WASHINGTON (AP) — A group founded by actor George Clooney is teaming up with Google, a U.N. agency and anti-genocide organizations to launch satellite surveillance of the border between north and south Sudan to try to prevent a new civil war after the south votes in a secession referendum next month.
Organizers said Wednesday that Clooney’s Not On Our Watch is funding the start-up phase Satellite Sentinel Project that will collect real-time satellite imagery and combine it with field analysis from the Enough Project and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
It will point out movements of troops, civilians and other signs of impending conflict. The U.N. Operational Satellite Applications Programme and Google will then publish the findings online.
The groups hope that early warnings will reduce the risk of violence.
Southern Sudan’s looming Jan. 9 independence referendum has raised fears of renewed north-south civil war. The vote is the result of a 2005 peace deal that ended a 21-year conflict that claimed the lives of two million people and left twice as many displaced.