[SatNews] The United Nations estimates that 395,000 people have been displaced by violence over the past three years, with 43,000 living as refugees in neighboring countries.
It’s been three years since ethnic violence in the region gained international attention; violence primarily resulting from the Southern Sudanese independence referendum. Most recently, South Sudan has been engulfed in an ever-expanding civil war. The violent conditions make reporting on the ground difficult, and crucial for companies such as DigitalGlobe to assist from 300 miles above the Earth. The United Nations estimates that 395,000 people have been displaced by violence over the past three years, with 43,000 living as refugees in neighboring countries.
The Satellite Sentinel Project report analyzes satellite imagery of Mayom and Bor, and suggests destruction has taken place at an alarming rate. For reference, South Sudan is divided into states. Mayom city is the capital of oil-rich state of Unity, and the home of many political figures. Bor is the capital of the state of Jonglei, which is an area of focus for opposing factions – the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) and South Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SSPLA) – because of its proximity to oil fields.
The destruction in the satellite imagery below shows evidence of some of the atrocities in the city of Bor, where ten buildings were destroyed in the two-day period between January 8 and January 10. As a result of the damage, civilians in Bor sought refuge in the UNMISS compound in town, while others fled south to Juba or across the river to Aweriel in the state of Lakes.
Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder, George Clooney, said “Evidence of atrocities against civilians should be collected and used for future prosecution for war crimes. There will be no peace if massive human rights abuses can be committed with no accountability. This time in South Sudan there needs to be an end to impunity.”