Images show alleged Sudanese atrocities

July 23, 2012 at 10:15 AM

WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- Calling on South Sudan and Sudan to settle their differences isn't enough to address regional atrocities, a humanitarian watchdog group said.

South Sudan last year gained independence from Sudan as part of a peace deal that ended one of the bloodiest civil conflicts in modern history. Ethnic disputes, economic turmoil and border conflicts threaten the fragile peace, however.

The sides have met in various venues to settle outstanding issues left over from the peace agreement. John Prendergast, who with U.S. actor George Clooney helped found the watchdog group Satellite Sentinel Project, said his group uncovered evidence of atrocities in South Kordafan, a Sudanese state.

He said satellite imagery from November suggests about 90 percent of the village of Um Bartumba in the border state appears to have been destroyed. Elders from the region said around 250 adults and family members lived in the region.

Prendergast said, in a statement with Clooney, that SSP had "irrefutable visual proof" that mass atrocities were ongoing in the region.

"The continuing bombing and starving of the residents of South Kordofan and Blue Nile state must be addressed more forcefully by the United Nations Security Council," the statement read. "It is not enough to press for a deal between Sudan and South Sudan."

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