GeoWorld September 2011

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NEWSLINK Satellite Peace Project Spots Potential Mass Graves The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), a "peace- focused" organization that uses satellite imagery to monitor remote areas, found evidence of mass graves in South Kordofan, a conflict-torn region of Sudan. Collected data corroborate eyewitness reports obtained by SSP, indicating systematic kill- ings and mass burials in the area. "The evidence found by SSP is consistent with alle- gations that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and north- ern militias have engaged in a campaign of killing civilians," SSP officials announced in a statement. Based on Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's analy- sis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and eyewitness reports, SSP identified a site in Sudan's Kadugli area that's consistent with three mass graves. SSP's evidence corroborates four eyewitness accounts claiming that SAF, northern militias and other forces aligned with the government of Sudan are operating in Kadugli, and that these forces are methodically searching homes for civilians. "This evidence demonstrates the urgent need for a full-scale international investigation into the violence in South Kordofan, and underlines the imperative to protect civilian populations from their own govern- ment in Khartoum," said Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast, who co-founded SSP with actor George Clooney after an October 2010 visit to South Sudan. "With all the killing that has occurred in Darfur, Abyei and the Nuba Mountains, we surely can't say we didn't know this could happen." SSP also found evidence that suggests the pres- ence of a "pile of people" in body bags or white tarps in Kadugli. According to SSP, the imagery corroborates an eyewitness account of bodies being placed in bags or tarps by SAF and government-aligned forces. "Detailed situation reports from United Nations agencies and other aid providers are severely lim- ited due to the lack of free and unfettered access to Kadugli town," added Charlie Clements, executive director of the Carr Center, a human-rights policy center at Harvard University. "In the absence of on-the-ground reports from humanitarian actors and journalists, eye- witness reports from those who were in Kadugli town within the past month, combined with satellite-imagery analysis, offer the only available means at present of assessing threats to civilians there." GeoEye and Russian Firm Expand Partnership Geospatial information provider GeoEye signed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar agreement with ScanEx Research and Development Center of Russia to provide more than 50-million square kilometers of high-resolution commercial satellite imagery that will be provided to international customers in Russia and nearby countries. ScanEx's offerings range from imagery acquisition to thematic processing of space-based imagery. The company specializes in designing and manufactur- ing hardware and software systems for spatial data reception and processing as well as developing soft- ware applications for satellite data storage, process- ing and interpretation. Under the agreement, GeoEye will deliver high-resolution IKONOS imagery from its color imagery archive, and new imagery will be col- lected through 2012. The agreement expands on a 2010 deal in which According to a humanitarian project that uses imagery to monitor conflict areas, a cluster of white objects found in this satellite image could be body bags. 6 GEO W ORLD / SEPTEMBE R 2O11 GeoEye provided ScanEx with more than 2 million square kilometers of imagery. Company officials believe the new agreement highlights the interna- tional commercial market's growing demand for high- resolution satellite imagery and services. ENOUGH PROJECT

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