Anti-genocide eye in Sudan’s sky

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 January 2011, 13:52 GMT]
An organization founded by leading Hollywood figures is teaming up with Google, the United Nations and other anti-genocide organizations to launch satellite surveillance of the border between north and south Sudan. Not On Our Watch will fund the start-up phase of the ‘Satellite Sentinel Project’, which will collect real-time satellite imagery and combine it with field analysis from the Enough Project and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, publishing reports online. “We want to let potential perpetrators of genocide and other war crimes know that we’re watching, the world is watching,” George Clooney, co-founder of Not On Our Watch, said in a statement.

“War criminals thrive in the dark. It’s a lot harder to commit mass atrocities in the glare of the media spotlight,” he said.

Along with Clooney, Not On Our Watch, was co-founded by actors Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle, movie producer Jerry Weintraub and senior rights lawyer and strategist David Pressman, .

The project is meant to act as a kind of early warning system, monitoring the movement of troops, civilians and other signs of conflict. The UN agency and Google will then publish the analysis online.

UNOSAT (United Nations UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme) leads the collection and analysis of the images and collaborates with Google and Trellon to design the web platform for the public to easily access the images and reports, says the Satellite Sentinel website.

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative provides system-wide research and leads the collection, human rights analysis, and corroboration of on-the-ground reports that contextualizes the satellite imagery.

The Enough Project contributes field reports, provides policy analysis, and, together with Not On Our Watch, puts pressure on policymakers by urging the public to act, the website says.

“We can’t allow another deadly war, and we surely cannot stand by in the face of a genocide threat,” says a statement by Clooney and Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast on the site.

“Previously, when mass atrocities occurred in Darfur, the Government of Sudan denied its involvement. Since photographers could not get access, it took years to amass evidence of genocide,” they note.

“But now we can witness in near real-time and put all parties on notice that if they commit war crimes, we will all be watching, and pressuring policymakers to take action.”

The Satellite Sentinel Project marks the first sustained, public effort to systematically monitor and report on potential hotspots and threats to security along a border, in near real-time (within 24-36 hours), with the aim of heading off humanitarian disaster and human rights crimes before they occur, the venture’s website notes.

 

Latest 15 Reports
18.07.18 19:21   Photo
Uprooted Mu'l'lik-ku'lam Tamils adopt Ira'nai-theevu approach, enter their lands seized by SL Navy
17.07.18 21:29   Photo
Colombo steps up shadow war against NPC Chief Minister Wigneswaran
16.07.18 22:48   Photo
SL Forest Department seizes agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils in Paduvaan-karai
15.07.18 19:14   Photo
Families of enforced disappeared vehemently oppose OMP sittings in North
14.07.18 19:35  
SL High Court in Vavuniyaa tricked again into postponing hearings on TPP case
13.07.18 23:20   Photo
NPC CM declines participation in Colombo's unilateral task force for so-called Development
12.07.18 12:22   Photo
Genocidal Sri Lanka seizes ancient coastal hamlet of Tamil-speaking aborigines in Trincomalee
11.07.18 18:20  
Collaborationist sections of TNA lose significance, Wigneswaran holds key to unified Tamil polity
10.07.18 21:53  
SL Military Intelligence recommences recruitment of notorious ex-paramilitary operatives
09.07.18 22:30   Photo
Antiquities Ordinance used to justify Sinhalicisation of 48 locations in Mullaiththeevu
08.07.18 19:06   Photo
TNPF protests against Colombo's move to militarise Jaffna Fort
07.07.18 19:56   Photo
SL Police in Champoor blocks remembrance of Tamils massacred by SL military
06.07.18 23:17  
Jaffna University silent to Colombo's pressure, motives behind Fort excavation questioned
05.07.18 23:49  
Tamils need native movements to confront Colombo-centric environmental exploitations
04.07.18 20:29  
Geneva-based human rights regime is big disappointment: Tamil political prisoners
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=33326