January 27, 2012

Clooney's Sentinel

Ok so i'm in a serious mood..i usually avoid current affairs and typically blog on creative topics..But that doesn't mean i don't care about what happens in India or the other parts of the world..!

According to me there are two groups of humans in this world. The Lucky and the Not So Lucky. The Lucky ones (like me) get to live a tranquil life with simple issues such as power cuts, bad roads, corrupt officials etc peppered with the luxuries of life such as movies, food, etc. If 10 random people die in the hands of some random lunatics, it doesn't affect me. Nope. Maybe i would pity those poor souls. But that's just about it. What do we care? We live in our cocooned peaceful life don't we?

But the Not So Lucky ones, suffer. Not in the hands of the Devil. But in the hands of men who have lost their souls to greed, rage, violence and madness. Thousands die for no reason. Beaten, shunned and forced to flee, their lives like a Tight Rope Walk, with no clue about what they did to deserve such a fate. They are the ones that know what Death looks like because many a times, it comes knocking on their doors. Vulnerable and broken, hell must be a bed of roses for these poor sods.

This morning, while randomly absorbing my daily dose of gyaan, i stumbled on this news article from Global Post:

Clooney satellite project shows preparations for assault

At first glance, i couldn't make sense of it, George Clooney? Danny Ocean? What satellite project? Why him? an assault on who? These were the questions that flared in my mind. Filled with curiousity i dug deeper. What i read astonished me!

Before i enlighten you on Clooney's initiative, lets talk about the issue in focus. (in simple terms)

  • What? : North & South Sudan have been at loggerheads since 1955.
  • Why? : Oil reserves, ethnic clashes, southern rebels, grazing land, government negligence, arab-african showdown, division of South Sudan as separate country
  • Conflict Areas ? : Abyei, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile
  • Effect? : Darfur Genocide, Power Struggle over oil rich Abyei, dispute over South Sudan's independence, mass graves
  • Peace Agreements? : Addis Ababa Agreement (1972), Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005)
  • Ok and? : More fighting, blood spilled, innocent lives lost, survivors turn refugees
  • Uhuh? : South Sudan becomes Independent in 2011.

You get the point right? So where does our Descendants star step in you ask?

The Answer is a first-of-a-kind effort at peacekeeping and deterring mass atrocities and the resumption of war between Sudan (North) and South Sudan by combining a Eye-in-the-sky approach meets Proactive Action plan, which is:


George Clooney while visiting Sudan in Oct 2010 (4th time) initiated this project along with Enough Project co-founder, John Prendergast. What is really cool about this initiative is that it combines satellite imagery analysis and field reports with Google's Map Maker technology to detect signs of emergency or violence in the war torn regions of Sudan.

These satellites are able to capture possible threats to civilians, observe the movements of displaced people and also any signs of open military activity, detect razed villages and note other evidence of impending mass violence!

The project has been successful in detecting any human rights crimes even before they occur and has unearthed evidences of close to 8 mass graves in the South Kordofan region.

The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, runs the research, operational and technical aspects of the Satellite Sentinel Project. It is what they call the 'Crisis Mapping & Early Warning System'. Bloody awesome if you ask me..!

Mass Grave Sites (as captured by Satellite Sentinel)

George Clooney in Sudan (from TIME Photos)

Of course, there has been criticism from all quarters against George Clooney over his involvement in this sensitive issue, but nonetheless, that is what we are really good at aren't we? Stand on the greener side of the field and pelt stones at the ones who are actually doing something.

I guess this is just the beginning. I'd rather read and keep myself informed on such matters than read nonsensical articles on how our media has glorified the entry of a porn star in a reality show.

Perpetrators beware. Miles above, Clooney's Sentinel is Awake.



vinay said...

Nice post.
I completely agree with your views.

Jayanth said...

Hi vinay welcome! im glad u do! and thank you!

Purba said...

A few months back Newsweek had written about George Clooney's peace keeping initiative in Sudan and it had made for an interesting read.

What I liked most about your write-up is how you had had broken down the Darfur strife in simple points.

Jayanth said...

Hey Purba thanks! i read that article too! it took a while for me to understand the whole issue!

Rahul said...

@Juby: Nice post da! Well written :)

Jayanth said...

Hey thanks rahul!