The Satellite Sentinel Project has revealed visual evidence of mass graves in Sudan’s South Kordofan, near the border of the newly independent South Sudan. The findings are based on the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and eyewitness reports, according to a Satellite Sentinel Project release. The release states that the evidence is consistent with allegations that the Sudan Armed Forces and northern militias have engaged in a campaign of killing civilians.
The Satellite Sentinel Project is a collaboration between actor George Clooney’s human rights organization, Not On Our Watch and Harvard’s institution-wide humanitarian initiative. Beginning in January during the referendum on independence for oil-rich southern Sudan, the project has analyzed near real-time satellite imagery and crowd-sourced data to monitor potential human rights violations. Also participating are the Enough Project, the United Nations, Google, and others. This was the first major effort to monitor security threats along a geographic border to help prevent humanitarian disaster. Averting civil strife has wide public health implications—including heading off civilian injury, disease, malnutrition, starvation, and the disruption of crucial non-government organization (NGO) services.