Special Report : Evidence of Burial of Human Remains in Kadugli, South Kordofan
Satellite Sentinel Project
24 August 2011
The Satellite Sentinel Project’s (SSP) identification on 14 July 2011 of a cluster of white bundles in Kadugli as consistent with human remains wrapped in white plastic tarps or body bags was controversial at the time. Although publicly questioned by a US government official, it has now been established by SSP through the collection of additional imagery and eyewitness reports.
This report presents more visual evidence and new information by eyewitnesses who spoke directly to SSP of the collection and burial of human remains wrapped in tarps and/or body bags by the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS). The bundles were buried at an additional two new apparent mass graves in and around Kadugli.
To date, SSP has identified a total of eight mass graves in and around Kadugli, as well as evidence of corpses wrapped in what appear to be body bags and/or tarps at four sites. Also, SSP’s imagery of apparent mass graves has been reviewed by Stefan Schmitt, International Forensic Program Director for Physicians for Human Rights, who has concluded that the images “provide enough credible evidence to suggest the presence of mass graves.” (…)
Statements and press releases by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the SRCS, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have also confirmed that mass body recovery and disposal operations have been occurring in Kadugli. A 1 July report released by IFRC verifies that the SRCS, reportedly acting on instructions from the Government of South Kordofan, has been actively collecting dead bodies in Kadugli town, and had at least 415 body bags and 2,000 plastic tarps recently transferred to it from the IFRC prior to the fighting in June. By the end of June, the SRCS was publicly saying it needed more body bags.
This, paired with a 7 July statement by the ICRC stating that it “provided Sudanese Red Crescent emergency action teams with technical advice on the management of dead bodies, and with the body bags they needed to recover the dead,” corroborates SSP’s assertion that the white or light-colored objects are consistent with body bags. Eyewitnesses have described to SSP seeing a yellow front-end loader with a backhoe digging mass graves in and around Kadugli at sites in which an SRCS Land Cruiser and SRCS workers were also present.
It is now two months since reports of the systematic killing of civilians in Kadugli by Government of Sudan-aligned forces first emerged. The debate continues about what further steps the US and the international community should take in response to the gross violations of human rights that have been reported. What should no longer be debated, however, is that these alleged crimes, including mass killing and subsequent mass burial of the dead, have happened and continue to occur.
Read full report.