Scorched Earth Near Dilling
Situation Report: Scorched Earth Near Dilling, South Kordofan, Sudan

December 6, 2012

DigitalGlobe imagery acquired for the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, on November 26 and 27 indicates that a campaign of serial arson and starvation warfare by the government of Sudan has systematically destroyed at least 26 Nuba villages, as well as food crops and grasslands for grazing cattle across approximately 54 square miles (140 square kilometers) in three areas of the war-torn Sudanese border state of South Kordofan.

The new satellite imagery corroborates on-the-ground reports that the government of Sudan has implemented a scorched-earth policy in at least three Nuban areas near Dilling and Kadugli, and shows 13 newly burned villages in addition to the 13 Nuban villages near al-Abassiya, South Kordofan. See SSP’s previous situation report for documentation of the deliberate burnings of civilian residential structures, grasslands, and crops across 31 square miles (82 square kilometers) in the al-Abassiya area. (1)

Northwest of Dilling, the latest satellite imagery released by SSP reveals deliberate fire damage and destruction to farms and villages in an area of at least 23 square miles (60 square kilometers). Radio Dabanga reported, “Citizens from El-Delanj (also known as Dilling) accused a group of pro-government militia of burning 350 houses and 60 square kilometers of farms. Sultan Khamies Soba said pro-government militiamen launched a ‘campaign against several villages’ in the locality with the intent of ‘starving and displacing the natives.’ (2)

In addition to the fires in the Dilling area, DigitalGlobe’s analysts identified fires burning in a small village located 18 kilometers south of Kadugli on imagery dated November 27, 2012. At least five tukuls were observed on fire and much of the surrounding grassland and fields were also burning. Rebel forces of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army-North have launched mortar fire into the town of Kadugli in recent weeks; this scorched-earth program may be retaliation by the Sudanese government against Nuban civilian populations.

The systematic razing of civilian infrastructure and the deliberate burning of crops and fields can constitute crimes against humanity.

1. Satellite Sentinel Project, “Situation Report: Scorched Earth Near al Abassiya,” November 30, 2012, "http://www.satsentinel.org/sites/default/files/SITREP_0013_Scorched%20Earth%20Near%20al%20Abassiya%20-%20Nov%2029,%202012_dg.pdf"

2. “Radio Dabanga, Militia ‘burns 350 houses’ in S. Kordofan,” www.radiodabanga.org/node/38975, accessed 27 Nov 2012.
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