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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs