During a speech yesterday, May 20, at the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity dinner, George Clooney announced a significant expansion of the Satellite Sentinel Project, an initiative he co-founded three years ago. While it will continue to use satellite imagery to monitor and warn against human rights abuses in war-torn Sudan and South Sudan, the Satellite Sentinel Project will expand its focus to undertake forensic investigations to reveal how those committing mass atrocities are funding their activities and where they are hiding their stolen assets.
Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder George Clooney said, “We want to follow the money and find out how these atrocities are funded, who enables them, and what the smart tools are to counter these activities more effectively. Genocide and other human rights crimes are never just spontaneous events. They require planning, they require financing, and they require international indifference to succeed. Where is the money coming from and where is it being hidden? To the extent we can, we want to make it more difficult for those willing to kill en masse to secure their political and economic objectives, and we want to move the needle away from indifference and inaction.”
Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder John Prendergast said, “We’ll investigate exactly how the illegal exploitation of resources like diamonds, gold and ivory help finance the activities of some of the world’s worst abusers of human rights. And we’ll focus on imposing a cost on those that contribute to or facilitate the perpetration of these human rights crimes. The objective is a comprehensive approach to countering atrocities that involves satellite imagery, forensic investigations, on-the-ground research, and deeper investment in impacting the calculations of policy makers and commercial actors who might possess the leverage to help stop these human rights crimes.”
The Satellite Sentinel Project is a partnership between the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch. Satellite imagery and analysis is provided by DigitalGlobe. The geographic area of focus will encompass Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and the surrounding region.
For more information on the Satellite Sentinel Project, please visit http://www.satsentinel.org/. For interviews with John Prendergast, Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or firstname.lastname@example.org.