News / Africa

Mass Graves Reported in Sudan

Satellite Image of alleged mass graves in Kadugli in Sudan's Southern Kordofan State, July 2011
Satellite Image of alleged mass graves in Kadugli in Sudan's Southern Kordofan State, July 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

New satellite images of Sudan reportedly show mass graves in Southern Kordofan State.

The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released images it says are “consistent with allegations that the Sudan Armed Forces and northern militias have killed civilians.”

Analyzing the images

“They show evidence consistent with an alleged mass grave identified by at least two eyewitnesses in the vicinity of Kadugli town. They show the presence of white vehicles, including alleged dump trucks, identified by multiple eyewitnesses as being Sudan Armed Forces vehicles used in house to house searches for civilians, who are allegedly being killed when found,” said Nathaniel Raymond, SSP’s director of operations at the Harvard Humanitarian Project.

The images also show a “pile of white bundles.” Raymond said these are “consistent with alleged wrapped bodies or bodies in body bags.” They were piled near the Episcopal Church of Sudan in Kadugli, the capital of Southern Kordofan State.

Each of the three excavations is reported to be about 90 feet long and 20 feet wide.

Eyewitness accounts

The SSP uses both on-the-ground reports and satellite images in its analysis.

“All of our eyewitness reports - and there are at least five in total that were used for this report - were received by people who had been in Kadugli in the past month and had seen the events described in the report," he said. "The eyewitnesses are independent of each other and they do not see our satellite imagery.”

Reports of possible mass graves in Kadugli were first heard in early June, but Raymond described them as “unverified and vague.” In the following days, that changed.

“By the middle of June we had received the first eyewitness indication that there had potentially been mass systematic killings of civilians through house-to-house searches, including the slitting of throats and the burning of homes,” he said.

The collection of information continued into July.

“By this week, we had enough imagery and eyewitness testimony to be able to identify the three pieces of evidence we feel [are] consistent with mass graves and systematic killing of civilians we published in the report.”

The report has been released to the media, as well as the U.S. government and the international community. Raymond said the Satellite Sentinel Project has asked the U.N. to refer the report to the International Criminal Court.

Still unknown

For weeks, the SSP has been trying to locate some 7,000 internally displaced civilians who had sought shelter outside the U.N. compound in Kadugli. They had gathered there in June, but for unknown reasons, they had left the area are no longer there.

“I’m sad to say that we continue to search for them now. The alleged mass graves that we identified were initially being dug before the 7,000 IDPs allegedly began to leave that area or were forced to leave the area near the U.N. compound. At this point, we still do not know their whereabouts.”

U.N. and humanitarian agencies still have very limited access to Kadugli. Sudan Armed Forces and its allies have been fighting forces loyal to South Sudan in Southern Kordofan State. South Sudan gained its independence from the north last Saturday.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid