Satellite imagery-based report on Sudan conflict reveals scope of destruction

A new study on the ongoing conflict in Sudan—combining satellite imagery, public reports, and online videos—reveals that the scope of the intentional destruction of apparent civilian dwellings and other structures, primarily by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), is larger than previously known. The report, Sudan: Anatomy of a Conflict, was released May 21, 2013 by the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). It found that more than 2,000 buildings were burned in disputed regions along the border between Sudan and South Sudan from January 2011 until mid-2012.

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“This study provides previously unavailable information about the conflict in Sudan, while also demonstrating how humanitarian actors can see other, future disasters in new ways,” said Michael VanRooyen, HHI director and professor in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard School of Public Health, in a press release.

The report also corroborated findings of apparent intentional targeting of humanitarian facilities, identification of SAF units involved in specific attacks, and evidence of intentional mass displacement of civilians.

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Read a Harvard Gazette article about the report