Satellite Sentinel Project Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has corroborated eyewitness accounts and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) reports alleging that the Government of Sudan’s Central Reserve Police (CRP) unit has engaged in the unlawful abduction, detention, and extra-judicial killing of civilians in South Kordofan, Sudan.
SSP, through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and field reports collected by the Enough Project, has documented that the CRP, also known as “Abu Tira,” reinforced and fortified a police training center alongside the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) compound during the time period that CRP forces were reportedly abducting, detaining, torturing and killing internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking refuge there. Satellite imagery shows clear evidence of the buildup of fortifications and significant reinforcement of apparent CRP personnel and vehicles between 2 June and 19 August. The UN compound and the CRP compound stand within approximately 100 meters of each other.
“Reliable sources have told us that South Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun, an indicted war criminal, built up a goon squad known as Abu Tira, and let them commit abductions and mass murder with impunity,” said Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw. “Haroun is already notorious from his activities in Darfur and has now been caught promoting the same murderous tactics in South Kordofan.”
The Enough Project is calling on the United States Government to impose sanctions on individuals who command and control Abu Tira by adding their names and any assets that they control to its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. While Governor Haroun is already listed on the SDN list for alleged crimes in Darfur, no one has yet been added to the list for being associated with the CRP or for alleged crimes in South Kordofan.
Eyewitness accounts collected by SSP detail the alleged 6 June abduction of IDPs from the UNMIS compound to an area between the UN compound and the CRP training center, where CRP reportedly killed them. In another incident, a UNHCHR report describes reports of armed CRP personnel, moving in and out of the UNMIS protective perimeter, conducting identity checks on IDPs on 8 June. CRP forces reportedly abducted some IDPs following the identity checks.
In addition, eyewitness reports of the abduction and murder of Numeiri Philip Kalo, a UN independent contractor with Tri-Star Fueling and a Catholic seminarian, were communicated to SSP. One witness reported to SSP that Abu Tira abducted Numeiri, a Nuba man who was an active SPLM supporter, on 8 June from the east UNMIS gate. They reportedly put him in an Abu Tira Land Cruiser, drove around the corner, shot him with automatic weaponry, and dumped his bullet-riddled body from the moving vehicle in front of the CRP compound. Egyptian peacekeepers, among other people, reportedly observed the abduction and murder.
Also, SSP has received a new eyewitness report from 8 June alleging that CRP, Sudan Armed Forces, and PDF militia forces tied civilians to the gates of the Kadugli airport checkpoint, beat them, shot and killed them, and buried them in a mass grave.
“Abu Tira has allegedly committed in South Kordofan what may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity,” stated Harvard Carr Center Executive Director Charlie Clements, MD. “The international community has sanctioned others in the Government of Sudan for similar actions in Darfur.”
Read the latest SSP report, “In Close Proximity: Alleged Abduction, Detention and Extra-Judicial Killings by Abu Tira”: http://www.satsentinel.org/
View or download the DigitalGlobe satellite imagery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
About the Satellite Sentinel Project
The Satellite Sentinel Project, http://satsentinel.org, combines satellite imagery analysis and field reports with Google’s Map Maker to deter the resumption of full-scale civil war between North and South Sudan. Not On Our Watch provided seed money to launch SSP. The Enough Project contributes field reports and policy analysis, and, together with Not On Our Watch and our Sudan Now partners, pressures policymakers by urging the public to act. Harvard Humanitarian Initiative provides research and leads the collection, human rights analysis, and corroboration of on-the-ground reports that contextualizes the imagery. DigitalGlobe provides satellite imagery and additional analysis. Google and Trellon collaborated to design the web platform.