Satellite Sentinel Project Aims to Deter War in Sudan

A satellite image of a village in Sudan from March 6, 2011, shows at least 300 structures burned, at least two-thirds of which appear to be for civilian use.

DigitalGlobe collaborated with the Satellite Sentinel Project, the brainchild of actor George Clooney, to deliver the first images and analysis of the evolving situation in Sudan, following the country’s historic vote on independence in January 2011.  According to DigitalGlobe Vice President Stephen Wood, the company’s satellite constellation imaged nearly 750,000 square kilometers of Sudan in 30 days.

The imagery aims to shine a light on the area and deter the resumption of war between North and South Sudan. “We are focusing on the areas along the border where the most likely conflicts may occur,” explains John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, an anti-genocide group and collaborator on the Satellite Sentinel Project. “The idea is to monitor these hotspots and try to stop human rights crimes before they happen.”

The Satellite Sentinel Project marks the first sustained, public effort to systematically monitor and report on potential hotspots and security threats along a border. Clooney conceived of the innovative project on Oct. 4, 2010, while on a fact-finding mission to southern Sudan with Prendergast. The project’s funder, Not On Our Watch, co-founded by Don Cheadle, Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, David Pressman and Jerry Weintraub, focuses global attention and resources toward putting an end to mass atrocities around the world.

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