When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

December 04, 2006

Darfur: News and a Satellite Recon Tour

Bravo Romeo Delta

You probably have all heard about the Christmas in Darfur project that I'm involved with. In the course of preparation, we've been following the news and doing some research, which I figured I should share with folks. As the situation continues to deteriorate, (below are links to the satellite images of the towns Abeche and Adre mentioned in the linked story) things are going to start getting way pricey, way quick, so if you haven't already contributed, we'd sure appreciate your support.

News from the region

  • Aid agencies to suspend food aid for approximately 50,000 due to security concerns.
  • Janjaweed attacks spilling over - 100 km - in to Chad.
  • Meanwhile, the Chadian rebellion seems to be hotting up.
  • Nicholas Kristoff in a February 2006 book review:
    In my years as a journalist, I thought I had seen a full kaleidoscope of horrors, from babies dying of malaria to Chinese troops shooting students to Indonesian mobs beheading people. But nothing prepared me for Darfur, where systematic murder, rape, and mutilation are taking place on a vast scale, based simply on the tribe of the victim. What I saw reminded me why people say that genocide is the worst evil of which human beings are capable.

    On one of the first of my five visits to Darfur, I came across an oasis along the Chad border where several tens of thousands of people were sheltering under trees after being driven from their home villages by the Arab Janjaweed militia, which has been supported by the Sudan government in Khartoum. Under the first tree, I found a man who had been shot in the neck and the jaw; his brother, shot only in the foot, had carried him for forty-nine days to get to this oasis. Under the next tree was a widow whose parents had been killed and stuffed in the village well to poison the local water supply; then the Janjaweed had tracked down the rest of her family and killed her husband. Under the third tree was a four-year-old orphan girl carrying her one-year-old baby sister on her back; their parents had been killed. Under the fourth tree was a woman whose husband and children had been killed in front of her, and then she was gang-raped and left naked and mutilated in the desert.

    Those were the people I met under just four adjacent trees. And in every direction, as far as I could see, were more trees and more victims—all with similar stories.

Satellite Image Tips:

  • If you aren't getting an image, hit either the satellite or hybrid button in the upper right hand corner.
  • Check the scale in the lower left hand corner of the image, since not all maps are on the same scale.
  • Zoom in, zoom out, explore and poke around a little.
Some reference images for comparison:
Generic villages in Chad
A very small border town: Adre - population approx. 15,000
A provincial capital: Abeche (apologies for the crummy resolution)
The capital of Chad, N'Djamena
Possibly one of the most godforsaken remote locales on earth, Awaynat, Libya.

Map 1, Map 2, Map 3 (with numbers) of Refugee Camps Inside Chad/Sudan

Below are images of 8 of the 15 camps inside Chad. Oure Cassoni: Est. Pop. (May 2006) 29,610

Kounoungo (I think): Est. Pop. (May 2006) 11,790 (Images on the ground 1, 2)

Mile: Est. Pop. (May 2006) 13,544

Am Nabak: Est. Pop. (May 2006) 16,546

Farchana: Est. Pop. (May 2006) 17,500 (Images on the ground: 1, 2)

Terguine or Breidjing: Est. Pop. (May 2006) 14,400 or 27,400

Djabal: Est. Pop. (May 2006) 14,533

Goz Amer: Est. Pop. (May 2006) 17,890

Map of Destroyed Villages and refugee camps in Sudan (as of August 2004)

In the map of destroyed Sudanese villages, there is an inset photo of the village of Balla (628 of 720 structures destroyed). A clearer, zoomable map of the village can be found here.

The regional map of destroyed villages has a number of other villages (more than I can count), but here are a few representative examples. If you zoom around with Google, they're not hard to find once you get the hang of it. Look here, here or here (this one, I think, is one that had been attacked at some point in the past, and then more recently, but has not been completely razed) for a few examples.

This is what I think is the Zalingei camp inside Sudan. Here is what I think is the Abushouk camp (est. pop. 51,000).


This looks to be an An-26 "Curl" transport plane, mid-flight, heading SE, about 1 1/2 miles SW of El Fashir, Sudan.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at December 4, 2006 05:19 AM | Missile Tracks

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