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Abstract

Aim: The aim of this article is to highlight potential methods applicable to a standard forensic approach for the analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery that may contain evidence of alleged mass atrocities.

Methods: The primary method employed is the retrospective analysis of a case study involving the use of high-resolution satellite imagery analysis to document alleged mass atrocities. The case study utilized herein is the Satellite Sentinel Project’s reporting on the May 2011 sacking of Abyei Town by Government of Sudan-aligned armed actors. In the brief case study, categories of objects, patterns of activities, and types of alleged mass atrocity events are applied the Abyei Town incident.

Results: Categories of activity patterns, visible phenomena, and relevant objects leaned from the Abyei Town case study may provide a scalable example of how accepted forensic standards for remote sensing analysis of alleged mass atrocities may be further developed.

Conclusions: The methods and frameworks applied in this research to the Abyei Town case study should be tested and refined through further case studies. The sources of these case studies may be both past reports by civil society, governments, and international judicial bodies and new analyses of previously unanalyzed high-resolution satellite imagery of alleged mass atrocities.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1911-9933.8.3.4