26 July 2011, Geneva, Switzerland - UNOSAT concluded in June 2011 its technical support and analysis collaboration with the Satellite Sentinel Project launched by actor George Clooney together with the NGO Enough and with support from Harvard University. The participation of UNOSAT had been programmed for the first six months to support the pilot phase of a public-domain human security initiative to help monitor the possible humanitarian consequences of a disruption of peace and human security in South Sudan during the period leading to the referendums.
The Project, which attracted large media attention, provided the general public for the first time with continuous access to updated satellite imagery and field reports on the human security situation in volatile areas around the border between North and South Sudan in a critically tense period of time including the holding of the referendums that decided the separation of the South. UNOSAT joined the initiative from the beginning contributing its experience in identifying, purchasing and analysing satellite imagery over critical areas during the first six months of operations.
Jonathan Hutson, Director of Communications at the Enough Project and a leading figure of the Satellite Sentinel Project said: “the Satellite Sentinel Project could not have existed, and could not have succeeded in alerting the world to threats to human rights and human security along Sudan's North-South border, and documenting visual evidence of possible war crimes, without the inspiration, insights, and expertise of the UN Institute for Training and Research and the imagery analysis of UNOSAT. The UNOSAT Team has demonstrated that better, faster satellite imagery and analysis produces better, stronger response to emerging crises”.
The Project will continue to operate with an increased group of partners including the US based satellite data provider Digital Globe.
Photo: John Prendergast and George Clooney in Sudan