.
Images taken September 9 show rapid entrenchment of SAF forces in al-Damazin, the capital of Blue Nile, followed by more images from September 10 that show a battalion-sized mechanized convoy on the road from al-Damzin, passing Dindiro town and heading towards Kurmuk.
The newly appointed governor of Blue Nile was quoted in a September 20 news article saying that saying that SAF are leading massive operations around Kurmuk to tighten their hold on the surrounding area and capture the city.
The most recent images from September 21 show heavily camouflaged, mechanized units of at least 3,000 Sudan Armed Forces soldiers on the road to Kurmuk. As of the morning of September 21 when the last images were taken, they were just 40 miles away from the SPLA-North stronghold.
SSP is issuing a human security warning as a result of the findings of this report.
Read the full report: “State of Emergency: Threat of SAF Attack on Kurmuk”