Wednesday, February 02, 2011

New Satellite Images Reveal Continuing Human Rights Atrocities in Darfur, Amnesty International Says

WASHINGTON - February 2 - New satellite image analysis released today shows that while international attention is focused on the South Sudan referendum, grave violations of human rights continue in neighboring Darfur. Images secured by Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) and analyzed with partners from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) show irrefutably that civilians were targeted in the Negeha region of south Darfur with whole villages burned to the ground as recently as December. According to Amnesty International, in December alone, more than 20,000 people were displaced by government attacks, including in Dar Al Salam, Shangil Tobaya and Khor Abeche displacement camps in north and south Darfur.

Scott Edwards, AIUSA Advocacy Director for Africa, stated: "While the world has understandably turned a hopeful eye to the referendum process, the satellite evidence collected from the Negeha region of Darfur demonstrates what happens when vigilant attention wanes and support for accountability cedes to political or diplomatic expediency."

The imagery and analysis corroborate reports of attacks against civilians in Negeha in December 2010, just a few weeks before the referendum in South Sudan took place.

The release of the findings coincides with other recent high profile uses of satellite imagery in connection with the referendum, and builds on Amnesty International's three-year-old Eyes on Darfur ( satellite project. It is a continuation of several years of work by Amnesty International to use geospatial tools for human rights monitoring.

"Unless the international community demands accountability for the atrocities and ensures that those responsible do not evade justice, these images will serve only as a reminder of the world's collective failure and responsibillity to the victims in Darfur," said Edwards.

Arrest warrants for President Omar al Bashir and several Sudanese officials and militia leaders have been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and in the case of the president, genocide. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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