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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid