When George Clooney and Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast took a trip to southern Sudan in October 2010 they had the idea to start the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP). It fully launched that December with the goals of deterring a return to full-scale civil war between northern and southern Sudan. SSP focuses world attention on mass atrocities in Sudan and uses its imagery and analysis to generate rapid responses on human rights and human security concerns. We have been honored to participate in this important initiative that is making such a significant impact on human rights issues.
The project works like this: DigitalGlobe satellites passing over Sudan and South Sudan capture imagery of possible threats to civilians, detect bombed and razed villages, or note other evidence of pending mass violence. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in conjunction with DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center analyzes imagery and information from sources on the ground to produce reports. The Enough Project then releases the reports to the press and policymakers and sounds the alarm by notifying major news organizations and a mobile network of activists on Twitter and Facebook.
In their most recent trip to Sudan this month, Clooney and Prendergast experienced frequent “close calls” as bombs were being dropped on the villages they visited. In parallel to the evidence gathered by Clooney and Prendergast on the ground, the SSP team was able to use DigitalGlobe’s constellation of satellites to capture the same events via satellite imagery. In one image, an Antonov bomber can be seen flying back towards the Sudanese military airbase, and in the same image, smoke plumes are captured rising up from civilian villages. This is just another example of extraordinary events which can only be caught by a robust and persistent satellite constellation and a highly trained team of geospatial imagery analysts to identify the key elements in the imagery. Using these capabilities, SSP has been able to document and report the astonishing events occurring in Sudan for the world to see.
Below are a few interviews the SSP was able to secure in order to promote their valuable cause. Some of the events captured (and Clooney and Prendergast have witnessed directly) are not easy to listen to, as you’ll find in the interviews we include here. But we wanted to share them, in hopes that they have the same effect on you as they have on us: now, more than ever, we are proud to continue supplying thousands of square miles of imagery and analysis to lend support to this critical effort.
Watch SSP on C-SPAN
Watch SSP on CNN